I was in Europe when I opened this email. It really touched me. This is what keeps me going doing what I’m doing.
I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to fall in love with someone in a movie, but it just may have happened 😉
Today I watched your film. I was charmed from the first minute to the last. I love the film, I love the whole idea of the film and I especially love the last few minutes of the film where you have Chelsea in your arms, bundled up. You’re talking about how you and Chelsea have each other. Then a man walks by, you say “Hello” and promptly ask him if he’s married and start walking with him. That’s ballsy, woman! Good for you.
I have seven dogs (no I’m not one of those whack job dog people with 12 years of old newspapers stacked up all over the house, invisible friends I talk to, a once a month shower schedule, etc.) and I’m so grateful for your sweet film.
As you may know, last week Time magazine called this The Decade From Hell. You’ve helped us all move a little closer to Heaven.
As many of you know A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary aired in 2005 on HBO and was soon out on DVD. That’s been a few years already and I’ve been busy making other films and TV shows. Chelsea almost died last June at the age of 15. They told me it was time. Her liver and kidney were failing and she had a tumor. She wouldn’t eat and could barely walk. I had to lift her to carry her outside and she even peed on herself. I was a mess. And was trying to prepare myself. After all, she had been my longest partner and as odd as it might sound my “canine soul mate.” I just wanted to know when it was time and I wanted her to give me a sign. This sounds like a joke but after struggling to get her to eat, buying every kind of dog food including baby food, I defrosted the brisket I had made. She ate it and wanted more. No this is not about the recipe for my brisket, this is about love. I was suppose to go to Albania where we were shooting one of my TV shows for Discovery about a dwarf couple adopting a dwarf child there. I couldn’t leave Chelsea and my crew and new friends, the subjects of the film, went without me. I stayed with Chelsea and was with her almost all the time giving her my love. I told her if she made it through the summer, I’d take September off and rent a car for a month and head north to the country. We did exactly that going from upstate New York, New Hampshire, Maine and then a remote island in Canada called Grand Manan. Chelsea came back to life, running, playing and eating. I felt so lucky. We came back home and few months later I decided to have her have a blood panel again because I wanted to get her teeth clean. No vet last June would have dared put her through that.. thinking she could not survive it. The vet called me and told me it was a miracle. Not only had Chelsea’s levels not gotten worse but they improved and he felt comfortable to clean her teeth. He did and she came through it with flying colors and white teeth. Chelsea is back in a big way. I have no idea what happened I only know I gave her and give her tons of love and I receive it back.
One last story, in 2003 I had to go to England and I couldn’t take Chelsea. I found people to watch her. Both Chelsea and I didn’t know them but they lived in our building and are animal lovers. They fell in love with Chelsea however when I returned I saw her white beard had turned fairly brown. No vet or expert could tell me why. Her diet wasn’t changed. there was no answer. Chelsea’s film had started to play in film festivals and we were getting a lot of press. I had to keep cutting her brown hairs off for her photo shoots. A few years later I looked at her and noticed that she no longer had brown hair in her beard. It was now all white. Odd. No vet or expert could explain that either.
Then one day I was on the plane and young man was sitting next to me. He told me that had happened to his dog. That they had left there dog and something traumatic had happened to him and his beard went brown. In time it turned back to white. He told me it was depression that caused the change of color. I bought that. It made sense. Chelsea probably felt I abandoned her when I left her to go to Europe.
In March, Chelsea turns 16. My friends have suggested I make her a “sweet sixteen”. I might just do that. She came back for me and at least I owe her a big party.
For those, who haven’t seen the film, “A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary,” who are dog lovers, I am told by many it will touch your heart. In fact, I will post a recent “fan mail” that touched my heart.