My New Co-Author

If you’ll indulge me, here’s a bit of personal digression …

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. That may be overstating it in this case, since I’ll need only a few hundred words of explanation on the other side of this photo:


Last September, only two days after I returned from the Baltimore Comic Con, my wife’s and my beloved dog, Little Paws, passed away at age fifteen. It was a sudden loss that shocked us, as a previously-undetected tumor on his heart reached terminal stage, but from all his actions and what the vet could determine he had been in no pain right up to the end, for which we were grateful. He was too fine a dog to have suffered for any extended period.

You don’t capriciously replace a guy with as much personality as Little Paws, so my wife and I endured 2014-2015’s historically snowy/cold winter and cheered ourselves by saying, “At least Little Paws didn’t have to try to maneuver through all this snow—he would have hated this!” That was both true and a small comfort, yet that didn’t fill the “LP-sized” hole in our lives, and our hearts.

Ol’ Man Winter slowly loosened his grip. Family commitments long delayed by the relentless parade of storms eventually got met – my wife started a new job – the accumulated snow melted away and the frost came out of the ground. After Tax Day we decided it was time to begin the search for Little Paws’s successor (because, of course, it would be impossible to find his replacement).

Which brings us to this little gal…


Meet Gypsy, whom we located at an animal shelter about twenty miles from where we live. We met her there for the first time on Saturday, April 25th; my wife was immediately won over, and I didn’t take a whole lot of convincing. We went back the next afternoon, brought her home, and it’s been a winning situation for all involved.

Her records say she’s a terrier/Chihuahua mix. Given she weighs nineteen pounds and stands about knee-high to me, I’d say the terrier portions of her lineage dominate, but one can see the Chihuahua in her face, and in the hind-legs-only “Mexican hat dance” of joy she does when she greets either of us after we’ve been away. Her name certainly suits her, since she loves to be outdoors, wandering and exploring—but Wednesday morning, as you’ve seen, she surprised me by coming in after our morning ramble, jumping up into my office chair, and looking as if she was ready to start plotting out the text features for our next Li’l Abner and Steve Canyon volumes.

So, if you will, join us in welcoming Gypsy to our small-but-close-knit LOAC family circle. And join us back in this space soon, as we discuss an upcoming project that will be literally out of this world…



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