I just had to make the hard decision to put an old, much-loved dog to sleep. Amber was a sweet-natured, sometimes over-enthusiastic, often muddy Labrador who had a wonderfully happy life that ended peacefully in my arms. So rather than be sad, I want to celebrate some of her upbeat doggy philosophy - much of which has crept into my picture books…
1. Wag your tail and greet each new day with joy.
2. Mud is fun, especially when shared.
3. Treat strangers as potential friends.
4. There are many different fragrances and consistencies to manure.
5. Shoes are meant to be slobbered on.
6. The same old familiar walk always has different scents to sniff.
7. Every meal is a celebration.
8. Hair shed is hair shared.
9. Dirty underwear is treasure.
10. An old dog dreams young dreams.
At this moment, I feel drained of creative energy, but I know from experience that it will return. After my husband died I was SURE I wouldn’t be able to write again - but a few months later I felt I had to write – and out of it came Gilbert the Great, a happy-sad picture book about loss and coming to terms with it.
So, like any good picture book, this blog has a reassuring ending for anyone finding it hard to be creative right now. Don’t add to your stress by worrying about it. Get on with your life as best you can – and one day soon, it WILL be back.