My friend, Jim Barbour, actor/singer extraordinaire, put this little montage together. See link above. Kinda cool, huh?
I've been so engrossed with Praying Small as of late I've sort of let my teaching slip a bit. So these days I'm trying to drag in new students. That's been my focus for the past couple of days.
Franny and Zooey are our dogs. Franny is six months old and Angie and I saved him from a shelter in Bakersfield, CA, of all places. Angie found a picture of him online and sent it to me with the text, "this is your son." Loved that. A couple of days later we drove the two hours or so up to Bakersfield and took him off death row. He seemed to know immediately that we were a family now. He curled up instantly in the back seat and slept. He had been found, they told us at the shelter, wandering the bad part of Bakersfield (as opposed to the 'good' part, I suppose) at approximately six weeks old. Someone had obviously just put him out and said, 'good luck.' He is a ragamuffin of a puppy. Constantly getting dirty, constantly in mischief of some sort, constantly bothering Zooey trying to get her to wrestle with him, constantly happy. He is one of the great things in our life today together, Angie and I.
He curls up and sleeps every night right by my head on the pillow. When he awakes every day he is wildly enthusiastic about the start of the day. It is nigh on impossible to not be happy along with him.
Angie has had Zooey since she herself was a puppy. She's about eleven or so now. A soulful dog with intelligent eyes. She loves company. The moment someone comes through the door she is on their lap and making friends. The addition of Franny to our little family has taken years off her. She completely ignored him the first couple of weeks and then finally resigned herself to him. It was as though one day she just said to herself, 'okay, looks like you're staying. Let me teach you the ropes.' And that was that. Now they are inseparable.
The really weird thing is this: long before Angie and I got together I had often told friends I wanted two dogs and I wanted to name them Franny and Zooey, a tip of the hat to one of my favorite books of all time by J.D. Salinger. When I arrived in L.A. and Angie and I began seeing each other I was amused to find she had a dog named Zooey already. The next step was obvious. Thus, Franny and Zooey.
They are the light of my life somedays. Actually nearly every day.
When I sit down to write everyday, I always take breaks to play with them. When I return to the keyboard I am refreshed, happy and content. That is what they do for me. They are wonderful companions. And Angie and I love them unconditionally. And they return the favor.
A lot of writing today on my new piece, Heavyweights of the Twentieth Century. Not ready to show it to anyone quite yet. Very close but not quite. It is the best thing I've ever written.
See you tomorrow.