Due to health issues, Cassie gets 8 pills a day. They’re spread out, four times a day, some with food, some without food. I finally had to buy one of those big plastic pill containers that had four compartments per day just so I could make sure I didn’t forget to give her one. They’re mostly big pills and not the kind you can just mix in with her food. I figured out that a slice of American cheese works pretty well for pill pockets. I take a small piece of cheese and mold it around the pills and she scarfs them right down.

As I was filling the compartments with all the pills today (and trying not to think about the cost of all this medicine) I started thinking about the commitment we made to Cassie when we rescued her. At the time we adopted her we had no idea that she would have medical issues. We went to an adoption day, fell in love with Cassie, and brought her home to start a new life with us as soon as possible. We’ve lavished her with love and treats and toys, and most importantly, training. When the health stuff popped up we just started dealing with it because that’s what you do when you love someone, even when that someone is a dog.

And then I started thinking about how some people might give up on a dog with health problems and expensive medicines. They might say enough is enough and walk away from the dog, unwilling to deal with the expense or the hassle of a dog with health issues.

Not us. We’re in this for the long haul. Sorta like that “in sickness and health” promise my husband and I made when we got married.

Sometimes writing is easy. You start to write a story and you fall in love with it and the words seem to fall from your fingertips to the page with hardly any effort at all. And you smile to yourself and think, man, it’s so dang easy to be a writer. This is the life. But sometimes writing is tough. Plots fall apart. Characters misbehave. Theme evaporates right before your eyes and you start to wonder why you should even bother, especially with the state the publishing industry is in right now.

If you feel like you’ve had enough and you want to walk away, go for it. Because if you can really quit the writing, maybe you didn’t love it quite as much as you thought you did. Now quitting isn’t the same as taking a break. We all need those breaks to shift our thinking to another part of the brain for a while. But when you are in a story, you need to make a commitment to finishing that story, even when it seems like everything is stacked against you. Sometimes all you need to do is promise yourself to keep on keeping on, one word at a time. The battle will fight itself under the surface and as long as you don’t quit, you don’t lose.

When we first started giving Cassie all this medicine I felt bad. Several times a day I had give her something yucky. Something other dogs didn’t need to deal with.

But you know what? Cassie doesn’t look at it that way. When I pop open one of those compartments she comes running into the kitchen from wherever she is in the house. She knows she’s getting a pill. And she knows that pill is going to be coated in cheese. She’s not thinking about it being medicine. The way she sees it, she gets four yummy cheese treats a day.

It’s all in how you look at it.