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Best-selling effort needs more bark

Jack, come sit at my feet, my faithful and loyal dog. We need to have a long, serious and difficult talk.

I’ve decided that I need a dog with a wiser, more philosophical soul. A dog who can teach me valuable and touching lessons about life. A dog who can teach me what it means to be human.

And then we can write a book and make a trillion dollars.

Jack, I’m glad you’re taking this so well. Thank you for licking my hand. Apparently, this is more difficult for me than it is for you.

I came to this decision this week after experiencing two blazing, searing revelations. First, I finally got around to watching the movie “Marley and Me,” which was based on a book by John Grogan, a newspaper columnist – a newspaper columnist! – about the antics of his cute, lovable and crazy dog, Marley. Marley teaches Grogan and his wife valuable life lessons about things like love, patience, understanding, parenthood, house-training, etc. The book was a best-seller for months and the movie was a box office hit. Here’s the key point, Jack: That dog earned serious royalties for that columnist.

Side note, not intended for ears of Jack: I personally found Jennifer Aniston almost as cute and lovable as Marley, although Marley was certainly no slouch.

The second thing that happened: I read the Spokane Is Reading novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein. This entire book is narrated by a dog. The dog is named Enzo, and Enzo is a wise, old philosopher dog who delivers well-thought- out discourses on evolution, the universe and the nature of being, as well as love, patience, understanding, parenthood, house-training, etc.

Jack, this dog Enzo has – and I mean this with no disrespect to you – more profound thoughts while eating his breakfast kibbles than you have during an entire average week.

Because of Enzo, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” has stuffed mucho dollars into the Stein family coffers. The book made it onto the New York Times best-seller list.

What’s that, Jack? No, I’m afraid my most recent book has not made it onto the New York Times best-seller list. This is what I’m trying to say – it has no wise, lovable dog in it.

What’s that, Jack? Yes, I admit, Enzo has a certain advantage over you. He is very adept with the English language, at least on paper. But that’s the point I’m trying to make. I need to find a dog who will not only teach me valuable lessons about life, but a dog who knows how to write. I need a dog who will actually write a best-selling novel in my name.

So, all I’m saying, with no disrespect, is that this is a tall order for you. You may indeed have a wise, philosophical soul – you certainly look like you might – but you have never recorded a single word on paper, or even on tape. I need a dog who is a true writing partner.

What’s that, Jack? You say that you’re not the problem, I’m the problem? That if you had an owner who was smarter, wiser and more philosophical – and a better writer – you would be as famous as Marley or Enzo? And that if anybody needs to make a switch, it’s you? That you are going to appeal to Garth Stein and John Grogan and ask them to take you in as an emergency pet adoption, because it’s the humane thing to do?

Jack! Yes! That’s the spirit! You are absolutely correct! You’ve just proved that you are indeed a wise, philosophical dog! You have just taught me a valuable life lesson. I think we can now work together beautifully.

OK, sit here by the keyboard and let’s get cracking on Chapter One.

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