Living Between the Lines

With the best of intentions…

They say the way to Hell is paved with good intentions…so too is the way to a writer’s keyboard! This morning, I am determined to finish and publish the post I have earlier prepared.

The morning begins in its now customary, crisp, cold, February way with temperatures way below freezing. The perfect weather for a bracing walk in the woods with the dogs, I think. This, I am sure, will set me up for the day’s writing I have promised myself all week.

The Woods in February
A solitary winter walk

Things do indeed start well. We arrive early, before the main stream of dog walkers and after the really early birds. The temperatures allow one the luxury of wrapping up warm and walking fast and we only meet one elderly, lone runner as we hurry along the woodland paths. Flossie decides it will be fun to run with him. He is not much impressed and she soon gives up. I daresay he is now telling his wife that he didn’t meet a soul except for a mad golden retriever who fancied herself as the long distance runner.

There is something soul-refreshing about a solitary, winter walk in the early morn’. Indeed, I have high hopes for the day ahead as far as inspiration and personal application are concerned as we pile back into the car and drive home. I have the post, already partly prepared, to finish and publish, the half finished novel – needing a new perspective which I now feel able to give and an empty house without distractions…

There is a bonus to the extreme cold of the day. The streams and puddles are frozen and Flossie has not found any murky water to bathe in. We do not have the usual tumble of dogs and towels to contend with. Instead, I can let both dogs run into the house and take up their places beside me at my desk.

I have been writing for a short time when I notice that Keano is missing. I investigate. The living room carpet looks a little red in places. Keano has retired to his bed.

What is this? Blood?

Yes, Keano has managed to cut his paw and has trailed spots of blood all over the living room carpet.

Tracking down which paw is hurt can be difficult in a dog whose idea of standing still has yet to take root and whose agility is suddenly vastly improved when faced with a worried human trying to grab his ankles. Still, I identify the injured paw eventually. First aid box to hand, I clean it and bandage it, wrapping tape round the limb carefully to secure.

Leaving both dogs in the kitchen, I grab a wet cloth and dab and scrub at the living room carpet with a modicum of success.

Returning to the kitchen I am met by Flossie, looking guiltily up at me, half a bandage hanging from her mouth as she gently unravels the rest from Keano’s paw.

Nurse Flossie?

Time to separate the dogs!

I check the paw and re-bandage it, forgetting I have left the kitchen door ajar. Keano totters out when I am not looking. By the time I find him, he has licked the bandage off and has dripped blood through the dining room, through the hall and up the stairs. Flossie looks at me as though to say,

“I told you so,”

I bandage the paw and fit a trainer sock over it – Keano has dainty, cat-sized paws – and confine him to the kitchen where he is currently lying, feeling sorry for himself.


I am still not talking to you!


An appointment at the Vet has been made and I have cleaned the carpets and washed the floors.

It is now past lunchtime and I still have some way to go with the original post and the novel lurks in the recesses of my Mac, calling me in vain. It must wait.

Thankfully, memories of that early morning stroll linger on…and let’s not forget that tomorrow is another day!

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • Teresa

    Aw poor Keano. You need some of that sticky bandage for these occasions – Indy has never yet been able to escape from it! But I’ve found there is nothing more difficult to bandage than a paw. Hope he is better soon x

  • patricia60

    I know this intention and feeling all too well.

    January was lost router, lost modem, lost personal email program….and got Wise Ears up and running, but could not follow through. Was putting posts on flash drives and running to computers that worked. Then add the big storm and 4 days of now power and huge tree branches falling with snow and ice…
    I just gave up and started reading ….

    This morning all is up and working…heavy rain so not walk and by 10am the migraine headache signs started….I gave up and took care of myself…

    Ah me it is sometimes just ever thus!

    Oh those paw injuries – they are tough My friend just had to put her greyhound down because the paw injury infected the bone. Hope the vet trip is productive
    and it all cleans up – house and paw

    • Deborah Barker

      Patricia – I do hope your power problems are now at an end – what a month! So sorry to hear about your friend’s greyhound – Keano is fine now, stitched up and just a little whoosy from the anaesthetic!

  • Andrea Carlisle

    Woe is Keano. And Flossie worried. And you…useful and helpful and probably quite mysterious in your clean-up activities as far as they’re concerned. I bet they haven’t read a novel in years, so what’s the hurry?

    • Deborah Barker

      Neither dog was quite him/herself this morning Andrea. Keano because he was taken to the Vet and left there for a few hours and Flossie because she wasn’t! Both are happy to be together again I think and yes, the novel has time to grow 🙂

  • Cottage By The Sea

    Poor puppy, but at least he got his walk! When it’s cold out I’m more likely to bundle up by the fire and the dogs must suffice with a potty break in the yard until the sun comes out. I can’t imagine what I (they) would do if we lived somewhere cold or wet. How dear though, that Flossie looks after Keano. Hope he gets better soon and that you can get back to your novel.

    • Deborah Barker

      Tia, Keano seems to be fine, foot stitched and no bandage for Flossie to unravel. Lead walks only for him for a while and sadly, he is overweight so has been put on a diet. I blame my husband who gives him those extra nibbles. Keano just doesn’t know how to say “No.” 🙁

  • Katie Gates

    I know what you mean about how plans can change, but then the changed plans result in a blog post you weren’t expecting to write — something about falling on the sidewalk, for instance. I hope Keano has recovered!

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