Walks With Loki

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“Walk and talk, Step-Gammy!”

I hear Loki’s gravelly, cheeky voice a lot these afternoons and evenings. She has had a sort of reawakening of late and we are making the absolute most of it.

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“Are you talking about me?”

After several medicated baths we seem to have got her yeasty smell under control and for whatever reason that has made her feel pretty good.

Maybe her skin was bothering her.

Or maybe she just didn’t like how she smelled.

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Our little trooper with her medicated bath.

She’s a tough cookie when it comes to being man-handled. She stands pretty well for me in the tub, even when I have to leave the medicated lather on her for 5 to 10 minutes. I just keep massaging her, trying to keep her warm, telling her how much we adore her.

She’s not a huge fan of the blow dryer but she takes that in stride as well.

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Keeping Loki from “chibbering” while cheering her on with my T-shirt from our final Dog Days of Summer when she was the spokesmodel.

And she eventually walks off and does her back-scratch-roll-and-kick thing on the carpet and she snorts and sneezes and shakes so hard her back feet come off the ground and she tosses her food dish across the kitchen floor and I swear if she could put her paws on her hips she would!

(Video of said production at the end of the blog… with Gampy making an appearance…)

Her enjoyment of the great outdoors right now is wonderfully charming and I am enjoying the enjoyment.

Gampy is back in Bismarck so its just us and the barn kitties and I get my Walks With Loki.

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Barn kitties, Jockey & Mouse

You might wonder what a 43 year-old Step-Gammy and her 14 year-old blind, hare-lipped, sassy-pants Step-Grand dog talk about.

The fact I just turned 43 is a topic we’ve covered.

It was a memorable birthday for a few reasons, the most significant being the publication of my second novel, The Dragons of Missing Lake.

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My book! The sequel to Lost and Found in Missing Lake is finally out and ready to read!

Like with the first book I chose to self-publish. I didn’t try to find agents and editors this time because the story is strong and it picks up pretty close to where the first one left off.

It is also timely with school starting up again and this being another teen/middle grade piece of fiction.

It is available on Amazon and online outlets right now and I will hopefully have my shipment of books to distribute to book stores and retail outlets in a couple of weeks.

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So I talk with Loki about that and how sales are already going online and how everyone seems to really like the cover.

I went with a graphic artist this time and I am so excited because it looks spectacular.

Ben Brick, the artist, is a family friend. His wife and in-laws have featured in the blog before and I shared pictures of his wedding on here as well. He totally got my concept and was eager to get on board with the project.

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Loki and I have discussed how I would love to find an agent and editor now because there are more books to follow this one. Luke and Tabitha have so much more to share and wouldn’t it be grand if I had a publishing company behind me?

All of this is discussed while I hover near Loki while she wanders around the property.

She plays in the leaves and kicks them up with her back legs and rears up like a Lipizzaner stallion, then she runs off across the lawn.

And she demands, “Walk and talk, Step-Gammy!”

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Front lawn where I get my Walks with Loki this time of year.

We talk about being 43 and what that signifies.

I have told her I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and she laughs.

“As long as I’m with you, Gammy, you can do anything you want,” she replied.

We have become pretty tight, Loki and I.

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That face! (Before the bad eye got pretty bad)

She asks about my jewelry sales and how I’m doing with the company (www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/tanyafyfe).

She knows I am running an online fundraiser for a dear friend who has brain cancer. She’s concerned because my friend has a Springer who is great friends with our Springer, Cleopatra.

Which we talk about.

Because ever since Loki had her seizure during our drive back home a few weeks ago I have been concerned that Loki may have brain cancer.

“I’m going to stick it to cancer, Gammy, just like Auntie Angie.”

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Bling for Angie, online fundraiser with 100% of my commissions being donated at http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/tanyafyfe/f1f08c

As we navigate our way around the house, pin-balling occasionally on bushes but actually doing amazingly well despite her blindness, Loki asks me how the golf swing is going.

And I tell her its great! That its as if I finally pieced a few things together and practiced and played and watched and drove and putted and swung enough that right when the season is ready to end I can actually say I think I’m a golfer!

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Enjoying a nearly-empty golf course. Ready to tee off on the 2nd hole under beautiful sunny skies a couple of days ago.

Loki tells me she doesn’t really like golf because it takes me and Gampy away from her.

Which is “bull chit.”

So we walk a bit more and she tries to get under the fence to see Zeus and she prances off towards the neighbor’s and she somehow leaps off to the side when she suspects dog poop that I haven’t picked up and she sniffs Mouse who is busy head-butting her and she piddles on the bear poop and she rolls and trots and snorts and farts and then she’ll suddenly stop and turn her head towards the sky and sniff with her scrunched-up little face that I love so much.

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That face!

And I smile and maybe a tear or 2 comes to my eyes as I realize, at 43, that I am the happiest I have ever been and maybe one of the luckiest women in the world to live such a rich life.

And maybe that’s all I want to be when I grow up.

Happy.

Then Loki snorts at me.

“Walk and talk, Step-Gammy. Walk and talk.”

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Zeus and the pretty fall colors of Autumn on our wonderful ranch in Montana.

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Sharing my sequel with my good friend, Lollie at the cutest café in the world, The Stray Bullet in Ovando, MT.

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Me and my good friend, Angie and our Springers, Cleo and Kali at the very first Dog Days of Summer several years ago. Be strong, Ang! xo

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