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Dogs and writing

People know me as a dog lover, but few know me as a writer.

If you’ve met me in “real life,” then you know I can be incredibly quiet. I’m actually great at making normal situations pretty awkward. That may be where my desire to write comes from. I suck at telling stories – at making conversation – so instead I write.

I have loved dogs as long as I can remember, the same is true about writing. My first memory of a dog is holding the water spaniel pup we got when I was 2 or 3 years old. She was a dark, curly fur-ball, and she and I didn’t grow too close. The older I get, I’ve noticed, the more attached I become to my dogs.

My parents bought a golden retriever puppy when I was 3. I remember visiting the breeder where what seemed like dozens of red dogs jumped and barked at me from behind a chain-link fence. We must have been going to choose our pup or to meet her parents.

I can’t recall life without dogs around, and it’s difficult to recall a time when I was unable to write. I remember drawing wavy lines and asking my mom what it said. I just assumed my “writing” meant something and that she would be able to tell me what. I like to think she told me it could mean whatever I wanted.

At that age, I had already lived with three different dogs. My parents had a tennis-ball obsessed black lab waiting for me the week I came home from the hospital as a newborn. I suppose Jessie had an important job – she taught an infant to love dogs.

One of my first journals was from the summer when I was 7 and we took a family vacation to the Black Hills in South Dakota. My entries are mostly lists of the different animals I spotted in the badlands, Custer State Park and “Bear Country, USA.” Among my mentions of black bears, deer, pronghorn and buffalo are several observations about dogs.

From that time, I’ve written pages and pages of fiction and nonfiction – a lot about dogs, some not. Some is good writing, most isn’t.

Just as dog lovers have to own dogs, writers have to write. And they have to be heard, too. Thank God for blogs, although I once heard the average blog has 1.5 readers. If I have three, I guess I’m doing pretty well (hi, Ma!).

At the moment, I am working on a book about the happiness of dogs, an exciting challenge for me. I will be looking at different human-dog pairs and how our dogs are happy no matter who they’re “stuck with.” As I move further along with this project, I will look forward to seeking feedback from readers of That Mutt.

Sometimes I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to accomplish my goals in life: Relax. Explore. Understand dogs. Write.

For me, there will always be early mornings, pen in hand, dog at my feet. There will always be late nights, glowing laptop screen, dog still at my feet.

There will always be more dogs to rescue, to train, to run. And when there are dogs, there is always more inspiration to write.

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Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 1st of September 2010

Thanks!

Darci Stinar

Wednesday 1st of September 2010

Sounds like a pretty cool life! and goal. can't waite to see the fiished product.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 1st of August 2010

Thanks, Sarah! :)

Sarah

Saturday 31st of July 2010

Lindsay, I love your opening to this entry because you are pretty quite in person but you sure can write! Sometimes it's just easier for people to talk through print and thats okay! I think your book will be great, best of luck to you!

chigiy

Friday 30th of July 2010

Hi Lindsay, My name is Chigiy. I just started a dog boarding business and a dog blog. I love your blog. I love your life. Mine is fairly similar except that I threw a couple of kids and a husband into the mix because life can never have enough chaos. I find dogs hysterically funny and fun to write about. I don't think I have as much control over them as you do. As a matter of fact I was thinking of naming my blog the dog shouter. Come visit. I just started yesterday.