By Dean R. Koontz
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Additional info for A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
For a minute or two we studied each other from a distance of twenty feet, as though we both expected something of consequence to happen. Her tail did not wag. It wasn’t lowered as it would have been if she had been the least fearful. It was a perfect plume, as still as if she had stepped outside of time, where nothing could move her or even one hair upon her, nothing except her own will. ” I finally asked, and when I spoke, she retreated another ten or fifteen feet and turned again to face me in the same expectant stance as before.
The Kong was about six inches long, made of hard rubber with an inch-wide hole through the middle. You could stuff a mixture of peanut butter and kibble in the hole, to keep your dog occupied for an hour or longer. I tried this twice, but Trixie managed to extract the tasty mixture from the Kong in five minutes, which was less time than I took to prepare it. One evening the rubber Kong bounced wildly and smashed into a small oil painting, splitting the canvas. The painting was very old, and it was one of Gerda’s favorites.
Mornings, I shook the grate to drop the cinders and ashes into the collection bin, shoveled coal through the main door, and lighted tinder to encourage the coal to burn more quickly. On those evenings when I had no school the next day, I would bank the fire to ensure hot coals for the morning and to keep the house heated through the night. Banking the fire always proved to be an act of folly. This was not a forced-air furnace. Heat rose through a large iron grate in the living-room floor and traveled upstairs so slowly that on a bitter winter morning, water left overnight in a glass had turned to ice.
A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie by Dean R. Koontz