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End of Year Review 2019 #2

March and April sucked.

I had plans, lots of plans. Then the Word Dragon got worse and worse. No diagnosis seemed to make sense and no medications were working. All the vets at the surgery were involved, and so invested in seeing her well. The consultation room got crowded. They gave me print outs of her test results to keep because they’d never seen anything like it, even though it was all gibberish to me.

She was given tablets and more tablets. She had to endure painful injections every day for a week. She had a stroke, we think. I had five days of her not knowing who I was, or where we lived, or basic commands. Going from have a super vibrant companion who practically spoke English to an animal who had to be herded around and stared at me like I was a stranger was heart rending. She didn’t, or couldn’t, wag her tail. Needless to say all those plans I’d had went out the window. Hell, everything went out the window.

We spent a lot of time cuddling under a blanket, and had a stream of visitors coming to say goodbye to her. There were lots of long, difficult conversations with the vet and multiple appointments made at the end of the day so, if need be, we could take our time and say our goodbyes in peace and quiet.

Ultimately, the vet decided to make one last ditch attempt and gave her a bushel of super strong meds that were exhausting to administer, with terrible side effects. Also clever dogs soon realize that anything resembling a treat probably has icky medicine in it and refuse to eat at all which didn’t help. It took two weeks. By the end, she could barely walk, had no bladder control and was having breathing difficulties. A few days away from finishing the course, the vet said to stop the meds, wait a week then we’d do some tests and see if there was any trace of the infection that was killing her. It might have been a tad stressful. We’ve definitely had better times.


Amongst all the sadness, was more sadness. Kind of. An ending of sorts.
I started writing the first Alphas Homestead book in 2016. I originally thought it would be a standalone, but by the time I was writing the last chapter, I knew that there would be six books in total. Getting the last two out was tough though. And not just because writing is hard.

I’d been planning the ending since the beginning, and when it finally came time to write some of the scenes down, it was difficult through the veil of tears. That scene when Thaddeus pulls Ephraim down to sleep in Be My Sanctuary and he thinks back to how Ephraim had sat him on his lap in their grandparent’s kitchen and made him feel safe when they were little kids? I’d been thinking about the grown-up boys when I had written the original scene with them as children in the kitchen in Returning Home. There may have been weeping. But all good things must come to an end… kind of.

I included an epilogue of sorts in Always Here. Except it wasn’t really an ending but a new beginning. The end of the Alphas’ Homestead meant the beginning of the Homestead Legacy. Because, although I had in mind the six books from the beginning, after spending three years with these guys, I have so many other stories to tell that were never going to fit in the existing framework. Caleb meeting Horse and John. What happens to the homestead after they’re gone. How Jacob and Thaddeus get past what happened to them. What happened to Elijah after Ezra had banished him…. so many stories. And, as you might of realized, I’m not very good at letting things go.

#1#2#3#4#5 #6Coming in 2020



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