Lost Dogs and Writing

Some of you have heard part of this before. Several years ago my son asked if he could go hiking with a friend. He also wanted to take along his dog, Arwen, who was not yet full-grown. My response was yes, with the qualifier that they could not go up the Lookout Point trail because it was too steep for Arwen at her age.

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At obedience class

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Still my favorite photo of Arwen

So of course, being young and immortal, that’s exactly where they went. And they also went bushwhacking off trail. Along the way Arwen ended up stuck on a boulder outcropping. Both us mothers filled out backpacks with equipment but it quickly became obvious that a rescue attempt would be dangerous.

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View from Lookout Point trail

To make a long story short, we spent a horrible, sleepless night, imagining Arwen out there alone. With the sunrise though, rock climbers and friends gathered and she was rescued.

The boys of course were grounded.

The fellow-mother came up with a great idea afterward when we were calmer. She asked each of us to write our version of what happened. It was wonderful to see the same drama from different points of view and to see what each of us found important enough to record.

My son wrote his in story form. I was thrilled. A writer was born!

Then nothing.

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Until a couple of years ago when he asked me a question about a specific piece of writing craft. I tried not to scare him off with my excitement. I simply sent him home with this GIANT three-ring binder full of resources on craft.

Last night he asked me to edit something he’d written on world-building for a science fiction piece he’s working on.

I calmly assured him I’d be more than happy to give him an honest opinion.

I managed to wait until he pulled out of the driveway before celebrating. I think I had the piece edited and sent off before he got home.

There’s a fine line between supporting him and pushing something on him that he may not want. Or overwhelming him.

But I keep going back to that story he wrote when Arwen was lost in the woods. Little does he know I still have it. Maybe some day I’ll point to it and say ‘this was the beginning’.

a story about dragons

7 thoughts on “Lost Dogs and Writing

  1. Awe!! What cute pictures!! 😊 I can totslly picyure you being sll calm and cool on the outside and full of bubbling excitement on the inside!! Totally would love to read his story!! Not only for the story itself and to see his writing, but also to see if you are similar in how you write 😉


  2. I love that Arthur is writing, it makes my heart sing!
    Can’t wait to see what comes of it.
    And you are being so low key about the whole Arwen-stuck-on-a-rock-overnight event. The terrain that those laddies traversed was beyond difficult, it’s no wonder Arwen finally said “yeah, that’s enough, friends, I’m just gonna wait right here on this rock” . And then just stood there overnight waiting for her people to come and save her.
    I wish she could have written her version of the story.


  3. Like Sabrina, I wish Arwen could have written her version of the story. My girl is a natural writer too. Better than me, but her heart is in neuroscience. She does appreciate her writing gift when it comes to papers though. And I pointed out that if she ever writes a book about research she’s done or different ways to apply something in her field, she’ll be the one writing the book people will enjoy reading. That made her smile.


  4. What a thrilling short story! I get just a snippet with my email and what it showed me definitely made me come and read further. I know the feeling of not wanting to push but to be a gentle proponent. My son, who is still in 5th grade, already shows a talent in art making. Me being an artist myself, I want to show him everything! So imagine my horror that he has no interest in art at all and lists art class as most dreaded.

    I love all the photos here. I’m so glad it ended the way it did, and I was a little concerned when I saw the mountain photo! What a wonderful gift you have for your son someday. Arwen was such a cute puppy and now a beauty. Love the photo of your son sleeping with his pets all on top of him, so sweet.


    • You’re so right, Jaime. It’s that balance of not wanting to push but be there at the same time. It will be interesting to see where your son’s talent in art takes him. I have a feeling my son was writing a long time before he let me know. And that mountain photo? That’s taken from Lookout Point, very near where our dog was stranded.


  5. What an exciting short story. When I imagined Arwen on an outcropping all night, my pulsed speeded up a bit. But then I was laughing when I read about the GIANT three ring binder.
    I loved the photos, especially the one with the dog and cat sleeping on him. It reminded me of my grandson. When I go to visit him in SD, I sleep in his room and he sleeps on the couch. When I get up in the morning the dog and cat are sleeping on top of him.
    But the biggest thrill I got from your story is your son is now a writer.


    • That was one very long night. We were amazed she stayed put all night. Not sure if that was intelligence, trust, or hope on her part that we would come for her.


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