The Richard’s two dogs were named Skippy and Scruffy. Both were rescue dogs. Skippy was a Belgian Shepherd cross and Scruffy was some type of Blue Merle Border Collie cross. All of the Richards loved animals. When Richard and Susan were still together they had three animals. Besides the two dogs the family had an orange tabby cat named Crush, named after the soft drink. When the family unit split up they decided that John would take the two dogs and Susan and the kids would keep the cat. The two dogs loved car rides but this was going to be a long trip for them.
John and his two teenagers had a lot to catch up since the last time they’d been together which was Christmas time. Last Christmas Susan and the two kids drove to Winnipeg, Manitoba to spend about a week with their dad. Even though they were in the process of getting a divorce and had been separated for quite some time John asked Susan if she wanted to join them for the Christmas holidays and she agreed. Neither John nor Susan were dating anyone exclusively at this time and deep down they still did like each other.
The Richard’s break-up was due to numerous factors. The main area of disagreement between the couple was John’s growing interest in his writing.
When John first started writing it had just been a hobby for him. John needed to go on long term disability after his last full time teaching assignment. John loved to teach but he disliked enforcing heavy discipline and just got bored and frustrated by the countless extra duties teachers were expected to do as part of their job description. After several years of of working in this environment John simply couldn’t take the pressure any more. John would be far more suited to being a university professor than working as a public school teacher.
When John first went on disability he found that he had hours of free time each day that he had never had before. John decided to take up hobbies to pass his time and one of theses was writing fiction. John would get up early in the morning and put in about three hours at his word processor. He found that he enjoyed both the solitude of the early morning hours as well as the joy of writing. The problem began when John Richards started to get obsessive about his writing.