Saturday, April 5, 2014

Miss Jessie, Life-changing Great Dane

A lot has happened during my absence in the past few months. Let me first apologize for my blog going inactive. During that time, my marriage of forty-one years ended. My business went into a crisis caused by National Healthcare demands. I slipped into a deep depression, one compounded by poor health. My former business partner had died unexpectedly, and I had to scramble to assist some of his clients. For me, it was a time of stress, chaos, anxiety and diminishing energy. I became overwhelmed, and some things suffered. One sacrifice was the time demand of my blog.

How did I break out of the slump and depression?

Meet Miss Jessie.

Four-months-old, Miss Jessie

In addition to the other issues, I was lonely, desperately alone, and things looked hopeless. One of my friends has a wonderful Great Dane named Jet. She told me some puppies from the same sweet lineage were available, so I went to look at them. It was love at first sight. Jessie, a ten-week old pup, picked me. She approached me and pawed my leg. It was like she’d been waiting for me. The other pups didn’t even notice the hairy-faced, big guy watching them.

My decision was instantaneous as was the lifting of my depression. It’s amazing how a playful little fur-ball can fill a big hole in your heart. On the hour-long drive home, she whimpered for a few minutes, but finally rested her head on my forearm and fell sound asleep. She trusted me. It felt good. It felt right.

It’s been two months, since Jessie exploded into my life. Demands of a ten-week-old puppy disrupted everything. My work, my writing, my minimal social life…even taking a daily shower...required accommodations for this demanding puppy. She started as a chubby, twenty-pound ball of needle-sharp teeth and constantly chewed on everything from electrical cords to furniture to clothes and, yes, even my laptop. My forearm was covered in scratches and looked like I had escaped from a leper colony.

Monitoring Jessie cut my writing time to two-minute quickies tucked between potty trips, moving baby gates, and exchanging guitar cords for Kong chew toys. I admit, I wondered a few times if I had made a mistake introducing this time-consuming, fur-covered black hole into my life at the worst possible time.

Then, it happened. Jessie climbed up her puppy stairs onto her end of the couch. She crossed to me. Her left leg lifted over my shoulders behind my neck, and her right leg wrapped across my chest. Paws crossed and she pulled me against her to “kiss” my beard and ear. She fell asleep with head tucked against my shoulder. Love . . . in its purest form. Jessie appreciated me, needed me, and loved me. I knew then and there, we’d overcome any hardships. I would eventually get caught up with my work and my writing, but I needed her, and she needed me.
Super sweet!

Today, I can’t imagine life without Jessie. She tests my patience on occasion, but we are learning each other’s personalities and needs. There have been three emergency trips to the vet for 1) X-rays to see if the missing battery cover for the TV remote (she destroyed it) was in her gut, 2) she broke off a baby canine tooth, and 3) a local wasp gave her a bad sting on the muzzle that swelled into a large knot. She’s also a clown as she trips over her too-large feet while running, “eats” the stream of water from the hose, and crouches on the ground trying to make herself small to not intimidate little dogs.

I have kept family and friends up to date about Jessie’s antics on my personal Facebook page. There are lots of pictures and a few videos. Feel free to browse them if you are interested.

How does Jessie’s addition to my life relate to writing?

Emotion is the essence of fiction writing. Authors can convert intensity from their lives into conflict in a story. Lord knows, I have plenty of grist in my angst-account, but the new hope and vigor I got from Jessie’s arrival has freed me emotionally to get back to writing. My last six tumultuous months have come to a close. Yes, there are still loose ends to be tied down, but I’m on the cusp of something great . . . something that could put an exclamation mark on the beginning of the rest of my life. I’ll tell you about it in my next blog (titled Who’s Stacey?) in a few days.

Keep an eye out for Jessie updates...she's coming at us like a freight train!

"Look out! I can't stop!"
Thank you to all my friends for your patience while I went through those trying times.


  1. Dean I'm so happy you've started this blog and I'll be keeping my eyes open for updates.

    1. Thank you, Susan. Jessie seems to have unending mishaps and adventures that keep me entertained. I hope others enjoy her antics as much as I do.

    2. Rosemary H this is a great blog and I am so happy you are doing well. I am a FB friend but had no idea of the bad things happening to you. I am so happy that you have Jessie I have enjoyed all the post on FB and hope they will continue

    3. Thank you, Rosemary. I try to keep negative things off Facebook, preferring to focus on the good things in life. I revealed more in this blog post than I originally intended, but plan to keep things only positive in the future.

  2. Good to see you and Jessie have formed a solid bond, and can add a zest to life. Dogs are like that. You're part of her 'pack' ;)

    1. Hi Terry,

      You're right. She brought a spark I needed to get life back in proper perspective.

  3. Dean, This is such a wonderful and captivating story....Your blog has inspired me and sparked my memory on more than one occasion, The addition of Jess and how she pulled you out of what could have been an ongoing tragedy is absolutely the best! Shiloh and Old Yeller, are going to have to take a backseat to this modern day puppy love saga.... I'm so glad you found eachother.

    1. Hi Renee,

      I am glad you got some inspiration from Jessie's story. The primary purpose of my blog is to help fellow writers to find their "raison d'etre" for the art of storytelling. Thank you for taking a minute to respond.

  4. what a truly wonderful blog! to touching and honest. I am also glad to say that Miss J brought you and I together via facebook and our puppy trials. my husband and I adopted a puppy and she to was nightmare adjusting to, but now, i cannot imagine life without Athena.
    Love to you both - Theresa Bane

    1. Theresa,

      Athena, like Jessie, is still a "baby" and will continue to try our patience from time to time for another year. The good news, is that both Athena and Jess are sweet, loving breeds that ultimately strive to please their owner/alpha. For example, I have been using baby gates to channel Jessie only into puppy-safe parts of the house. Yesterday, she JUMPED the baby gate between the kitchen and laundry room! Time to buy more baby gates and stack on floor and another right above it. LOL


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