The bitch with cancer in her throat

Hip here, your host for When In Doubt, Pet the Dog Week @ Randy Boyd’s Blocks.

Most of you know me for my four-paws-up performance as Hip in Walt Loves the Bearcat by Randy Boyd, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Romance.

But did you know that I, Hip, almost didn’t make it into Randy’s book? More-rover, I almost didn’t make it into Randy’s life, period! That’s because Randy almost adopted another dog a couple of years before he adopted Boomer, the real-life dog that inspired me, Hip, in his fourth novel. It was a bitch, let me tell you!

The author was living in Santa Barbara, perusing the pound when he spotted this gorgeous bitch and … we have a fictionalize reenactment, I’m told. I have no idea what that is, being a dog and all, but here goes … ruff clip! Sorry, I mean, roll clip!

358f8-wltb-coverxs“She’s beautiful … so blonde and beautiful.”

“She’s just had a cancer the size of a basketball removed from her throat.”

“I’ll take her … sorry for crying. I know what it’s like to be sick and make a comeback.”

Some time later …

I really wanted a boy dog … just like I want a boy buddy … and this would be my first pet … can I afford a relapse of her cancer? What if I get sick, too? After all, I did come to Santa Barbara to live a little … before …

Some time later …

“I’m calling to see if that blonde dog with cancer in her throat … she was adopted? Great. That makes me feel good. Wonderful, thank you … very much.”

Some time later …

“He gave up the Santa Barbara bungalow … felt kinda lonely anyway. No one ever came along with an offer to keep him company after he rejected the bitch with cancer in her throat.

So there was still some spinning of the wheels, including a lot of moving up and down the coast, searching for a cheap place to call home. It’s like that when you’re 35 and suddenly the world is telling you that dying of AIDS needn’t be your foremost thought, as per the last dozen or so years of your life, give or take.”

—from Walt Loves the Bearcat

The author’s alter-ego character wandered a little more until he found the greatest, most perfect, most beautiful soul mate of a dog at the right moment in time. Who dat? Hip! Ruff clip! Sorry, roll clip!

“Marcus Coleman finally got Hip. His own Hip. His own beautiful blond aura. Love at first sight on four swift and agile legs. The sweetest, calmest, craziest, coolest, golden gunslinger of a dawg from the shelter. The love was instant. The bond followed.

Marcus Coleman finally found someone.

Marcus Coleman believed in miracles again.”

— from Walt Loves the Bearcat

Because of me, Hip! How cool am I?! When are they gonna start giving out an Oscar for Best

Canine Performance? And wait ’til you see me in the flying football stadium sequences in the book!

Come to think of it, how about a statuette carved out of juicy bone for both me and my real-life Erin Brockovich, the one and only Boomer?

Matter of fact, my dog brain tells me that should be a daily treat during When In Doubt, Pet the Dog Week, a doggone celebration of When In Doubt, Pet the Dog, a periodic column or blog memoir thingy at Randy Boyd’s Blocks. So you’re all going home with one!

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