Leave The Dogs At Home: A Memoir

Paperback | July 3, 2015

byClaire S. Arbogast

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Claire and Jim were friends, lovers, and sometimes enemies for 27 years. In order to get health insurance, they finally married, calling their anniversary the "It Means Absolutely Nothing" day. Then Jim was diagnosed with cancer. With ever-decreasing odds of survival, punctuated by arcs of false hope, Jim's deteriorating health altered their well-established independence as they became caregiver and patient, sharing intimacy as close as their own breaths. A year and a half into their marriage, Jim died from lung/brain cancer. Sustained by good dogs and gardening through the two years of madness that followed, Claire soldiered through home repairs, career disaster, genealogy quests, and "dating for seniors" trying to build a better life on the debris of her old one.Leave the Dogs at Home maps and plays with the stages of grief. Delightfully confessional, it challenges persistent, yet outdated, societal norms about relationships, and finds relief in whimsy, pop culture, and renewed spirituality.

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Claire and Jim were friends, lovers, and sometimes enemies for 27 years. In order to get health insurance, they finally married, calling their anniversary the "It Means Absolutely Nothing" day. Then Jim was diagnosed with cancer. With ever-decreasing odds of survival, punctuated by arcs of false hope, Jim's deteriorating health altered...

Claire Arbogast is a graduate of Indiana University. She gardens, walks with dogs, and writes in Bloomington, Indiana. Her website is www.ClaireArbogast.com
Format:PaperbackDimensions:238 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.68 inPublished:July 3, 2015Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:025301719X

ISBN - 13:9780253017192

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 The Fullness
2 Survivor
3 Waterloo
4 Terminal Restlessness
5 Buzzing
6 Line of Salt
7 Drainage
8 Consilience
9 Balancing Concentrate
10 Swoop
11 The In Between
12 The Point of Surrender
13 The Shitty Truth
14 Fumes
15 Finding Boxerwood
16 Crabbottom Grits
17 Peripheral Vision
18 Six Years Later: New Tricks
Credits

Editorial Reviews

"This very personal memoir is a gift of insightful reflection on how weathering difficult situations and transitions can help us grow and transform and blossom again. The vivid imagery and flowing words were a healing balm. Claire Arbogast has had the courage to find her voice, her true being, and share it." -Gwen Bottoms, Aging to Sage-ing Facilitator