(c) From the April 5th, 1976 edition of The New Yorker, cartoonist George Booth sums up the advice I've been given for decades. Write about what you know -- write about dogs.

Over the years, many people have told me to publish my writings. “You need to write this stuff down.” “You should share your stories.” “You write just as good as so-and-so.”

That’s all well and good coming from friends, and family, and even mentors. But there’s that small problemĀ  of what to write about?

Several decades ago a friend gave me a cartoon. It’s from The New Yorker Magazine and is entitled “Write about dogs.”

See me? I’m that guy on the porch — the one sitting totally perplexed in front of the old Underwood, at a loss for words. Inspiration surrounds him and yet he is motionless, totally missing the obvious.

Yesterday, one of my best friends impressed upon me, yet again, that since I had a passion for dogs, and knew at least a little about them, it might be a good idea to write some of this vast array of knowledge and experience down. And while I was driving along today, I even had a flash of what to call the book that might come from all this writing. I’d call it 4 On The Floor. I thought it brilliant … until I discovered there’s a bluegrass band already called 4 On The Floor. But I guess, unless they’re banjo pickin’ beagles I should be OK. So I’ll give it a shot. After all, in 60 years I’ve personally lived with 16 dogs (I think I counted right), and known dozens more. So I probably do have a few things to offer about dogs. And since I won’t be around for too much longer (Jane Fonda calls this the third act), it might not be a bad idea to get some of this down on paper before I don’t remember the stories anymore.

So stay tuned and we’ll see where this takes us.

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