Today was about the dogs. They showed up twice in 20 minutes.
The first dog sighting came in a quick stop on a goat hunt. Ellen swears Diana and I resemble bouncing mountain goats. Have you seen them? They’re the Internet-famous baby goats hopping around an Alpian farm. When I heard of Boulder’s Laughing Goats cafe, I had to find out if I fit in. Plus get a picture of the goats for Ellen. Maybe I could hop and laugh?
Instead, I found this.
The dog bowl would seem a disappointment. Instead, I saw a thread.
Writers are, among other things, seamstresses. We search for threads with which to sew a story. Sometimes those threads come from multiple places.
After the Laughing Goat, I had one more thread to find.
I walked to the Trident Cafe in search of a real-life dog.
In 2011, I witnessed the heroic Dylan. That’s what I dubbed the golden retriever mix who stumbled down the sidewalk then stopped in front of the Trident Cafe. Make that “was stopped at the cafe.” Dylan was draped in a complicated contraption of leashes, harnesses, collars, and dog boots–all colored a cruel cobalt blue. I watched for several painful minutes as his master tugged, dragged, and yanked her dog down the sidewalk before shoving him against the Trident’s outside wall. Dylan laid against the brick building and baked in the sun as his owner went inside the cafe. I watched, horrified. Then walked away. Seven years later, the images — and my choice — haunt.
In planning this writing retreat, I had an odd mission to look for Dylan. Call it one of those things. This time, I’d do the right thing.
The Trident today held no Dylan, of course. Waiting instead was cobalt blue:
Logo. Awning. Sky.
I am glad Dylan was gone. I pray he’s out of pain, no longer defined by cobalt blue.
The Dylan story and all this rambling about dogs and goats in a writer’s life must strike you as weird. If so, I am glad. Because that’s the job of a writer. To make others uncomfortable. Stories do that as we novelists and essayists and others of the writing life gather threads to create stories that impact your life somehow.
Interesting that this shirt chose me this morning. Upon awakening, I lacked full understanding of the importance surrounding today’s mission. The t‑shirt’s words best explain this seamstress metaphor.
I only sought a goat and a dog, never knowing I’d end up with two dogs and a blog post. And a really strange tale about the writing life.
Sherlock would be delighted my dedicated efforts at observation.
Somewhere my mother laughs.
I failed the sewing badge in Girl Scouts.