Someone asked me last week how I knew when the story of the pups in Training Two began?
At what point did I realize it would become a story to be told,
or that even would be told?
Good question, I thought.
For a moment I was lost in memory, the 'movie' of each scene of those early days with my beloved pups Cimi and Caspian,
running backwards through my mind.
Before I continue, maybe I should explain:
When I was little, and the old home movie projector came out for an evening of watching the 'home movies of a recent family car trip...',
I would watch the images flutter on the screen, everyone doing their same schtick for the camera.
It was entertaining. Mildly.
But after watching the same movies of family
waving at the screen over and over,
after everyone left the room for other interests,
I would sometimes watch the movies by running them backwards
I did so because it brought comic relief to what were otherwise
the same old images.
I sometimes wondered if we knew what happened the moment
after we waved...
but that was a magically deep thought and too much for a child
to wade into much farther than a passing wonderment:
If we knew what happened next,
would our wave or smile or gamming for the camera
So when asked this question, my memory went back
through the 'movie' of life with what became my beloved pups,
looking for the 'first moment I knew...' it would become a story.
As a writer, this is fun digging.
As a human, it causes a long, silent reflection that is sometimes worrying
to friends, who wonder if I've been seized or am ill.
After due consideration, I can say that I knew this was a story-movie
upon entering training class with The No-No Lady.
The characters were too rich there to let the images go.
The sparkle in Caspian, of his seeing it as the game it truly was,
too much fun ('tho I didn't feel it be a game, he did).
But the clincher was walking Cimi forward
— well, trying to — actually dragging her forward on her back,
step-pull, step-pull, step-pull
and then swiveling her round to go back
to our place during that first lesson.
The 'image' of this moment,
trying too hard to become a 'M and C of my littermates'
and my utterly helpless ineptitude at that moment, had Memoir
all over it.
From there the story spun itself into time and space,
from fated moment of discovering them in PetsMart,
to fateful moment of life when they departed 13 and 16 years later.
Did I know what would happen after this first hello,
or even after the first goodbyes?
Of course not.
But that is how Story goes, poking at each of us to wonder at it,
even as we observe it, feel it profoundly,
and live it, all at the same moment.
Life is really a miracle, isn't it?
Was there a moment when you 'knew' with your beloved that this would be a memory or a Story worth keeping?