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Though it is not in stores just yet, the book is now in the hands of many readers (as of May 24), thanks to a live event in Fairmont, WV and some internet promotion. But I would love your immediate comments on the book, even if you are not finished with it yet. This is an exciting time for us. This blog post is yours. Love to hear what you have to say. God bless. [And be nice.]

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We’re expecting our first shipment of AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE this week. It will be in stores some time in June. It’s difficult not to be excited. At the same time, I’m just finishing the King James bio, MAJESTIE [Nelson 10/10], with all the necessary detail and long hours it demands, so my emotions are kind of confused, suspended between mild postpartum blues and pure joy. It’s part of the craft of writing.

I had a blast working on MAJESTIE. I told myself (and others) that I’ve never had as much fun on a project in my life. Then I remembered I said the same thing about TALE. Oops. The truth is, I enjoyed both of them and hated to stop and move on to something else. I am not sure you can do a book and ask things of yourself and your family without being totally in love with it. I can only hope it reflects in the reading. Read the rest of this entry »

 

I prithee, sweet wag!

THIS HOMAGE WE PAY to the dog is nothing new. She has maintained a presence in literature consistently since man was first able to record his thoughts. I suspect that an image of the dog, or something like the dog, was painted on cave walls. It seems we can’t get enough of them, these creatures that are so purely themselves, that love with such genuine effervescence. Read the rest of this entry »

let sleeping dogs, well, sleep.

Note: We received the following story from one of our readers [the picture above was included with it]. It was too good to pass up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. —David

ONE DAY A DOG WANDERED INTO MY YARD. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. Read the rest of this entry »

so inevitably dog

THEY HAVE NO PLANS TO WORRY THEM. Everything is NOW. If you don’t believe that, watch them eat. Immediacy is all. Dogs have an indifference to wealth that is difficult to understand, as well as an indifference to trends and fashions of the hour, even spiritual ones. Celebrity means nothing to them. They are unmoved by the media. They just seem to live life authentically, in every moment, which is in itself a form of worship, that is, living according to some original design, and to the delight of the Creator of that design. Read the rest of this entry »

DOGS ARE ABLE TO FORGIVE with an ease you and I seem incapable of. There may be many reasons for this, but I want to suggest that time, or rather the dog’s indifference to time, has something to do with it. Read the rest of this entry »

OOO THAT SMELL!

OKAY, SO YOU’VE DECIDED TO TAKE ROVER ON A NICE WALK. A little exercise. A little sunshine. It doesn’t get any better than this. The rhythm between you and the dog is a happy one. The leash, like life itself, is firm in your grip. And then, WHAM!, against all hope, that calm quiet walk is overturned by a sudden burst of lunge and desire. Read the rest of this entry »

It's almost like being in love

DEVOTION IS NOT A GAME TO THE DOG. She takes it seriously. She is vigilant. She seems to know how it works, and why it is important. Devotion is visceral. It defines her. It makes the awe of nature visible, almost audible, telling quite profoundly of a Creator that somehow stashes bits of himself in all he creates; Read the rest of this entry »

QUOTES FROM THE BOOK



If they couldn’t sniff it, chase it, eat it, play with it, chew on it, growl at it, lick, love, or bury it, they had little use for it.
—David Teems


Always adventurous, love approaches the heart of its beloved as if it were the last remaining frontier.
—David Teems


Love’s whole idea is union, the lightness of true possession.
—David Teems


But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
— Job 12:7-8 NKJV [book epigraph]


Love for God is ecstatic, making us go out from ourselves: it does not allow the lover to belong any more to himself, but He belongs only to the Beloved.
—Saint Dionysius the Areopagite


It shows the certainty by which God is joined to me, like a tincture of color in a glass of water. God disperses himself in me. A unity that cannot be called back.
—David Teems


May life be stick-your-head-out-of-the-car-window-let-the-wind-blow-in-your-face kind of good!
—David Teems


If you want to know God, enjoy the company of lovers.
—Rumi


Dogs register no need to theorize about love (or about anything else, for that matter) they just show it.
—Jeffrey Masson


The load they bear is lighter,
Than the one we bear, it's true.
They have four legs to carry theirs;
We have only two.

—David Teems


Next to a good marriage, a dog is the best thing on four legs.
—David Teems


The dog is the only being that loves you more than you love yourself.
—Fritz von Unruh


It has been said that dogs have no souls. Maybe it does or doesn’t matter. It’s not an argument I care to make. But my question would be, how could any creature love so purely without one? It is difficult to imagine a heaven without their kind.
—David Teems


Dog love is love.
—Marjorie Garber


. . . they are perfectly content to be who they are, without torturing themselves with alternatives: They love being dogs.
—Jeffrey masson


By inspiration, love gives the plainest of speech a touch of miracle. The simplest of words, in the simplest of constructions sing with an undeniable poetry. There is no finer lyric than, “I love you.” Or the great opera of a kiss.
—David Teems


To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character.
—Thomas Merton


Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.
—Milan Kundera


Nothing a dog does is arbitrary, or frivolous, even in play. Every moment counts because the moment is all there is. She is able to love like there’s no tomorrow, because she has no tomorrow. It is not a cliché to the dog.
—David Teems


With gentle command, love looks into the hidden places of the heart, as if looking for home. It is a threat to my isolation.
—David Teems


I prithee, sweet wag!
—William Shakespeare


paws


And once intimacy and inspiration meet and agree together, paradise has come again.
—David Teems


He possessed each moment fully, squeezing out of each of them a kind of nectar, a sweetness that nature provides for those who really pay attention.
—David Teems


I have understanding, which is better than information. I have true wisdom, which is better than knowledge. I have peace, which is better than the mere absence of struggle. I have love, which is above all things.
—David Teems


All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog.
—Franz Kafka

BIBLIOGRAPHY

THE DIFFICULTY OF BEING A DOG by George Renier


GOOD DOG. STAY by Anna Quindlen


NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton


LIVING FLAME OF LOVE


MARLEY


OUR FRIEND THE DOG


DOGS NEVER LIE ABOUT LOVE by Paul Masson


DOG LOVE by Marjorie Garber


JESUS, THE SON OF MAN by Kahlil Gibran


ASIAN JOURNAL by Thomas Merton


WHITE FANG by Jack London


THE ART OF THE NOVEL


MYSTICAL DOGS by Jean Houston


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