8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And other tips from a The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog by W. Bruce Cameron Paperback $ 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And Other Tips from a A New York Times bestseller, the book has proven popular for parents, teenagers, and former teenagers everywhere. It was the LOST CHAPTER: Read the excerpt. Cover image for A dog's journey another novel for humans He turned his "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" column into a book, Excerpts.
Clarity's mother is negligent, so Buddy has his work cut out for him, and Clarity, while still a toddler, has already been saved from drowning, poisoning, and horse trampling when she and her mother, Gloria, leave the safety of Clarity's paternal grandmother's home for a series of increasingly bad situations.
After Buddy's life ends, the pup is reborn as Molly and reunited with Clarity, now a troubled teenager called CJ with multiple insecurities and problems. CJ's self-destructive tendencies and carelessness send Molly to the great beyond, but the canine comes back, first as Max and then as Toby, each time affecting CJ's life in positive ways.
Ultimately, the good dog, after years of service, learns the reward given to devoted angels masquerading as pets. Robert Frost said, "no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader"; if this is true, then Cameron must have wept buckets. Readers will devour this wonderful story and cry from beginning to end. Sweet and heartfelt, Cameron likely has another bestseller on his hands. The fur on my legs was as black as the rest of me, but down at my paws it had, over time, become tinged with white.
I had lived a long and full life with a boy named Ethan, spending many lazy afternoons on this very dock, here on the Farm, enjoying a swim or barking at the ducks. This was the second summer without Ethan. When he died I felt a pain inside me much sharper than any other I'd ever felt. Now the pain was less, more like a stomachache, but I still felt it all the time. Only sleep soothed it away--in my sleep, Ethan ran with me through my dreams. I was an old dog and knew that someday soon a much deeper sleep would come, as it had always come for me before.
It came for me when I was named Toby, in my silly first life, when I had no real purpose but to play with other dogs. It came for me when I was named Bailey, when I first met my boy and loving him became my whole focus. So when the deeper sleep came for me next, at the end of this life, as Buddy, I felt sure that I would not live again, that I had fulfilled my purpose and there was no reason for me to be a dog anymore. So whether it happened this summer or the next didn't matter. Ethan, loving Ethan, was my ultimate purpose, and I had done it as well as I could.
I was a good dog. And yet as I sat there I was watching one of the many children from Ethan's family striding unsteadily toward the end of the dock. She hadn't been walking very long in her life, so every step was a wobble.
She wore white puffy pants and a thin shirt. I pictured jumping in the water and pulling her to the surface by that shirt, and I let out a soft whimper.Kaley Cuoco Fights Back Tears Remembering Her Last Moment With John Ritter
The child's mother's name was Gloria. She was on the dock, too, lying motionless on a reclined chair with bits of vegetables placed on both of her eyes. Her hand had been holding a leash that went to the little girl's waist, but the leash had gone slack in Gloria's hand and was now trailing behind the child as she headed for the end of the dock and the pond beyond. As a puppy my reaction to a limp leash was always to explore, and this little girl's response was just the same.
This was Gloria's second visit to the Farm. The previous time was in the wintertime. Ethan had still been alive, and Gloria had handed the baby to him and called him Grandpa. After Gloria left, Ethan and his mate, Hannah, said the name Gloria out loud many times over many nights, with sad emotions underlying their conversations. They also said the name Clarity.
The baby's name was Clarity, though often Gloria called her Clarity June. I felt certain that Ethan would want me to watch over Clarity, who always seemed to be getting into trouble. Just the other day I had sat by miserably while the baby crawled under the bird feeder and stuffed handfuls of fallen seeds into her mouth. It was one of my main jobs to terrorize the squirrels when they did this, but I wasn't sure what to do when I caught Clarity at it, even though I knew that for a child to eat birdseed was probably against a rule.
And I was right about that--when I finally barked a few times, Gloria sat up from where she had been lying facedown on a towel and she was very angry. I glanced at Gloria now. Children often jumped into the pond but never when they were as young as this little girl, though the way she was going it seemed inevitable she was going to get wet.
A dog's journey another novel for humans
Babies were only allowed in the water with adults holding them. I looked back toward the house. Hannah was outside, kneeling and playing with flowers up by the driveway, too far away to do anything if Clarity fell in the pond.
I was pretty sure Hannah would want me to watch over Clarity, too. It was my new purpose. Clarity was getting closer to the edge. I let out another whimper, a louder one. I didn't understand the word, but the sharp tone was unmistakable. Clarity didn't even look back.
When she got to the edge of the dock, she teetered briefly and then fell straight off the front. My nails dug into the wood as I lunged off the side of the dock and into the warm water. Clarity bobbed up a little, her little limbs working frantically, but her head was mostly below the pond's surface.
I reached her in seconds, my teeth gently snagging the shirt. I pulled her head out of the water and turned for the shore.
Gloria started screaming, "Oh my God! Clarity could have drowned!
I had to jump in to save her and now I'm all wet! I didn't dare look at her. I wagged my tail a little and it splashed the surface of the pond. I didn't know what I had done wrong, but clearly I had upset everyone. Everyone, that is, except Clarity. I risked a glance at her because I could sense her straining in her mother's arms, her little hands reaching out toward me. Her pants were streaming water down her legs. I dropped my eyes again.
Gloria blew out some air. Her diaper's all wet and I want to lie on my stomach so I'll be the same color on both sides. I heard the warning in her voice, though I wasn't sure what she was trying to tell me. I shook myself from head to tail, ridding my fur of the pond water. She sternly lectured me, pointing her finger and using a whole string of words I didn't understand, though she did say "bad dog" a few times. I lowered my head, blinking.
Her tone was gentle. I followed obediently as we went up to the house. I'd had it before--it reminded me of the time when I pulled a thin metal pan out of the trash that was lined with sweet flavors and, after licking it clean, experimentally crunched up the pan itself. The metal tasted bad, so I spat it out.
This particular taste, though, I couldn't spit out--it sat on my tongue and invaded my nose. It was always fun to walk through that door, whether it was going inside or heading out, because it meant we were doing something new. Later I stood guard while Hannah and Clarity played a new game. Hannah would carry Clarity to the top of the stairs and then watch while Clarity turned around and went down the stairs in a backward crawl.
Usually Hannah would say "Good girl," and I would wag my tail. When Clarity got to the bottom step I would lick her in the face and she would giggle; then she would raise her arms to Hannah.
When I felt satisfied they were safe I went to my favorite spot in the living room, circled, and lay down with a sigh. A few minutes later Clarity came over to me, dragging her blanket. She had the thing in her mouth that she chewed on but never swallowed. She dropped to all fours and crawled the last few feet to me and curled up against me, pulling her blanket against herself with her tiny hands.
I sniffed her head--nobody in the world smelled like Clarity. Her scent filled me with a warm feeling that nudged me into a nap.
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We were still sleeping when I heard the screen door shut and Gloria come into the room. I blearily opened my eyes as Gloria reached down and snatched the little girl away from where she'd been sleeping. The place where Clarity had been snuggled against me felt oddly cold and empty without her there. Hannah came out from the kitchen. Then I thought about my social calendar, which was strikingly bereft of any female company.
I called my sister back. But if I did, what would you say are these so-called failings? Without my permission, she began inviting other women from my life to join her in the project.
Soon the ranks were swelling, including my other sister, my mother, my daughters, and even my junior high school counselor! I shouldn't have been surprised that she was able to find so many females willing to subscribe to the absurd premise that I needed some sort of group effort dedicated to fixing me. I believe women are often very enthusiastic about forming committees, particularly if they can have meetings and eat chocolate.
Men, on the other hand, prefer to form teams: I thought you were just going to give me a list of my supposed faults and send them to me so I could see which ones I disagreed with. But I saw her point--who knew my minor imperfections better than I?
I worked on it for a while, and here's what I came up with: Often times I'll sit down to make a list of things I need to get done, but I never seem to do anything on the list. Obviously, I need to learn how to delegate.
I really need a sports car of some kind. Usually when a woman is telling me her problems, I will interrupt her and give her advice on how to fix them. I think what women really want is not for me to jump in with solutions, but for me to wait until they are finished talking before I tell them what to do. I can't afford to run out and buy every shiny new gadget that comes on the market. I need to make more money so that I can. Bunting said she has some. Bunting lived across the street from us when I was in the fourth grade.
A hundred and seventy-eight? You're supposed to be counting my faults, not my, my You are turning this into way too big a deal.