Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Rachel Cann

Rachel Cann's stories in All Woe Great and Small remind us that dogs are man's best friends. Gerbils, however, are more like the annoying acquaintances you block on Facebook.  

One of your essays tells the story of how you won a court case to retain custody of your beloved dog, Boston. Tell us one of your favorite stories about Boston.

Boston's beginning was at the top of a mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire, with a breeder who called her the runt of the litter, since she was the only one left. On the 3 hour drive back to Boston, Mass, the puny pup's name became Chelsea. She was so terrified of the sidewalks, she had to be carried. Chelsea was bred to a huge  Alpha dog, which I purchased for 50 dollars, because he had had chewed everything on his owner's dresser. Precious, as he had been called by the previous owner, was so  magnificent, when I first saw him from the windows of the Florida stilt house I lived in, tears came to my eyes. This dog often tried to push me down the stairs leading to my front door, until I tamed him. Of all my dogs, Precious was the most faithful. Chelsea was determined by the vet to be unsuitable for breeding. But when he offered to dispense with the pups, I demurred. So poor Chelsea, towards the end, a big as a watermelon in the middle, had a hard time climbing those very steps Precious had sought to cause my demise. When she gave birth, "daddy" watched through my bedroom window and Chelsea gave him a snarl of anguish as poignant and readable as any human in labor might. The 13 pups were a Florida record! Boston was one. They all came with me when I moved back to Boston, but no landlord wanted dogs. Many are forced to have their dogs put down. But I couldn't do it. My heart was always bigger than my brain. We lived for a long time in my car,  where I wrote a few stories of our adventures, published in Spare Change, the newspaper for the homeless. It was a hard decision to make, but when my son offered to take one dog, Boston went to live with my 2 grandchildren. When he became 12ish and somewhat incontinent, I got him back, and my acupuncturist, Marie Cargill, gave him the same treatments she had given my other two and thanks to her, Boston and I had another year together of pure joy.  

Your other essays recounts the great personal risk you went through to deliver pet gerbils to your hospitalized son. What was his reaction when he saw them?

The gerbils were the farthest thing from my son's mind once I got him a puppy, a cat, and two Spectacled Amazonians. 

What would the title of your autobiography be, and why?

My memoir-in-progress is called Connected, and I want to inspire others to believe in what God only knows, that we are all here for a reason, and that we are all able to realize our fondest dreams. 

Promote yourself. Where else can we find more of your writing? 

RachelCann.Com is my new URL. I would appreciate some followers to build a platform.

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