Goodbye to a Companion Animal | The Macabre Author

I had gone on a short break after learning that my pup was terminally ill in Hiatus for a Companion Animal | The Macabre Author.

I am officially back and am going to stay back. Today, my sweet pup died suddenly (either a blood clot to the brain or heart). We are bereaved.

When I first found out that Tish was terminally ill, I sat down and wrote her obituary. She actually sat in my lap when I wrote it. I like to imagine that secretly, she could read and enjoyed reading it.

I wrote it using a “fill in the blanks” style so that it could be modified with ease when the time came. I have reprinted it below.

21st pic tish

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Chihuahua, Morticia Luanne Hogue-Boucher Strong on Saturday, March 11, 2017. She was a beloved member of our family, and died suddenly of an ischemic attack or myocardial infarction. She experienced no pain and did not cry. She died instantly. This was after a period of home hospice care for five Months. She was 14 years old. Her last meal was a wonderful breakfast of chicken meatballs and cat kibble, which she enjoyed a great deal.

She was born in Tampa, Florida on December 20, 2002 and was brought to her adoptive home on February 14, 2003. It is said that companion animals choose their humans, and this saying rings true for Morticia. She quietly sat in her cage while her sister ran circles around her. Anne put her hand in the cage and her litter-mate ran right by. Morticia, however, put her paw in the center of Anne’s hand. The connection went straight to her heart. She was instantly family.

In the car ride home, Tish cried a little at first, but when her parents talked to her and assured her it was safe, she settled right down and began a long love affair with car rides (though sometimes she got carsick on sharp turns).

Her first act in her new household was to greet the cats, Nikita, Pishnook, and Sappawee (all belated now), who all believed she was a large rat. However, a piercing bark and chase convinced the cats otherwise. Instead of viewing her as prey, they knew she was something special. They soon became good friends, and cuddle buddies.

Morticia led a fast-paced, active puppyhood marked by pranks that earned her the title of “Little Clown Dog,” such as putting kibble in Mami’s shoes, and drinking decaffeinated coffee when her mother’s back was turned (which only happened once and thank goodness she was okay).

She was a performer of great tricks, such as the barrel roll, dancing in a circle on her hind legs, high and low fives, and even being able to find the treat in the hand. She enjoyed overpowering a pit bull named Elvis who became her play buddy and platonic boyfriend, and hanging out with the belated Babe Jerkins, a well-loved Great Dane. She was also buddies with the late Lukah Juge-Jerkins, and she taught him to bark for fun, and possibly profit.

Her favorite pastimes were short walks, long car rides, and visiting her Nanda (the late Helene Van Amerongen) and her Abuelos (Dean and Diane Cadoret). Above all, her favorite foods included P-Nuttier biscuits, Cowboy Cookout for dogs, and a special dog food made with Kobe beef, which she ate during her final days to ensure maximum canine happiness. She also loved Milo’s Kitchen chicken meatballs.

When her parents moved to Atlanta, Georgia, she adapted quickly, enjoying her new environment and welcoming three new cat siblings into the family. Though she didn’t get along with Jeff (he is too big and used to try to grab her food), Abbey and Charlie were her steadfast friends. Jeff and Tish kept the peace by occasionally sniffing each other and engaging in non-violent communication. Sadly, Tish eventually had to say goodbye to Sappawee and then Nikita. She ensured to cuddle and care for them in their final days.

Morticia’s life was often about food, but without the pretense of gourmet demands. Her favorite fast-food place was Sonic, especially their tater tots. Yet she managed to keep a trim figure for the most part, shedding weight with ease and the help of her parents.

During her clownish performances, she also trained for Chihuahua races but never engaged in them. She enjoyed zooming around the house at top speed to “Ready! Set! Go!” and reveled in the applause. She enjoyed singing Christmas carols with her family, howling along and making everyone laugh. She assumed all laughter was because she was the entertaining clown of the evening—and to her parents, this is so.

There is so much more to be said about the happiness and joy this little canine brought into her parents’ lives and to all the people she met—it could fill a book. Suffice it to say she was an ideal little dog in a big, imperfect world.

She is survived by her adopted parents and siblings who will miss her more than she’ll ever know.

Morticia, you brought so much joy and happiness into our lives at a time we didn’t expect. We didn’t know if we would be good parents to a tiny dog, but your little paws left big prints all over our hearts. You are the Official Best Dog and we just hope that we were able to help ease you into the transition where all roads meet. We hope that road is paved with yummy dog treats and all-you-can-chase butterflies. May you be free of pain, and free of fear. We hope it is warm and sunny where you are now.

We love you. Goodbye.


Hiatus for a Companion Animal

hiatus, noun: pause, interruption


Indeed, I am on a hiatus for the moment as I attempt to get myself together after a long previous month of NaNoWriMo and having to say goodbye to my beloved dog, Morticia, who has terminal cancer that we’re watching carefully. Please bear with me, and I will return soon. Possibly even next week. It’s all going to depend on what’s going on with our sweet Morticia, who is still with us at the time of this writing.

Breaks are necessary for good mental health. I hope you are all doing well and taking the necessary pauses you need to be well, too.

In the meantime, why not browse my about page to keep you entertained?

New Book, New Hook or: I Hate Pants

I write these ahead of time, you know. My time-management skills are actually pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I even manage to get a good night’s sleep about 45% of the time, and that’s only on account of the violent night terrors and nightmare disorder that rouses me to consciousness about three times a week on average.

So future me–November 10th me (I trust I’ll still be alive by the time this publishes, but no one knows for sure, right?) is right in the middle of NaNoWriMo. I’m working on a new book that I will publish probably much later than I write it. It’s a tale of the Weird West. I’ve never tackled a Western before but among my favorites are A Fistful of Dollars, True Grit, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. But of course because I let my freak flag fly as they say, I have to add something weird and kind of gross to it, and maybe something sexy now and then.

In addition to the NaNoWriMo excitement, I’ve published another book and I’m super excited about it! Now Entering Silver Hollow is a horror story about a haunted house and the various strange goings on in the small eponymous town. So that’s my new book with a new hook, or an old hook with a new twist. So that would be kind of like a corkscrew hook, which sounds bad-ass (or maybe that’s just me).

Once NaNo is over, I’ll be turning my focus to editing projects, including a “part two” in the Silver Hollow series. The working title is Mercy Hospital. You might even get to find out what happens to the magnificent Oscar, the cat with fur the color of red autumn leaves. Maybe. It’ll depend if he’s feeling up to making another appearance.

Life is a whirlwind and I’m caught up in it without pants. But I hate pants anyway (leg prisons) so I’m good with it. Bet you didn’t think I’d come around to the pants thing, did you?

You know, pants aren’t so bad (they cover my tremendous and beautiful behind, after all), but when I get home, they come right off so I can get into my shorts or house-dress. I like to be comfortable, especially when I’m writing. Pants are not comfortable for all-day wear.

Well, this is me, and this is my personal post about my life right now. Hopefully I’m still alive when this posts, or you’re all gonna feel creepy and weird when you read it, or maybe even cry. I trust I will be (barring a catastrophe or being crushed by a falling piano–which would be a calamity), and I trust that I’ll be laughing about this along with you in a few weeks.

Also, you’ll be getting another installment of The Psych Writer soon. We’re gonna tackle something lighthearted and fun: writing Major Depressive Disorder.

So join me in NaNo if you’re doing it this year, or drop me a line on my Facebook or Twitter page. I’d love to hear from you, even if it’s just to say “hi.”

Farewell to a Friend

I think I got a sign from Becky Sun Dennis (a friend of mine who was a wonderful artist) to write this today. Something I’d been thinking about writing for a while (since I first heard she was making her transition).
A long while ago, when Becky and I had formed a bond through Reiki, and I had helped one of her beloved cats, we were talking about her cancer diagnosis. I asked her, “are you going to fight?”
She replied, “no. I am going to dance.”
I didn’t understand it at the time, but as she moved about on the dance floor of her life with cancer, I began to see the wisdom of her ways.
I am a warrior and will always be a fighter, but sometimes, the fight is a dance. Cancer became her teacher and she accepted that this was to remain as long as she could bear it.
She lasted a lot longer than many people I knew with her similar diagnosis.
The quality of her life waned at times. She was discouraged. She cried. She got angry. She was purely and utterly human. Without apology.
But still, she danced.
She danced with this villain that so many of us hate, so many of us despise, and still, she kept going.
The dance seemed to ebb for a time. But she didn’t take a single step for granted.
She kept going.
Yesterday, the music concluded, and she stepped away from the dance floor and became something else. Her spirit lives on in our hearts.
And still, she dances.
She dances on the wind, with Time itself, and in and around the stars. She continues her dance in other forms that are non-corporeal.
I will miss her so much. She helped me with her gentle wisdom, her strength, and her courage. She helped me with her beautiful art. She helped me with her anger, her sadness, her frustration. She made me realize that I could still hold onto my spirit without losing my logic. I could dance!
A life is temporary, but life is eternal.
In my heart, she dances.
Rest in peace, Sunshine. You are and will always be loved.

Temporary Hiatus

Hello friends. Due to a personal matter and being busy with writing, editing, and other things, I have taken a break from blogging.

When I return, the blog will hopefully have a new look, and there will be more diverse subject matter that incorporates my background in psychology as well as other subjects. But it will all go towards the goal of improving your writing.

Thank you for reading. In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of my dog, Morticia.

Yes, this is Morticia. She is possibly the friendliest Chihuahua on Earth.