Thursday, March 02, 2006
Dogs are like tattoos...
Through the publication process, I kept pausing to tell my editor, via email or the phone, about the latest stray that had wondered into my life. "Do you want to write a book about rescuing dogs?" she asked. I didn't know if it was that interesting. But my friends kept asking "Where do you find them?"and I realized that not everyone finds a stray dog waiting for them outside their door, or at a shopping center, or a gas station, or...
So why was I finding them? And why was I compelled to do something while so many other people would simply wander past these lost animals?
In preparing to write the book, I discovered there was something deeper going on. Each of the dogs seemed to have arrived in my world as my world was spiraling out of control, as lives often do. Just after 9/11. During and after the deaths of two close friends.
During the early stages of writing the book, my heart stopped working. Literally. I didn't know, but my dogs understood. What started out as a simple book of stories became more personal, and more universal as it went along.
I finished the book in July 2005, just as the dogs and I were moving to New Orleans. On August 29th, we left just ahead of the evacuation order, and in October we returned, adding two unexpected chapters to the end of our story.