My dog is smart
During college, I found a pretty Gordon setter/springer spaniel mix wandering lost in a snowstorm in about three feet of snow. I took her in, located the owners who had moved to Montana and didn’t want her, then decided to keep her instead of turning her over to the SPCA, where she might have been put to sleep.

On the one hand, I’ve always been conflicted about owning pets, since it seems torturous on some levels to domesticate any animal (especially this dog, who I called Reba, used to fending for herself and surviving in the mountains). Yet she was friendly and acted almost human, sitting on sofas and petting other dogs on the head.

But for a small-sized, middle-aged dog, she still had a wild side. I was feeding her once when a housemate’s 120-pound rottweiler started to sniff near her food. Reba looked up, twitched her nose a bit, then BAMMO—the dogs hit mid-air in attack mode, requiring two of us to pull them apart. I knew then that little mamma had guts. What I didn’t know was how eloquent and affecting a writer she was until I intercepted this letter:

Dear children,

I hope this letter finds you well.

I have been taken in by a moron. Rest assured that I am being fed and kept warm. My human serves me something called Pedigree out of a can—a revolting pile of crap—yet he sprinkles a little garlic on top in attempts to dissuade parasites from entering his domicile on my skin. I am surrounded by drunken fools with bad breath, and my human sleeps late in the morning, so that I must journey into the bowels of this crumbling house to relieve myself near the dank drum kit of a hideous rock group called Pie Boy, a group whose amplified wailings cause me to seek solace in the darkest of crevices. I long for the days when we roamed free together, the wind in our hair and the fresh, living scent of earth in our nostrils.

One day we will be reunited, whether on this plane or the next.

Yours truly, [paw print]

Tragically hip
Please see our second movie review this week of the Widow of Saint Pierre playing at the Pageant. I recommend this film for those of you wanting something intense and deeply romantic; it stars two of my favorite French actors and, unlike most sappy American romances, takes a stand and delivers emboldened, passionate characters that suffer immeasurably for love. Good flick.

Weekly props
1. Willow Lake
2. M. Bibb in Sacto
3. David Candy
4. Kiss meets the Phantom