“I’d like to make a paragraph but I don’t know how to do it,” Fido said.
“It’s not too hard, Fido. Just press the ‘return’ key and then hit the ‘tab’ key and you’re hunky dory. Do you mind if I ask what you’re doing?”
Fido was quite a sight. He had managed to pull on a green copy-editor visor and was now scrunched over the keyboard.
“I am going to be the first dog member of the Outdoor Writers Association of California!” he cried.
He had all the necessary stuff. Where and how he learned to pack a notebook, a digital camera, and a GoPro, I have no idea.
“I went to some of the seminars last weekend, and I got some advice from lots of great writers and photographers,” Fido said.
“They said the most important thing for now is to add to my social media toolbox.”
“You did that? How did you do that?”
“I’m good at social media!” Fido said. “I simply go up to someone, or his dog, and give them a good sniff in the hiney. That’s about as social as you can get. Then I post the results of my encounter on Dogbook.”
“Fido, I get a sense that you don’t really have a clue about any of this, but I’ll go along with it. I always do, and you always surprise me, particularly the other day at the Lakefront. What caught your attention at the Lakefront?” I wanted to know.
“All those writers!” he said. “Mary Sojourner! David Huebner! Robin Morning! Blueberry’s Mom and Matilda’s Mom! They told such interesting stories. I’d like to do that, too.”
“Wow Fido, I’m impressed. May I offer some advice before you start?”
“Always! And by the way, might I trouble you for a biscuit?”
“First, it might be a good thing to read what other dogs have written, or at least what other humans have written about dogs.”
“Like who?” Fido asked.
“Actually, the correct word is ‘whom,’ Fido, but let’s put that aside and start with ‘The Call of the Wild,’ by Jack London. I think you’d really relate to it. It’s about a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog who is snatched from a ranch in California and is sold into a brutal life as a sled dog. But Buck wins the day in the end.”
“That sounds like a good one!”
“For a more modern dog book, I might want to steer you toward ‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.’ I myself couldn’t put it down, and it was one of the inspirations for me to go to the shelter and bring you home.”
“I want to write that one!” Fido said.
“Sorry to say, Old Boy, but David Wroblewski already wrote it. But you could take some solace in the knowledge that it was his very first novel. Maybe yours will jump off the charts, too.”
“Would I get advance biscuits?”
“Fido, if your summary and outline are as good as your social skills, you’ll have plenty of advance biscuits.”
“Hey hey hey hey!”
With that, I left the room and headed for the kitchen to rustle up some dinner. When I got back, Fido was asleep, his green visor askew on his nose and the keyboard untouched. But I couldn’t help noticing that he was using a book for a pillow.
“You have to start somewhere,” I whispered, and gave Fido a pat on the noggin.