Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom #8 - Become an Alpha Author

Tux’s Sister Grace
Although seldom mentioned in these blogs, Tux has a sister, Grace. While he is parti-colored, she is black with a blaze of white on her chest and white on the pads of her rear feet. She’s petite, looks dainty, but she’s a tomboy at heart: she has never seen a puddle she didn’t go through the middle of, a patch of mud she’s never walked around, or a pat on the head she’s ever passed up. And she is a leader by nature.

Tux on the other hand has always been much more fastidious. He walks around puddles and leaps over patches of mud. He, too, is gregarious and loves to be petted (although as he ages, he’s less inclined to accept gratuitous pets).

An Alpha Challenge
Grace, has always been the alpha dog in the family. She has always been in charge. She’s always led the way outside. She chose the way to go in the park - left or right. Lately, though, Tux has begun to test her rule. Slowly, over the last year or so, Tux has been testing the waters of being alpha dog. He still has trouble making a decision about which way to go on a walk, but given enough time to think it over, he’ll make a decision. He has, however, taken over leading them out of doors.

Gracie’s been hurt, and while she's recuperating, Tux has assumed her role as the alpha dog. He now takes the lead in all things. He’s not aggressive, not even very assertive. He accidently stepped on his sister’s injured paw in his hurry to get the door to lead them outside. He was immediately contrite - so much for his image as Mr. Macho.

Tux has also become our protector against trash-talking daschunds, teenaged boy dogs who say rude things to Grace, and any dog who looks hard at his sister.

A Coup in the House
Tux no longer says that he can’t be the alpha dog. He no longer says he doesn’t know how to be the alpha dog. He woke up one morning and said, “I’m going to be the alpha dog.” And he did. There had been a coup while Grace and I weren’t paying attention.

Lesson Learned from Tux
As writers, we need to learn from Tux. We need to learn to wake up every morning and say, “Today is the day that I become an author.” On that day, start that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Become the author you’ve always wanted to be. Take your writing to the next level. It won’t be easy and there will be some missteps along the way. Perhaps, like Tux, if we say we’re an author often enough, we’ll really start thinking it’s true.

Tux as Alpha
Tux has declared that not all alpha dogs have to walk through puddles and mud. He still goes around them - he hates being dirty. As for Grace and I, we have a hard time thinking of Tux as an alpha dog since he still squats to pee.

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