Friday, December 16, 2011

A Christmas Memory with Author C.S. Splitter

C.S. Splitter joins us today for a touching memory about a dog who needed a home and how she helped him remember to appreciate the simple things. Read on!

The country was in the doldrums.  The economy was bad, the new President was on television telling us to “stay the course” and promising that things would get better.  He was right, they did, but that would not be for another two years.  I was eleven so I did not know much about national politics or economics.  What I did know was that things were tough in our house.  My dad worked hard his whole life, but the construction industry had suffered and it always got worse during the winter months anyway.

They say children do not know what they do not have.  Those are happy stories that usually involve the phrase: “we were poor, but we didn’t know it.”  But, trust me, kids know.  I knew.  I had television and friends at school to let me know exactly what we did not have.

My parents, bless them, got creative that Christmas.  There is one thing every boy wants and it was something I had never had: a dog.  In those days, dogs were cheap.  I think it cost $25 to adopt one from the pound and that included the first round of shots and a certificate to get them “fixed.”  Days before Christmas, they told me they would finally let me have a dog if we could find one that was small enough.

I was drawn to one litter that was all penned in together.  There were eight of them jumping up and down, desperate for a little attention from the hand I put toward them.  One, the smallest, was always first to my hand but it would get rapidly pushed to the side by its littermates.  The little dog would sit alone patiently with wagging tail and begging eyes.  That was the one.

Her name became Josie because of a short-lived TV series of my even younger years named “Run, Joe, Run!”  Part Corgi, part Dachshund (maybe), and totally ecstatic to be out of the pound.  She was reserved at first, but you could see that she was just trying to figure out the rules before letting her personality shine through.

Josie greeted me Christmas morning with a red bow on her head.  It was my parent’s way of gently reminding me that she had been my Christmas gift.  We watched a parade on TV and played some puppy games which sent her into a round of “puppy enthusiasm.”  There is nothing better than “puppy enthusiasm” where life comes out in a running fit, often in circles, for no other reason than needing an outlet for an overabundance of pure joy.

We can learn a lot from dogs.  I learned a ton from Josie.  Once I figured out that dogs laugh with their tails, I learned how important laughter was to being happy.  I also learned that if you have a full belly, a warm place to sleep, and people around that love you, you have everything you need.  Those things made her happy and, to this day, I am trying to match her appreciation of such simple things.  Since my eleventh year, I have had great Christmases and not-so-great holidays.  None have matched that one when I got my first dog.

C.S. Splitter is a businessman, author, and stand-up philosopher living in rural Maryland with his beautiful wife, small dog, and astonishingly large cat. He is an avid shooter and loves being 5000 feet above the ground, upside down, in an open cockpit.

He will never again jump out of a perfectly good airplane and feels the need to color outside of the lines.

For more about C.S. Splitter, please visit:

Amazon Author Page:


Barnes and Noble

The Reluctant FREE on Smashwords:

The Willing on Smashwords:


Twitter:  @SplitterCS


  1. Bless. Dogs make SUCH a difference when you're feeling a bit low. I really miss having animals but with my commute I'm never at home so it wouldn't be fair.

  2. You are right on both of those things, JAC! They are our best friends who give love without conditions, but they require time.

    While I am here, even though I shall return, I want to say a Splitter-sized thank you to Mysti for having me!


  3. Great blog, Splitter. How clever of your parents to get you a dog. Nothing could have given you more pleasure. Best Christmas present ever. I share your desire never to jump out of an aeroplane.
    Happy Christmas


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