Tried to write a post last week, and you know, I just didn’t have anything much to say. It is an incredibly beautiful summer in Pennsylvania — blue skies, warmth, green grass, lightning bugs, blueberries. I’m so glad to be here. It’s amazing to me how much it pleases me to know that I will not be driving more than ten minutes for any day of the next two weeks.

I’m spending much of my time staring at a computer screen, writing a sentence here and there on Grace and then deleting it. I consider it absolutely ridiculous how much I’m agonizing over this — seriously, I know I’m not writing the Great American Novel, it’s a happy romance, all that needs to happen here is for my delightful heroine to fall into my charming hero’s arms with a nice fade to black. But knowing that apparently doesn’t make it any easier for me to actually write it.

I’m still persisting, though. I’ve considered re-reading the whole thing to see if it makes any sense, but I’m not going to — I’m going to give it to three first-draft readers as soon as I actually finish a first draft and not even look at it again until they’ve finished reading it and sent me back comments. And if they never finish reading it, I will know that it just doesn’t work and I’ll let it go. And get a job as a waitress, maybe, because if I’m not going to be a writer, I seriously need to do something with my life.

The other thing I’m doing with my time is fighting with Zelda. I used to say that Zelda would do anything if I could make her understand what I wanted, but this is no longer true: she understands that I want her to take her pill and she is sad that she can’t oblige me, but she also thinks I’m trying to feed her poison and she is not going to cooperate. I would love to get someone to take a video of me trying to get the antibiotic into her, but it would be a long video.

I can try to hide it in any food and she will turn her nose up at it. Nothing works for more than two pills. She’s now refusing to eat steak, prosciutto, hot dogs, chicken, canned fish, as well as canned dog food, if she thinks there’s any chance it might contain a pill. I literally put chocolate on a pill — a tiny amount, I know chocolate is deadly for dogs in any quantity — and she ate it once, but then not a second time. That’s how desperate I’ve become.

Fortunately for my sanity, the Best Brother Ever is feeding her slices of Whole Foods roast beef when I bring her in the house. She’ll eat that when he feeds her. I’ve thought about trying to get him to give her pills, but I suspect she would willingly starve to death in that case and I’d rather know that she’s getting at least a few calories.

Some days I don’t bother trying to make it easy, I just try to force it in her mouth. This morning, I got it in her mouth, held her mouth closed, stroked her neck while whispering sweet nothings to her, and counted to 60. At the end of my count, I let her go and she spit the pill out at me. Not the first time.

I have to remind myself on a daily basis that ehrlichiosis can be fatal — if she dies of it, I’ll hate myself if I haven’t actually kept her on the antibiotic for the whole three weeks. But I am counting the days until we’re done.

I wish I was also counting the days until Grace was done. But every day I wake up thinking, “this is it, I’ll finish today” and every day, I go to sleep thinking, “maybe tomorrow.” But it’s still early, so I’m still on the “this is it, I’ll finish today” mantra for today. It’s more likely if I start staring at that file, though, so I think I’ll get back to that. 🙂