Saturday, February 1, 2014

                                                Macduff and I


Fourteen  years ago I fell in love with the saddest, most poignant eyes I had ever seen.  They belonged to a 2 pound ,4 ounce mournful puppy who was looking at me beseechingly from a wire cage which, as we all recognize, is a shelter's euphemism for a prison.  I asked an attendant if he would take the little dog out of the cage and let me hold him.  The puppy  sat in my hand and his eyes asked me as eloquently as any tongue can speak, "Please don't put me back in that cage again."

I looked at the mournful little mite; he gazed hopefully at me, and a spark that I have only felt when I met my husband and when I saw each of my three children for the first time ignited.  I knew that the dog and I had bonded in the same way:  total, reciprocal, unconditional love which would never be broken.
"As long as I live," I promised him solemnly, "you will never be placed in a cage ever again."

I took him home and my children who were still mourning the death of our 120 pound Samoyed who had died 8 years ago stared at the pygmy and pronounced, "That's not a dog; that's a rat."

Undeterred by my sons' negativity,  the tiny Yorkie wobbled over to my sneaker which was twice as big as he was, seized it ferociously in his teeth and shook it vigorously.  We all laughed at the sight of the chutzpah of the midget tilting against his giant windmill.  Since I had been teaching the Shakespearean play Macbeth that day I shouted, "Lay on Macduff, and damned by the sneaker who first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"

The name could not have been more appropriate.  Macuff truly believes it is his duty to protect me.  He has bitten or threatened the wallpaper hanger, the carpenter, the exterminator,  the painter, and the electrician.  .  On the other hand, my New York  next door neighbor whose house was burglarized every  winter when she went to to Florida was never robbed again after Macduff protected  her back yard.

When we moved to the Pocono mountains I would take him and his little friend Pippen, whom I acquired to keep Macduff company while I worked long hours both as a nurse and an adjunct instructor at a college,on 5 mile walks every day.   While  we walked they sniffed every three inches of the hike and sprinkled their pee mail on the next three inches.  It took hours to walk the miles and we often took a swim in a mountain lake half way through the hike.  Therefore, I kept a little notebook with me and began to write my novel while we hiked and lolled on the beach.  After 10 years the notes evolved into my novel The Conspiracies of Dreams.

Now Macduff is 14, suffering from arthritis, and Pippen has cataracts and hypothyroidism.  Thus, our daily walks are limited to the twice daily visits to Okeeheelee dog park.

Macduff still loves to listen to me play the piano, still gazes at me with all the love I have ever seen in another living creature, and still barks protectively whenever anyone comes to the door.

He is inspiring me to adapt my novel into a screen play and Louise Penny, the great Canadian mystery writer has given me permission to quote this line from her last book How the Light Get In which has been nominated for the Agatha Award.  In her novel she describes the  fictional detective Armand Gamache's dog , Henri, as a dog who is so dumb he will never get into Harvard but he knows two things;  he knows he is loved and he knows how to love."  What better compliment can be given to anyone? Lay on Macduff, and blessed be you who can never love enough!

My book The Conspiracies of Dreams which  is a story which is 90 per cent true about an Egyptian spy who falls in love with an Israeli and must decide if he will be true to the only woman he will every love or betray his religion, his country, and his religion.  It also reveals the political intrigue involved in the 1956 Suez War in which MI6 agents betrayed England and France bribed Israel to attack Egypt.  Above all, a donkey is the true victim.  Intrigued?  the novel is available as an ebook for $2.99 from Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble, com, Ibooks.com and as a paperback for $12.99 from the same sources.