Saturday, October 1, 2016

A view of the American Middle Class


I began writing Trailer Dogs after one of the worst years of my entire married life. It was cathartic, in that it allowed me (uncensored) to express grief and disappointments in the only way I knew how – by satirizing myself and the calamities that had almost destroyed me.
   In 2013, the government shutdown sent our previously thriving business into a tailspin, taking years of hard work, and our life savings, along with it. Two of our three much-loved dogs died within a month of each other. My best friend, only in her mid-fifties, passed away after a long, painful illness. If that weren’t enough, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer that October. His surgery was scheduled – wait for it - on Christmas Eve.
  
My reaction to the above events was less than heroic. I became a total psychological wreck. My normally over-the-top sense of humor vanished overnight. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate on anything except how miserable my life had become. My problems, my heartbreaks, my financial losses were front and center, and nobody else’s mattered.
   Then one day, while mindlessly scanning a dog rescue website, I happened upon “Sully.” Sully was a sorry looking little stray. He was emaciated, with a dull, patchy coat and an underbite that resulted in a permanent goofy half-grin. He’d been attacked and seriously injured by a larger dog. Two enormous ears stood up at the sides of his head, and a few scraggly hairs sprang from the top knot in between.
  
Trailer Dogs by Ellen Garrison
Long story short, we adopted Sully. Caring for him and rehabilitating him helped me to rehabilitate myself. I slowly regained my sense of humor, my interest in life, and most importantly, the ability to care about something other than myself. Instead of bemoaning past losses, I began to focus again on the future - a future that was going to be totally different than my husband and I had ever envisioned. It was a terrifying, yet strangely liberating prospect.

We were about to become Trailer Dogs.

   Trailer Dogs isn’t for everybody. If you’re a right-wing conservative or a religious fanatic, stop reading now. If you’re sensitive to swearing, you’re a politician, or if you’re Canadian, take to heart the following Advance Criticisms for the book:
   Where shall I start? It’s filled with reprehensibly foul language, vulgarity, racial slurs, sexism, ageism, blasphemy, bestiality, gluttony, body-shaming, perversions, violence, pornographic imagery. The list is endless. That said, I really enjoyed it. ---Governor Martin O’Malley
   Trailer Dogs contains off-colour jokes. Indeed, it is blasphemous. It is a veritable sewer, filled with marginally false information about Canadians. There were a few decent parts about corn holing, but not enough detail to sustain my interest. ---Canadian Senator Ted Cruz

   On the other hand, if you don’t mind profane venting about the current state of affairs in America, or if you sometimes usually much prefer the company of your dog or cat to humans, then pardner, Trailer Dogs is the fucking book for you! 

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