Most writers will say they have been writing for as long as they could hold a pen. I suppose I am no different. But how many can remember the precise moment they learned the power of the written word. I can.
See, I had a dog. But she wasn’t just any dog. Her name was Arrow and she was a jet-black Great Dane with a pure, white arrow head on her chest. To me, she was the most regal and beautiful dog I had ever seen. I was nine…
Arrow was my best friend and the name of a popular song back then, “Me and My Arrow,” by Harry Nilsson from his album, The Point. OK, so I just dated myself… the point is, I loved my dog as any child does.
But there was one… kind of… smallish problem about Arrow. She was destructive!
That is not a word you want to use in the same sentence with "Great Dane." She scratched the molding around the front door of our old Victorian. The wood work was part of the charm and period flare of our house – and not easily replaced. She was also very smart. She knew how to open the front door and let herself out. But she was loyal. She would never run away. She just loafed around outside until someone noticed she was missing.
But then there was that fateful day when my sister, my mom, and I returned home from a day of clothes shopping...
Our living room doors were always kept shut so Arrow would not… well... we had no idea what Arrow might do, but we didn’t want to find out. I remember my mom walking ahead of us, in the downstairs hall, on her way upstairs to put the bags away. When she got to the living room doors, she stopped, and slowly turned her head. The living room doors were ajar. What she saw next, must have been horrifying to say the least.
Arrow had eaten the couches!
Now that I am a mom and have couches of my own, I can only imagine how horrified she must have felt. We had two brown velvet couches and a white shag rug – now I have really dated myself! There was fluff and stuff everywhere. That was my parents’ last straw.
Now, I am sure the other members of my family will remember this very differently. Actually, my sister, will probably argue that it never happened at all, but I profess that what I say next really did happen. The next morning, my parents were discussing the (Ahem) Arrow Dilemma. “What should we do with her?” my mom questioned. “We can’t give her to a farm. She’s not exactly a farm dog,” said my dad. And then I heard it. Now, I can’t say exactly who suggested it but my heart stopped dead. “We might have to destroy her.” I had been around animals long enough to know what that meant. They were going to kill my best friend!
As the youngest children are sometimes… well… ignored, I tried my best to get everyone’s attention to fight against all hope that this was a most ghastly solution. But no one would listen to me. I yelled. I hollered. I stood on a kitchen chair, but the grown-ups just spoke around me. So I decided to do the only thing I could think of…
I wrote a letter to G-d.
I wrote, “Dear G-d, my parents want to kill my best friend…” I am sure it was eloquently written with much drama and love. When I finished I pondered, how I would get this letter to G-d? Finally I thought mothers are the next best thing. That meant I had to find the perfect place where my mother would be sure to find it.
So, I asked myself, where do mothers go where no one is allowed to follow them, yet they would have peace and quiet to concentrate? THE BATHROOM! I ran to the bathroom, with letter in hand, and strategically placed it on a little marble cabinet we had right beside the toilet and I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Until finally my mother went in and shut the door.
Now I can’t say for sure that she read my letter, but I will tell you this… When she came out she gave me an especially long hug, and Arrow lived a long, long life for a Dane, and a writer was born!