Friday, September 22, 2006

Debra and the Opposite of Synchronicity

I’m thrilled that Betina explored synchronicity yesterday because a firm understanding of those moments in life when the stars in the universe align and remind us that we’re all connected is going to make my problem a whole lot easier to blame on you.

Apparently…your dog ate my homework.

Look carefully at this blog. Do you see a humorous Deborah Smith interview about her incredible (I've read it!) new book CROSSROADS CAFE? I don’t see a Deborah Smith interview about any book. There is supposed to be a Deborah Smith interview about something! Yet there isn’t an interview here.

There wasn’t an interview in my email bin at midnight last night either. (Which is why my original working blog title was: There’s no time like the present for a good panic!)

Note to self: Good interview technique includes confirming that the interview subject actually receives your insightful questions.

Darned unreliable internet. It carries twelve trillion emails a day and it loses mine??? Oh, the world is connected all right and someone’s out to get me. It’s the oil companies. I know they…

:::an uneasy pause, followed by rustling sounds while Debra stuffs her paranoia back into its hole:::

Never fear. We shall corral Deborah and drag her here for your amusement. She really is quite funny, and CROSSROADS CAFÉ (ISBN: 0-9768760-5-1) is some book—starred review in Library Journal, an RT Book Club Top Pick, fab review in Booklist, given perfect 10s and 5 stars in review after review. If you can’t wait until she arrives, you can get more info on the book at Check out the huge chapter-length excerpts! (Yes, multiple chapters, not a measly few pages.)

In the meantime…let’s talk about pets and synchronicity. We’ve always been “pet people.” Showed dogs for years. As an odd little point of pride, I owned the only Irish Wolfhound ever ranked in all obedience ranking (point) systems. Never bred many litters, but I do know my way around a puppy. One morning 18 months ago, I was quietly working in my home office and heard new-born baby puppy noises underneath my chair. Beneath the floor.

That was odd considering the fact we hadn't had dogs for quite a while. And when we did have dogs, I was pretty sure we didn't keep 'em under the floor.

Our last Irish Wolfhound had died a number of years before and we’d decided to take a break from dogs because of our hectic travel schedule. Moving and/or remodeling had also been on the agenda. At the time of the "puppy noises" we were in the middle of the mother of all remodels.

Workmen had forgotten to replace a door to underneath the house. A very young German Shepherd-Husky mix "momma-to-be" moved right in and deposited eight puppies. Directly under my office and my chair. Most people would have had her hauled away by animal control when the workmen said they wouldn’t come back until she was gone. She was starved, terrified, and nasty enough that you couldn’t get close to her. Nasty enough that my husband called her Cujo.

Yep, most people would have been too scared (and maybe too smart) to do anything but call animal control. But Cujo had her puppies under the office of a woman who was used to 160 lb Irish Wolfhounds that stood tall enough to look her in the eye. Who’d written articles on dogs and obedience for national magazines like Dog World. Who’d grown up with German Shepherds.

A woman who couldn’t say no. (see previous blog on "That Dixon Chick")

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns…” She walks into mine. The one place that won’t turn her away because she’s wild and scared. The one place that needed a dog and didn’t know it.

Her name is Sweetie.

She never leaves my side.

I really like it when the stars align.

Has anyone else been given a gift they didn't know they needed and now can't live without?


Betina Krahn said...

Deb! What a hoot! I'm so glad you're here! I love your story, especially the "pretty sure we didn't keep them under the floor" line. Coffee almost came out my nose on that one!
(Okay, put that in the probably more than you wanted to know file.)

I'm thinking now. There was a red crocheted purse with red plastic spangles. No, still haven't used that. . .

I'll come up with something. Give me a little time. It's early.

Helen Brenna said...

Deb, Sweetie sounds like a special gift. So glad she ended up living with you. I didn't know you've shown dogs!! Irish Wolfhounds, even! Have you ever seen the show, The Dog Whisperer?

As for gifts we've been given ... some very close friends that I've made who never would've happened upon my life if not for writing. Now, you're right, can't imagine life without them.

Oh, and I can snort like a pig, can even get pig's at the state fair to talk back to me. Does that count?

Candace said...

Okay, look out, everyone, 'cause I'm gonna get sappy again...

I've always felt my husband was a gift. He came along when I very definitely was not looking (I already had a boyfriend. Sort of) and I seriously can't imagine what my life would have been like without him. I for sure wouldn't be a published writer--and that's the least of it.

On a less sappy sister had a dog named Sweetie. A collie-shepard mix that came from a shelter. For over 12 years, Sweetie and my sister were pretty much glued at the hip. And even now, nearly 25 years after Sweetie died, my sister still has a picture of her on the family portrait wall of her house.

Betina Krahn said...

Okay, I'm about to get uncharacteristically sappy.

When my husband was dying 10 years ago, I was desperate for help and had no family within 800 miles. Our friends were wonderful to help with transportation and dishes of food. . . but I needed help of a far more basic nature. . . like someone to keep the house clean while I kept Don comfortable. I asked a couple of neighbors if they knew of anyone who might be able to come and help. The next day a gal down the block called to say her mom was wonderful at cleaning houses and was willing to help three or four mornings a week.

Enter Peggy. The woman not only cleaned and helped me look after Don, she became a dear friend who helped me get through one of the toughest times of my life. She was indeed a gift. . . so much more than I had hoped for, but everything I needed at that time. Since then, she moved to California and back to Minnesota. . . and, 11 years later, we still keep in touch.

She was proof to me at that time that the Creator was paying attention and that the universe/creator/deity heard my prayers. Her presence in my life, coming as it did and how it did, made an indelible impression.

So I look for ways I can be a "Peggy" for others. I'm not always good at it, but I try.

Helen Brenna said...

I'm such a type A personality, you guys are all making me wonder if there haven't been "gifts" out there for me that I've been just too darned busy to notice, let alone accept.


Susan Kay Law said...

Deb, she's gorgeous! I remember when you found her, and were trying desperately not to keep her, even knowing it was hopeless and you were a goner.

What happened to all the puppies?


Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- Oh, yeah. It was a real hoot and half! LOL! We had no room to bring them in the house because half of it was under remodel and the other half had the stuff from the "wrecked" half. Literally no room. Not even to walk.

We bought a tent to put in what we used to call the "puppy yard" which is about a 40x40 area of the bigger back yard. Sweetie cut herself on the fence trying to get out and she had to life half in the house and half out of the house. I spent more time in that tent last spring!

Debra Dixon said...


I can't believe no one has asked about the pig snort.

Pig snort? How did you develop

Debra Dixon said...

Candace-- I don't think you're sappy at all! That's lovely. I also think my guy is a gift.

It's very interesting that your sister had a dog named Sweetie! Our dog got her name because we figured that no one would adopt a dog named Cujo. As we were mulling over names for her, I asked my husband to pour me some sweet tea. Sweetie perked up and ran right over. I realized then that I'd unconsciously trained her..."Come here, sweetie. It's okay, sweetie."

Debra Dixon said...

Susie-- Yes, that's right! You knew about this when I was still in denial. LOL!

We placed three of the puppies our selves after interviewing people. My own son is still mad at me but he did not have time for a puppy with work and school!

The other five went to a lovely puppy-only rescue operation about 3 hours away. They take care of all the vet requirements and then keep the puppies until they find an approved home. The new owners have to cover the vet costs-so they have to want the puppies.

They normally have a waiting list because all their puppies are from "unexpected pregnancies" where the parents are known. They don't take strays but they knew someone who they trusted to vouch for the socialization and care given the puppies.

Helen Brenna said...

Who wouldn't like the name Cujo?? Too funny. That's so sweet that you spent so much time with her outside. To think what would have happened to her and her pupies if they hadn't found your home!!

As for pig snorts ... I was at the state fair one year looking at this monster of all hogs, weighing in at some ridiculous tonage. He was sleeping and I started making this noise with my throat. He perked right up and starting talking back to me. I've yet to find another person who can make this same sound.

Am I special or what?? Oink, oink!

lois greiman said...

We raise golden retreivers and like to keep them in the kids' bathroom for kicks and grins. Sometimes our poor children wake up in the morning and....voila...a dozen little piglet lookalikes are curled up under their sink. I mean...yeah...everyone loves puppies, but it's probably different when you're sharing your toilet space with them. Still, no one has threatened to run away from home if the placenta isn't gone before they return from school, so I guess we're doing okay. Besides, right now there are only bottle fed kittens in their bathroom, and they don't take so much room.

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Cool ! You have Goldens. Probably some of the cutest puppies ever.

I've only ever had one litter of kittens. A stray again. Geez! Those are the tiniest things. Bottle feeding must be a trip.