Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mostly Bob is featured as a "Great Read" in PEOPLE Magazine - September 18. 2006 issue.

A lot of people have asked if I have another dog in my life now. A friend took this sweet picture of my current Golden Retriever Pi yesterday, so I thought I'd post it to the blog. Pi came to me about seven months after Bob's sad departure. She was six years old at the time and had lost her owner several months before.

Our story begins three days before Bob's unexpected passing. I went out to dinner with some friends, and as I tied Bob up outside the restaurant, my friend Linda asked if I would consider taking another dog. "I really couldn't imagine it, why?". "My sister is dying of cancer and has a six year old Golden Retriever." she said. In spite of this double spear to my heart, I still couldn't see two dogs in my life. Then, three days later, Bob was gone.

I couldn't avoid the syncronicity of these events, so several weeks later, I called to tell Linda what had happened and said I would be open to meeting her sister's dog when the time came. Pi arrived about seven months later and has been with me since. She is my first female dog and an superb cuddler.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rochelle Lesser, who built an impressive Ode to Mostly Bob on her amazing site, Land of Pure Gold, paved the way for my appearance this past weekend at "Goldstock" in North Eastern Pennsylvania. Goldstock is a wonderful festival of Golden Retrievers and their loving "owners" gathered to raise funds for Golden Rescue organizations. And of course to celebrate their love of these great dogs.

I had the honor of speaking and reading MOSTLY BOB here, which was, of course, preaching to the choir. There are so many people here with their own amazing stories of rescue, redemption and four-legged transformation. I hope some will share their own stories on the blog. This photo was taken by Michal Latocha, the official photographer for Camp Weequahic. He did a wonderful job and as you might imagine, the scene on the green with dogs and dog "owners" was a real hoot.
Gail Lustig is the amazing woman who organizes and hosts Goldstock at Camp Weequahic, a 103 acre summer camp which was founded by her family in 1953. To avoid the politics that ineveitably surround organizations, she works tirelessly, on her own rescuing great dogs who are about to be euthanized, drawing on an incredible community of dog lovers many of which by this time have become her extended family.
Gail could not be more humble about what she does, but she saves about 100 beautiful dogs a year, with the help of countless "volunteers". She finds dogs in need and emails alerts for help, to transport dogs from shelters with less-humane policies to homes and shelters in other states that will care for these dogs and in many cases, love them forever. Dogs are sometimes transported across the entire USA into caring hands.

"Mostly Bob" evolved very simply out of a letter written in a powerful moment of love and loss, but I have come to realize this tribute to Bob’s life turns out to be full of universal themes. I’ve been touched and surprised by the many ways people have seen reflections of themselves in the story. I hope this will be a place where readers thoughts and feelings can be shared more widely.

Bob's sudden passing was a huge personal loss. Months later I found myself consumed by a determination to design a book to hold the experience of Bob's amazing life, as well as the deep love we shared. Through some series of miracles, this book ended up published and in book stores around the world.

I hope people will feel compelled to share their personal stories here as well. Exchanging stories is a wonderful way to experience our mutual humanity. Seeing ourselves in other peoples experiences is always a great reminder that we all deserve compassion; even stinky, seemingly mean spirited dogs, like Bob.