Koontz's life seems very livable although tis true he's a ferociously hard worker despite not needing to be. (Has all the money in the world.) He's an interesting figure because he works in part simply out of the recognition that that is part of our earthly repentance. Ah but to do all our work in that spirit! Alack, I lack!
There is a simplicity about him. He'd gotten cynical when teaching high school and thereafter, near despair over how little natural justice there is. But getting a dog restored his wonder and led him to return to his Catholic faith. A providential dog encouraged within him a sense of the mystery of everyday life - another case of the little teaching the strong. "Unless ye become as children..." (Or as dogs.)
He writes of his experience of teaching and it reminds me of how my own sense of wonder had been undermined by the scandals in the Church (most especially one involving a novelist named MacFarlane):
At Mechanicsburg High School, I enjoyed teaching and had a knack for it, but the educational bureaucracy and the theories on which it fed proved to be the opposite of that beautiful machine of natural law, was instead a big, ever-growing, mindless, mechanical leviathan wreaking havoc as it ground through the decades, certain to produce eventually a generation of perfect barbarians. Seeing through to the truth under the illusions that have shaped you is important, but it can be dispiriting and can tie knots in your wonder.What he says about writers isn't pretty but is something most of us intuitively grasp:
My heroes had long been novelists, and although I met some writers who became good and cherished friends, Gerda and I found this community as a whole to be solipsistic and narcissistic and irrational to such a degree that when I showed her a newspaper story about a university study headlined "80 Percent of People With Writing Talent Show Signs of Schizophrenia", she said, "Can you believe it's only eighty percent?"What's also interesting is that he would've never gotten the dog except for his humanitarian efforts directed towards serving people with handicaps. It was in reaching out to others that he was ultimately reached. He saw how the dogs helped the wheel-chair bound, and when one of the dogs was injured during training he was asked to become an owner. He said yes.