Electra | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis is a guest post by none other than the missus herself, who insisted she offers her side of the story. You may remember Electra from her popular post, The life of an author as lived by his wife (or husband) – an expose of this author’s life (and absent-mindedness). I hope you’ll enjoy this latest post of hers!

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Hello, people from Nicholas’s blog! I’m the missus who misses a dog and I wanted to rectify a few things regarding Nicholas’s last post about Izzy, the Kindle-Eating Dog. In fact, I thought it was a bit unfair to Izzy, so I’m here to present to you the other side of the story.

Izzy the dog | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookI will agree that I was the one who wanted a dog. Nicholas takes about a century to move on, which is perfect because I’m his wife, so I don’t have to fear him running away with a fan (why is he chortling as he reads this?). However, when it comes to dogs who, unfortunately, live less than we do, moving on can be a good thing. We loved Meli with all our heart. I was crying for a year every time I thought about her, but I realized that taking in another stray dog could be good for us, the dog, and Mary-Natalie.

So, here comes Izzy. When I first saw her, she was skeletal, with no fur on. To be perfectly honest, my first thought was, ‘no way we are taking in such an ugly dog’!

Yes, sometimes I am vain.

But then, Izzy did the most amazing thing. The moment we sat on the sofa, she came and sat beside Nicholas, looking at him in the eyes. That is exactly what Meli had done 14 years earlier, when we had first gone to meet her! We had seen many dogs since losing Meli. None of them had displayed any sort of affection or even attention toward us. Some were scared, others didn’t even bother to come close enough to us to pet them. Izzy was the exception: a happy and joyous dog, full of life and (granted) mischief.

Now, let’s talk about Izzy. She loves playing and fetching her ball. She loves Mary-Natalie, even though the wee one’s affections can get pretty rough at times. Izzy has never, ever, barked or growled at her despite Mary-Natalie pulling her ears, trying to ride her, or playing chase with her. Izzy doesn’t even complain when Mary-Natalie takes her food bowl and runs with it, hiding it among her toys. Indeed, Izzy is a saint when it comes to the little monster!

Izzy is also awesome company for the adults in the house. Right now she is sitting under my desk. Imagine how wonderful that will be in winter, putting my feet under her fur! She follows us wherever we go and just loves being with us. She is curious and happy, playful but also quiet. Even Nicholas has to admit that she is an awesome dog (with a few flaws, as he hastens to add).

Flaws? What Flaws?

OK, let’s discuss the flaws. She is so joyous that she jumps on people when she sees them. That’s a tad tiring and annoying and we are trying to teach her to stop that. Also, as part of her playing, she bites (albeit in a playful manner). She really needs to stop doing that!

As for the elephant in the house: yes, she did chew on Nicholas’s Kindle. The Kindle is dead. Very dead. It keeps displaying a very sad message on its opening page saying that it has crossed the Kindle rainbow bridge and is in Amazon paradise.

Izzy chewed on that when she had just come to our house. We now tie her when we are about to leave the house, just to be on the safe side. Can you imagine what I would hear if she ate, say, Nicholas’s phone?

A Christmas Meli

My last little note is a bit poignant, mind you. Meli’s last couple of years were somewhat sad. We did not know she had brain cancer, but she was displaying a melancholic kind of behavior. She would sit on her own, didn’t show much interest in her toys, and sometimes even avoided us. We attributed her behavior to her old age and the arrival of the two-legged monster. Little did we know that it was brain cancer that was affecting her.

Indeed, when she passed, Nicholas told me that he felt he hadn’t had a dog for the last couple of years. It was as if Meli was not really in the house. Compare that to the bouncy, cheerful, playful Izzy and you see why I really love her.

Mary-Natalie loves her lively new friend, although she keeps arguing with her and sometimes comes crying to mommy, complaining about how Izzy stole a toy. I love how the two of them play together and how Mary-Natalie learns to care for and love another being. Sometimes I catch Mary-Natalie preparing her Christmas presents and she includes Izzy. So, is it THAT bad we have Izzy in our lives?

Meli | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksSpeaking of Christmas, back in 2004 when we first took Meli in, it was three days before Christmas. So, on Christmas day, we went out for lunch with Nicholas’s parents and left Meli – a sprightly puppy at the time – at home, free (big mistake). We came back 3 hours later to find Meli sitting on our brand new sofa (a Christmas gift to ourselves), chewing a plastic plant pot. By the time we returned home, she had managed to cut up the pot in tiny pieces and spread them all over the sofa. Somehow, her appetite had included the plant itself. She had sprinkled soil all over the aforementioned new sofa and was actually chewing the plant she had dismembered (we found her with a flower in her mouth).

Not satisfied with a simple disaster of the garden variety, she had also chewed Nicholas’s slippers, probably because she thought they went well with the pot. And probably because she also wanted dessert, she had torn a cushion and had spread all the feathers around the house.

So, after a copious Christmas meal, it took us three hours to clean up the mess. After that, we would tie up Meli whenever we went out until she stopped being silly. Therefore, Nicholas remembers all the cute and cuddly things Meli did but seems to forget what a naughty and mischievous dog she used to be. Just for good measure!