Updated: Sep 25, 2018
Life before golden retrievers was like bread without butter, winter nights without northern lights, or summer without flowers.
I admit I appropriated some of my pets for No Fences in Alaska. Banjo, on the left, is Snowball. The puppy on the right is—well, you'll have to read the book when it is published to know who he is. Both are happiness on steroids, best friends, and instant joy fixes. I could have written neither of my books without Banjo. How many times I walked behind him, fixated on his swishing tail as my mind sought new ideas I do not know. There is magic in that tail. How else to explain how every walk left me scrambling to get back to my desk to write down ideas for my book or songs?
Must be Hypnosis
We still have no idea where inspiration comes from or how humans can create music, literature, anything. Where does the creative force come from? So if I say it comes from Banjo's tail, who can definitively refute me? Maybe the rhythmic swish leads to hypnosis and access to another dimension where all ideas wait to be grasped and pulled into our world. Or maybe dogs themselves embody creativity and our interactions transfer their truths to us with a big lick on the face.
But I can't imagine anything but happiness and joy inside these dogs. They are never sad. They are always happy to be alive and with each other or me. They can't be the muse itself, just the means to get there.
So if you ever see a man stumbling in a fog holding a leash twenty feet behind a big English Creme Golden Retriever, you'll know what's really happening.