That's what her editor told her, "Put a dog in it," to reach a broader demographic and increase book sales. It was a memoir on South American shamanism and a furred friend would make the book more marketable.
But that's not why dogs are in this blog. In fact, I consider and reconsider including them because I fret over exposing my deeply embedded dependence.
'Island living turned out to be lonelier than I'd ever dreamed.'
It never occurred to me that in the literal isolation of being surrounded by water there'd be little sense of belonging culturally and no community to lean into. As it turns out, dogs are my answer to every loneliness. When we moved to Kauai in 2001 our two dogs came with us. That was six dogs ago now.
My origin story includes three sisters, a brother and an additional five foster kids under one roof, so any derivative of the word "lone" was not in my vocabulary. I never experienced alone, lonely or loner.
There were two bathrooms in our Southern California suburban home, and one of them off-limits to teenagers. At any time in our shared bathroom there'd be a sister in the shower, one on the toilet and two of us wiping steam from the mirror as we applied mascara or brushed our teeth.
Add to that: rats, cats, dogs, rabbits and a king snake.
Part of the Woolway family dynamic always included two dogs. There was the border collie Toot Toot, so named for her love of water. There was the first Flip, a boxer my father tucked into his peacoat pocket and presented to his bride after returning home from the New Port War College where he taught. My mom said she "flipped" when she saw the puppy. There's been a Schitzo, Girl 1 and Girl 2; Chris, Skeeta, Sally, Tracy, and the one token male, Fellah, who my grandpa had euthanized the September he and Nana came from Halifax while Mom was in rehab and Dad in Vietnam.
Leave it to say, there is much to share on the dog front. I had to begin somewhere. Ours is a family of wanderers with nearly no connection to our ancestors. In Hawaii there is pride in chanting your lineage; the only lineage I can chant is our animals. I think I'll save that for a future post.
Thanks again for listening to my happy wanderings.