Posted tagged ‘Pearl’


November 30, 2013

August 30, 1995–November 30, 2013
(Yes, she could look sort of goofy sometimes.)

Even in my extremely sad state, I admit that Pearl may not objectively have been the best dog in the world.  But she was the best dog in the world for us.

No, she was not particularly obedient.  Although she knew certain commands–well, two commands–she would only perform them if she was convinced there was cheese on offer.

Even so, she knew exactly what her family needed in a dog–and that she unstintingly gave.

Her family needed a dog who could live in a small apartment, who could be trusted never to destroy anything or (except under really impossible circumstances) have an accident; a dog who made all of New York City feel like a friendly place because she elicited so many smiles, hellos, warm feelings.

Her family needed a dog who understood that they really were not all that interested in playing fetch but found great companionship in a dog who, pretending to be resting completely independently, budged up her warm rump against them while they lay in bed reading.

Her family needed a dog who could travel by public transportation, who practically jumped into her little traveling bag when a trip was in the offing–anything rather than be left behind–and quietly allowed herself to be squeezed under plane seats, train seats, restaurant chairs, even through the side doors of more than one hotel.

Pearl was foolishly loyal–diving after us into mountain streams (though she hated swimming);  trooping after us into blackberry brambles (though she always got snagged); charging along on hikes (though truly, she preferred the porch.)     

What her family (or at least one of them) needed most of all was to feel loved.  This need Pearl fulfilled on a daily basis, sweetly, nobly, companionably, and with great and infectious joy.

And when it became clear that one of her owners also needed help with her writing, Pearl not only provided endless inspiration, but, when things got rough, took the matter into her own teeth.

She will be very sorely missed.

Early Morning Poem for Pearl

November 29, 2013

iPhone drawing based on old Pearl–meaning young Pearl–new pictures of her (18) don’t really do her justice

Early Morning Poem For Pearl

Sun winks gold pink
at the freeze’s peaked rim, every edge below
a ledge for white, all
I hold the old dog, whitish,
also hinting pink.  She trembles
even back in the house; heart sinks
in the holding.
In this stilled valley,
all that moves–the trembling dog,
the pinking light, my heart.


55 words for Pearl (and also for the G-Man).  She is nearly 18 1/2 and really getting decrepit.  It is sad in ways that a person who’s not owned a dog may find difficult to fathom.  

I post a picture of Pearl below though she looks terribly bedraggled.  It is torturous to her to mess around too much with her grooming at this stage in her life. 


Taking a Break From Blogging Break (With Pearl!)

November 2, 2013

I am now taking a blogging break to try to revise and finish an old novel manuscript.

But right this minute I am taking a break from my blogging break because I will do anything rather than revise and finish this old novel manuscript.


I very much want it to be done.

I don’t even mostly mind the work of doing it.  Not when I am in the midst of such work.

I just have a hard time beginning and sticking to the work:

  1. because I have no faith that I can/will complete the task, meaning spending any time at all on it is a waste.
  2. because I have no faith that even if I do complete the task, it will be very good, or even if good, will be read, or liked.  (Meaning spending any time at all on it is a waste.)
  3. because I hate making decisions and revising is a non-stop decision-making process.  (As in–yes, cut this.  And this.  And this.  And, should you re-write this?  I mean, seriously.  Are you actually improving anything here? Oh yes, and maybe you better put that back.  I mean, it’s a plot point, right?)  (Meaning that it’s not all that fun, meaning spending any time on  it is a waste.)

Here’s where discipline comes in.

Meaning …that if I want to do this, I have to just make myself do it, even when I don’t want to.

Meaning…. better get back to it.

Meaning… Pearl, did you leave any for me?    (To have with wine/whine.)


Note that for the sake of my sanity and to escape the solitude of a big project I will probably be posting little whining notes like this every once in a while this month.  Feel free to comment–encouragement is always welcome, but disparagement will probably feel more familiar (i.e. like talking to myself.)  I will try to return visits, but may be slow.  

Also, I am doing this during nanowrimo month to get some energy from collective prosing despair – but my project is really one of cutting not writing.  This particular manuscript is already written and much too long. 

Leaving For Trip, Packed Light

April 3, 2013
Pearl Promises To Take Good Care of It.

Pearl Promises To Take Good Care of It.

Leaving For A Trip, Packed Light

Goodbye Husband.
Goodbye Dog.
Goodbye Computer.
(What!? Computer!?)

Long hug, Hubby.
Quick kiss, Pup.
(What!? Computer!?)

Internal digits finger
charging cord, covet
chromish cover,
as brain like a conjoined twin about
to be cut cries
clinging to its external memory–all those little rows
of iPhotos, white blocks of docs–
with the hardest of

Hubby hugs again, gently.

I leave tomorrow for a trip to India, but I left my house a couple of days ago on a rather circuitous way to the airport (i.e. stopping to work like mad in my office in NYC.) I decided, for lots and lots of good reasons, not to bring my laptop with me on the trip. Agh.

(PS Before anyone feels too sorry for me, I am lucky enough to have an IPad. It is a marvelous device, but a bit difficult for those, like me, whose vision is faulty. I am referring here to both inner vision, as well as the external kind.) (Ha.)


February 17, 2013


It’s been really really cold by the Hudson River in downtown NYC today.

This is in fact an old photo taken when Pearl was younger and more adventurous– no way could I get the older, wiser Pearl to go and pose on ice floe, not even with an extra jacket.

Cold Night

December 29, 2012

Pearl Not Too Bothered By It

Cold Night – Waiting for the Furnace Guy –

I sit in a house
with hat, long-underwear, two
sweaters, coat, and non-
working furnace. Outside – several
inches (and miles)
of snow.
I find it almost helpful to bare
swathes of flesh
to the fire. You, between logs,
work on the crossword. Then the furnace guy
gets stuck and it feels suddenly
super cold.


55 frosty (and belated) words for the G-Man. And here’s one more. Brrr…..

First Words (With Pearl!)

December 8, 2012

First Words


Well, PEARL real first word:  PEARL, PEARLIE, PEARL CUTIE PIE—me.

So, PEARL, CHEESE both real first words.  And with PEARL, CHEESE, all
fall within paw!

“Pearl–you want to PLAYBALL?”

PLAYBALL not CHEESE, but go in mouth and run run run sniff good.

“Hey Pearl – let’s go OUTSIDE.”

OUTSIDE not CHEESE, but wood-stuff, grass-stuff, PEARL NOT ON MOM’s–rrrrrun run run run!

DOGFOOD not CHEESE.  Yech! (They sure wouldn’t eat it!)

Sniff wait sniff wait sniff wait wait wait.

“Mom, we can’t let her starve.”


I am posting the above for dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt by Fred Rutherford re a first person narrative (though perhaps not exactly   first PERSON.)  The above is a very old video of my (now very old) dog Pearl and one of my beautiful daughters.  
And below is a re-posting of a crude animation I did on an iPad.  Dogs and cheese are one of my archetypical topics. (As always, all rights reserved!) 

Thanksgiving – Vegetarian/Carnivorous/Gratitudinous!

November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving – you can’t please everyone.

Or maybe you can.

Happy Thanksgiving.

These are old paintings, but they always feel right to me at Thanksgiving, sharing the festive meal, as I seem to, with vegetarians, vegans, the highly-carnivorous, the gluten-free, winedrinkers, tee-totalers, sweet-tooths, salt fanatics – but all (and I’m pretty sure I’m describing many here) extremely thankful.

I count myself among the thankful today. (How did I get so lucky as to be alive right here right now!  And with daughters, by the way, who do the cooking!)

I want to send thanks to all of you especially for the incredibly kind company you give me on the lonely journey of trying to write.  Pearl and the elephants send thanks too.

Pearl Wants to Help Me Jump-Start

November 21, 2012

Pearl Gets Thoughtful About Nanowrimo.

Pearl is eager for me to me to move more quickly on my Nanowrimo project. I really do have to be careful of her advice though.  She has an extremely poor understanding of U.S. copyright laws.

Doing What It Takes (Pearl Just Doesn’t “Get” Plagiarism)

(Thankfully, she has no copy of Shades of Grey.)

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) Off the Computer – Writing by hand…errr… (Pearl!)

November 20, 2012

It can be hard to write in a notebook, once you’ve gotten used to a computer.

But it really can be done if you put your mind to it,

and sink in your teeth.


I am reposting these pictures from a prior Nanowrimo when my dog Pearl was a bit younger and a lot more helpful.  

I am, in fact, writing my novel by paw (errr… hand.)   At the moment, however, I can hardly imagine transcribing it – first, because my vision is pretty bad, and secondly because the story is so slow!   Oddly, I know where it is supposed to go, but it does not want to go there very rapidly.  I worry this is also fall-out from writing poetry – poems- mine anyway – tend to get involved with the moment, memory, reflection – not so much with, you know, chase scenes.

And then there’s Pearl’s refusal to help out!  At seventeen and a half, she’s not very involved in chase scenes either.  Agh.