And the Puppy Howls:
A 21st Century Adult Fairy Tale
A 21st Century Adult Fairy Tale
by E. P. Lee
And the Puppy Howls is the first book in The Puppy Series by E. P. Lee. The author joins me today to share an excerpt from the book.
"And the puppy howls ... "
But it’s not about the dog: it is a fictional journey through 21st century modern American life, where different lives blend in confusion, loss, death, and renewal ...
Life isn’t what it used to be. Not always worse, not always better ... but for modern America, life sure ain’t what it used to be.
Anything but that ... anything but ...
Life’s being redefined; it has to be, because people and pieces leave, they’re lost, and in that trauma of loss, lives reshape - lives regrow - without them.
And life in America is unconventional now, life is a family made up of friends, life is three people in one marriage, life is Mum off at work and Dad out of the picture; life is ... who knows?
And if nothing’s conventional anymore, who’s to say what a family should look like? Or what, just what ... constitutes a relationship?
And what do you do when those relationships are taken away; or when you are taken away from them?
Nothing conventional, that’s for sure ...
And the Puppy Howls is an honest journey into modern American life, into what people mean to each other as modern American relationships evolve - the pain and the humor, the good and the bad.
And the puppy howls through it all ...
And the puppy howls… all night long too.
I had to leave the little one alone. You can’t honor that behavior by reacting. If you react it’s like a baby with call and response. They cry and you pick them up. That’s bad…they’ll always cry after that.
But I’m exhausted…
The puppy, Freud, howled all night long. And last night too… It was all Gal’s fault.
And Gal was angry at me to boot.
“How, just how… can you do that to the poor dog?”
I’m always the ogre.
I’m the one to do the training. I’m the one to give the baths. I’m the one to take the animal to the vet. I’m the disciplinarian. I’m the bad guy. And Freud, the howling puppy, a dark fawn colored twelve week old French Bulldog responds well.
Except when Gal treats him without discipline and the poor boy thinks he can do anything he wants.
Then I have to be the bad guy and undo what has just been
And poor Freud has to be crated.
Freud wasn’t happy in the crate. Freud wasn’t happy at all.
Freud was so unhappy that Freud didn’t sleep all night. All Freud did was howl. That howling stopped all other sleep in the house. I didn’t sleep. Gal didn’t sleep. Freud didn’t sleep.
The little monster wouldn’t potty outside either. Freud was going to show me. Except Freud didn’t. I just kept Freud in the crate.
On Freud’s regular schedule I took him out. Freud didn’t even sniff spots the first two times I walked him, so back in to the crate Freud went. Gal had already left for Gal’s home near Key West so I didn’t have a litany of carping to deal with too.
Just the howls of confinement…
Finally; on walk three… a piddle.
That piddle got a “good boy” response and a return to open privileges. Freud is wagging his little tail and happy again. All schedules are maintained and bathroom functions back on a viable puppy or should I say poopy track.
Freud’s exhausted too.
Freud’s nearly asleep in my lap again, but calm and happy. The howls were unnerving. You would have thought Freud was being tortured. It was pretty pitiful.
It’s good to get the new decade off this way though. Even with all of the poop I have to deal with. It’s good to have the positive reinforcement and life of the puppy around.
Last year; the whole decade too, come to think of it; was just defeat, denial, declining expectations, death and loss.
This is at least a hint at something better.
I know it’s only a puppy.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"This is a refreshing heartfelt and honest book. I really appreciate the compassion at the centre of the author's message and his good intentions show through the story as it unfolds. The writing is honest, like the story: straight-talking and to the point. This is someone who has lived life and understands its little delicacies." ~ Fiona Wingate
"It's not going to surprise you to hear that I was sceptical as soon as the idea of a love triangle was introduced but the author actual makes this familiar trope far more interesting than you might imagine. That sense of complicating and making more interesting seemingly mundane themes runs throughout the work and I was left with a sense that, like life, beneath the surface of this artwork lay issues deeper than an innocent bystander could possibly imagine." ~ George Coley
"This book drew me in from the start. The author's conversational style makes it seem that Eric is speaking directly to me, and I soon found myself caught up in his story." ~ Andrea
"Whilst reading this book it felt so real that I couldn't stop reading it, it was like listening to a conversation. Well written. Is the best book I have read in the past year." ~ Hilda Kreimerman
"An intense story about a twisted love triangle with an unexpected end. Very well written, best book in its genre I've read in years." ~ Gloria Lafont
About the Author
After a lifetime spent in his native New York, Eric Paul Lee now resides in beautiful, tropical, Miami, Florida.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Coney Island, Eric often wandered the Boardwalk in his childhood. He frequently wasted his allowance at the now demolished Steeplechase Park and the other dated, dowdy, and declining amusements that defined Coney Island and much of traditional society back then.
The traditional was still in back then. And the traditional, like Coney Island, had seen its glory days, its heyday, long passed. But the new hadn't arrived yet, the old was just fading. And so the forms still had to be obeyed. And with that, Eric's parents obeyed those forms, and Eric was dispatched to college in Upstate New York, to return to Brooklyn some four years later.
Upon graduation from college, Eric bounced from job to job until the graphic arts caught his creative eye and a new career began. With his first graphics production position under his belt, Eric moved in to Manhattan some two years later, never to live in Brooklyn again.
Success built on success as corporate stints in California brought about even greater successes leading to Eric's eventual New York City return and the opening of his own graphics agency in Manhattan. That enterprise ran successfully for more than twenty years.
Now out of industry entirely, Eric is happy to enjoy the perpetual Florida sun and write.