Dunkyn ~ Brandon Witt: Outside the Margins

Join us as Brandon Witt goes Outside the Margins.

Dunkyn-3 Last month, I warned you that I was at risk of turning Outside the Margins into my own personal therapy session. At the time, I thought I was kidding, or at least exaggerating. This month’s submission will be even more unapologetically self-serving. Well, I’ll apologize up front. Sorry for what you’re about to dive into (or skip).

I thought this post would be all about my first writing conference. About my first GRL. About how I could feel it launching me into the next phase of life, quitting my job, and taking a running leap into writing. And, GRL was all of that. And more. I never really thought I’d actually enjoy it. I was prepared to fake every second. I don’t like crowds, I don’t like being the center of attention (despite what The Witty Hour may suggest). However, nearly every second was perfect. A bunch of geeky readers and writers? I’ve finally found my people. I fit right in. That never really happens. And, of course, just like everyone has been online, people were phenomenally kind. The only strange part of it all was how truly wonderful people actually were. People were nervous to meet me! Nervous to speak to me! So strange. All of five people have read my books, comparatively. People offered to get me water during my book signings. I felt like Britney Spears, only with a bigger cheeseburger addiction and more tattoos. It was a surreal, heady, wonderful experience. And, I finally felt like a writer. Finally. Which was equally thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.

That’s what I’d planned on talking about. Waxing on and on about how much it meant and where it would take me. Blah, blah, blah.

I had to leave a day earlier than I’d planned. Had to buy a nearly $700 first class ticket to rush home. I’d never flown first class. Nor did I have the choice this time. I’m so thankful didn’t let that price tag change my mind and stay that extra night. That plane ride made the coming heartbreak more bearable. That plane ride allowed me one more walk, and one more night of sleeping on the couch with Dunkyn. For those of you that don’t know, I’m the daddy to two corgis. Dunkyn and Dolan. When I walked through the doors after that lavish plane ride, which I slept through, I knew. When I looked in Dunkyn’s eyes, I knew. I knew the vet appointment tomorrow would be pointless. I knew he would be gone.


My youngest, Dolan, has been sick for weeks and I’ve literally spent thousands on medications and tests trying to get him better. (Thank God for credit cards.) Things are still up in the air with him, and we don’t know if he will make it. Even so, I kept saying that I was more worried about Dunkyn than I was Dolan. There was nothing wrong, I just felt it.

It may seem strange to carry on over a dog. Or dogs, as the case may be. But, ask my boyfriend. Given the choice between spending the day with people or the day with dogs, I’ll pick dogs nearly every time.

And, I love both of my boys dearly. However, where as Dolan is my baby and my pet that I love so very dearly, Dunkyn was more. Dunkyn was my first dog as an adult. I got him when he was two. His owners didn’t really want him, as he wasn’t show quality. I went to get a puppy, then met Dunkyn. It was an instant connection. Dunkyn was afraid of everyone (and would be for years after), except me. From the first minute, he trotted to me, then jumped in my car. For the next ten years, Dunkyn was my companion. I fell asleep with him every night. He sat beside me as I wrote my first book on the front porch swing. He cuddled with me as I sobbed over breakup after breakup. He kept me nearly sane when the man I thought I’d marry left one day. He was my constant. He was never like my kid or pet. He was my friend. We nearly had the same personality, in a lot of ways. We’re both kind of friendly curmudgeons at the core.

I know there will be other dogs, other puppies, other fluffy ones that I love. I know Dolan and I will keep walking together, both of us missing our friend.

I also know that there will never be another Dunkyn.

I’m not one to believe in soul mates. However, that dog was made for me, and I for him.

I am so very thankful for every second I had with him, and that he gifted me with spending his life with me. I am thankful that he went quickly and didn’t have to suffer. I am thankful that we got one last night together, and that he was in my arms as he passed. That I got to whisper that it was okay for him to leave, that I loved him, and that I got to thank him for loving him so. I am so very thankful for how he changed and bettered my life.


I love you, Dunkyn. You are in my soul.

I will miss you forever.

Until we meet again.

~ Brandon Witt

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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21 thoughts on “Dunkyn ~ Brandon Witt: Outside the Margins

  1. That post managed to both lift me up and break my heart. The love was palpable as were the loss and pain. Thank you for sharing Dunkyn with us, I truly feel I know him.
    Positive and healing thoughts for Dolan as well as a huge hug for you.

  2. Hugs. Every word of yours resonates. You’ll miss him forever. I still miss our Sparky and she has been gone a decade, after giving us thirteen wonderful, laugh-filled, snuggly years.
    I hope we all at GRL were able to fill you up with good stuff as you made your way home and had to say “see you later” to Dunkyn.

  3. Oh dear I have loads of stuff to do, but I’m crying too much to see at this moment. I’m so glad you and Dunkyn had each other for the years you did. All real love stays with us forever.

  4. What a beautiful tribute Brandon! It is clear he was a very special dog and I am so glad you made it home in time to spend one last night with him. I so sorry for your loss!

    On the plus side, I am so glad GRL was a wonderful experience for you. I always tell people there is nothing like being around so many folks who love the same things you love and just get you. And of course, so lovely to meet you.

    I hope with time the pain of your loss eases. Sending good thoughts your way. Jay

  5. This post left me in tears. What a lovely tribute to Dunkyn.

    And I’m so glad you got to go home and be there with him for so many reasons. I sympathize and empathize very very much with everything here.

  6. Thank you for sharing that experience with us. I’m not a religious person but I truly believe if there is anything in this world resembling angels, pets are it. You’ll always have that part of you that Dunkyn changed and made better. That’s the legacy they leave us with.

    Now I’m gonna go fix my makeup…

  7. Thank you for the touching post, Brandon. I’m so sorry for your loss and I truly feel your pain. I went through a similar situation with one of my dogs several years ago and it is heartbreaking. All we can do is enjoy each moment we spend with our pets and cherish them. I’m glad you have such wonderful memories of Dunkyn and I hope the pain of his loss eases as time goes by. Sending positive thoughts and get well wishes to Dolan too.

    Glad your GRL experience was so positive and I hope that there are many great things ahead for you in the future. Take care.

  8. Well, I was already snot-sobbing over my NaNo words today, so what’s a few more Kleenex? I’m totally a dog-over-people-anyday person, so, no, it’s not ridiculous in any way that you are still grieving. A good pet-owner knows that these are not “just animals”. They are family members and we NEVER get over their loss. Ever. They are a part of us – a huge part of us – because they love us unconditionally. Not even the people in our lives to that. The hurt starts to fade and eventually the good memories win and overtake the pain, but it’s a process and it takes awhile. He’s a beautiful boy and he was so lucky to find you.

  9. Beautiful words from a beautiful person. Your words to me one week after Dunkyn passed and I lost my Angel helped a great deal. And this is a wonderful tribute. I wish I would have known Dunkyn he sounds like an amazing friend.

  10. Thank you all for your kind words. I feel like I just keep saying that to people about Dunkyn, but I honestly don’t know what else to say. I truly do appreciate the care. And I love that so many people have been a little connected to Dunkyn in some way. Thank you! Brandon

  11. On one hand I am happy that you were able to find enjoyment at GRL( I was one of those readers nervous to meet you!) and on the other I was so heart sick for you when I found out of your loss. There are animals that come into our lives that are no mere pet. They are our companions, side-kicks, cohorts, and constants in our lives which we become eternally grateful for. I hurt for your loss but am glad that you were able to be with him in the end. *hugs*

  12. I’m so glad that you followed your instincts and went home a day early. That extra time with your baby sound so special. I’m sorry for Dunkyn’s loss, Brandon. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Oh my sweet friend… My heart breaks for you. But he’ll be with you again: I believe that with my whole heart. I love you, Brandon. Meeting you and our group of ‘couch potatoes’ was the highlight of my con.

  14. This was beautiful and very touching. Unfortunately, I know what it feels like so I’m sending you tons of tight hugs.

  15. Sitting in my chair, wiping my eyes. So glad to meet you but also so glad you were home in time. Until you meet Dunkyn again, have lovely memories to hold you.

  16. A very moving tribute. It’s never easy to lose a friend. Especially one that means so much to us. I am glad you had that last night together. I hope things start to look up for Dolan. Hugs to you

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