Kassi’s African name is Kusasa. It means future, or tomorrow. Deciding to get a pup was a big decision for us. After losing Brodi it was hard to think of going through that loss again. Sunny grieved and he had some health issues afterward that we’d never experienced had before. After about six months, he recovered and returned to his spry self. But he was coming up on nine years old. I still hope we have a long time together, but big dogs being big dogs, you just never know. We figured he was healthy enough to handle a pup at this point, but if we waited any longer, then it might be too late. I really wanted him to help train the new dog in the house, which turned out to be really helpful. We considered a rescue, and that might still be a possibility down the road, but we had to look at our own ages as well, and the truth is, Kassi might be our last big dog puppy. It was a now or never decision, one that we haven’t regretted from day one. Kassi was meant to carry on the legacy of Brodi and Sunny, to fill our house with as much ridgebackiness (yes, I know that’s not a word) as possible, for us to keep walking and moving into the future. Plans change, life changes, but one hopes that there will be some constants. Kassi is our constant, and she has proven that she’s more than up to the task. We couldn’t have asked for a better pup.
When someone asks me about writer’s block, I usually respond that I don’t believe in it, that you can’t edit a blank page, that you have to keep moving and write you’re way out of the spot you’re stuck in. I totally believe that, and I’ve used Anne Lamott’s “Don’t be afraid a shitty first draft,” as a mantra for more years than I can count. Writers, artists, musicians, creative people don’t quit. At least not the ones who are obsessed, who have to create or tempt madness. No matter what life throws at you, if you’re an artist, you have to create, exercise your craft, believe in the future.
Whatever it takes. Keep moving. Find that constant, whether it’s the dream of publishing one book or striving for a career. Whatever it is you have to have something to hang to and something to pull you forward, otherwise when the going gets tough, it’ll be easy to walk away, to quit, and then there’s only regret left to chew on… Find your own Kusasa, your own future and believe in it as deeply and completely as possible.