The phone rang. A Hollywood number. I answered.
Fido lay on the floor by the woodstove, thinking deep thoughts (presumably) and watching the snow come down.
“That,” I said, “was a producer. He wants to do a film up here.”
“Another truck commercial?” Fido inquired, with little enthusiasm. “Another beer commercial?”
“Nope. This is someone who wants to do a film about “The Dogs of Mammoth Lakes.”
Fido lifted his head in interest.
“A DOGumentary!” he howled.
I told him more. It wasn’t going to be a dog-whisperer, bear-whisperer kind of thing. This was going to be shot at dog-eye level, with human narration voiced over.
“Any nominees for the voice-over?”
“Morgan Freeman’s name came up. So did Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.”
“Wow,” Fido said. “Those are big names.”
Fido considered the possibilities. Horseshoe Lake was a given, and the miles and miles of trails on the Inyo. There are the complications and necessities of a leash law in town. There might be an interview, perhaps with Mike Munson at Mammoth Pet Products, a dog cookie from Lyn Dunlap at Tailwaggers, and another at Mimi’s. Perhaps a spa day at Spoiled Rotten.
“Is Bishop or Lee Vining in the mix?” Fido said.
“Bishop never came up, and neither did Tigertown, but I don’t see why not.”
“This is all very interesting,” Fido said, “but I don’t get why they’d call here.”
“Well, Fido, as hard as this might be to grasp, they read your column down there.”
“In HOLLYWOOD?!?” Fido leapt to his feet, tail wagging. “Why, if they read it in Hollywood, how about Bollywood?!?”
“Well, the MT gets around. Read all over and that kind of thing, but I haven’t heard a peep out of India.”
“But … but … but.”
“The producer’s studio has been following your exploits.”
“Hey hey hey hey!”
“The filmmakers have never been to Mammoth, though. The producer said something about a series of, a-hem, dogumentaries about the best places to take a dog on vacation, and Mammoth—and you—came up in the discussions.”
“Oh good golly me,” Fido said. He blushed.
“They need a consultant, though.”
“You’d be a GREAT consultant,” Fido said.
“Fido, they don’t want me.”
“Because they want you.”
Fido sometimes does movie impersonations. He did a Gloria Swanson-Norma Desmond on me. He stood on his hind legs and preened.
“You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark! ... All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
“Fido, that’s Meridian Boulevard over there, not Sunset Boulevard.”
“Even so, ‘Lights! Cameras!’ Oh boy oh boy oh boy.”
Fido doesn’t know Hollywood much. He doesn’t know that 95 percent of all projects fall through for one reason or another.
“Even so,” I said, “this sounds promising.”
Fido jumped up and down.
“Let’s go outside and pee!”
George and Fido. Photo/Jesse Barlet