We adopted a dog this week (I say “we”, but the driving force was me. My husband just went with the flow). He’s a big black lab mix who goes by the name Macintosh. Mac’s a rescue dog. He was sprung during a raid on a terrible kennel last month, along with 60 other emaciated, mangy dogs. The bust made the news here in LA. He was painfully thin, with patchy fur. This poor guy has traveled a rough road.
Despite all his troubles, Mac remains a loving and gentle soul. He has enormous, soulful brown eyes. If you haven’t paid attention to him in a while, he’ll tap you with a paw, or rest his chin on your lap.
I’m not a natural “pack leader,” but I know it’s important to project calm, alpha dog qualities with a new dog. So before I picked up Mac from the rescue group I started watching Cesar Millan’s “The Dog Whisperer.” It’s magical what that guy does with dogs–more specifically, what he does with their owners. Dogs are amazingly consistent and logical in their behavior–it’s the humans who are neurotic. I picked up Mac yesterday and have been practicing some of Milan’s techniques; by golly, they’re working. For example, the foster mom who’d been caring for Macintosh said he had a tendency to pull on the leash, but I’ve been able to get him to walk like a perfect gentleman.
In a recent episode of “The Dog Whisperer”, Cesar visited the home of John Grogran, who wrote Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, the mega-bestselling series about a family’s experiences with their lab. There was a funny moment when Cesar and Grogan were commenting on how much they loved each other’s books. On camera you see a moment of mutual admiration between two men who share a love of dogs. As writers of nonfiction, they seemed like soul mates.
That made me wonder who my writing soul mate would be. I’d like to think it would be Dean Koontz–his stories have always inspired me, plus he loves dogs (especially Golden Retrievers, I’ve heard). I’ll be on a panel at Literary Orange this April, and he’ll be the keynote speaker. So I’m looking forward to meeting him then.
How about you? Who would your writing soul mate be, and have you ever met him or her? And what’s your fave canine?