I cleaned off my desk and also de-cluttered a big drawer recently, and it’s amazing the stuff that turns up. First, amidst the rubble on my desk was a list of names. I presume they are dog names, but I don’t know why. I mean, I can tell it’s not a list of names I was considering for a puppy. Our last puppy was Gael, over seven years ago, and although I admit to packrat tendencies, even I would not have kept such a list for that long. Also, there’s a mix of male and female appropriate names, and, there are names I’d never consider because I just don’t like them.

Here’s the list, if you’re curious: Gus, Stella, Boomer, Trapper, Molly, Zoey, Ace, Coco, Otto, Finn, Cooper, Bailey, Bella, Sophie, Hawkeye, Katie, Wrigley, Pandora, Lexi. Even typing them out didn’t help. I am drawing a blank. So, into the wastebasket.

I have 45 business cards in two stack on my desk, mostly publishers, editors, and dog-related businesses. Some are from other authors I’ve met. I can’t seem to eliminate any of them, so I just straighten the piles.

Next, the drawer. I have six lanyards from the Westminster Kennel Club. All have the press credentials attached. There’s also a loose press tag. Five of the seven tags are dated, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2014. Two just say media with no date. Four have both my name and The Post-Journal. One has just my name, and two just The Post-Journal. On the back of the 2014 tag is another sticker allowing me to use a special exhibitor’s entrance. That was the year I acted as a runner, carrying information sheets from the judging area over to the next building and upstairs to the pressroom. The exhibitor’s entrance was much closer, so that sticker really helped.

I don’t need those credentials, and I certainly don’t need six purple lanyards. But, the laminated press tags don’t take up much space. I keep the passes and throw away three of the lanyards. I have no plans for the three lanyards I keep; I just can’t throw them away.

I find two white and gold cardboard press pins from the 2008 World Sheepdog Trials. Definitely keeping.

I find three Corgi-related mouse pads. I throw away my old, dirty mouse pad and replace it with a clean one, putting the other two clean ones back in the drawer. Two pads of sticky notes, one shaped like a paw print, the other with an image of Grommet, the animated cartoon dog. Can never have too many of those. Two paw print decals, and one paw print stick-on. Surely I will find a use for them some day.

I dig out 10 notebooks/steno pads with notes for books and articles. Two are notes for my first Corgi book. I don’t need all these notes, but how can I throw away something that contains quotes like this one about the royal Corgis from Dogs-The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1,000 Dog Breeds, by Desmond Morris.

“Frustrated in their deeply ingrained urge to herd cattle by biting their legs, the royal Corgis have occasionally snatched an opportunity to revert to type by nipping the legs of palace staff. They are on record as biting two Grenadier Guardsmen, one Irish Guardsman, one policeman, and one royal clock-winder. Off the record, they are said to have given the term ‘footman’ new meaning. In 1991, one Corgi even committed treason by biting the Queen herself when she tried to break up a dog fight.”

I put three notebooks in a different drawer, and put the rest back into the drawer I am cleaning.

There are four bookmarks from Wolf Park and one leather bookmark extolling the virtues of Corgis. The bookmark says, “Chosen in ancient times as the Celt’s companion. Selected for his good temperament, lively personality, obedience, and working ability.” Well, bookmarks don’t take up much room.

The drawer also contains some pens, scissors, a small stapler, and a box of paperclips, as well as three foam clown noses, two red and one blue. I didn’t throw any of that out, either.

Still, my desk is tidier, and the drawer, if still full, has been neatly re-arranged. It was fun to find assorted press credentials, and to leaf through my notes, including those for an article I wrote about taking Trilby to six dog shows in seven days in New England.

My drawer isn’t full of junk; it’s full of great memories.