Back to Normal

Zinneke and Buford
Zinneke and 'Buford'
Life must be getting back to normal a little (if summer can be considered normal around here). Despite the fact that we were heading into finals, we made the plunge to foster another puppy. Tomorrow he leaves for a new home in the North, but we’ve enjoyed him for nearly three weeks in the meantime. There’s no stress-reliever quite like having a puppy crawl all over you or take little nips out of your ear. Of course, there can be stresses related to barking all night or doing things in the house that shouldn’t be done, but “Buford,” as the Humane Society dubbed him, has been very good in this regard. He sleeps most of the night and is happy to spend most of his days in our fenced-in back yard with our dog Zinneke.

Still, as I was walking them this morning and thinking about writing a cute puppy post, he grabbed something unmentionable off the side of the road and tried to eat it. Let’s just say that, though I’m not squeamish and normally wouldn’t hesitate to stick my fingers in his mouth to remove the offending substance, this was not one I wanted to get my hands on, but I was able to get him to drop most of it, reminding myself that puppies can be gross as well as cute. In fact, maybe it’s a good thing they can be so cute…

Other signs of normalcy: I raked up magnolia leaves yesterday and will soon mow the lawn (as soon as the dew is off the grass). I’m no longer grading, but am working on grant reports and scholarship applications (reading and evaluating them, not writing them, of course). And soon 130-some haiku will arrive at my door for judging, as I’ve answered the call of the Iowa Poetry Association once again. I’m looking forward to it!

I have a few more books to send back and payments to make for the Southern Literary Festival (including those grant reports). Then I can begin serious work on the Welty Symposium and hopefully take some time for my own writing, not to mention the summer projects we have around the house! August will be here before we know it, but for now the long expanse of summer seems like a welcome sight. We’re looking forward to some travel and, who knows, maybe even another foster puppy or two or perhaps a cycle of puppy haiku.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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