People always ask me: why did you need to stick a dog into your historical novel about the Colorado Street Bridge? The Pasadena-area circa-1913, after all, was peppered with exotic birds from Busch Gardens, ostriches from Cawston’s farm, sheep grazing near the area that later became the Rose Bowl, a.k.a. “Grandaddy of ‘Em All, and horses galore. Weren’t they enough to set the scene?
My reflexive answer: no way, Jose. For the majority of my life, canines have understood my emotional bandwidth and weird personality as well or better than any two-legged organisms. My current pooch, Auggie the wonder mutt, inspired the picaresque, sidekick hero in Arroyo: A Novel.

Several ones behind him, however, was another intuitive creature—Beulah, the go-everywhere Snoopy of my childhood. When life soured, when childhood wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, my beagle was always there with a playful woof. There to lick my tears away. There under the dinning room scarfing the broccoli my mother insisted I consume. There to remind me she loved me through bullies and other adolescent troubles. 
The numbing day in 1980 she was killed by a car near Eaton Canyon was the day I discovered rage. Someday, we shall meet again, and I only pray I can serve her as she did me.

Note in this photo from the mid-1970s the stink eye she’s flashing on behalf of me, surly teenager in tube socks and new fangled mesh shirt. Beulah: this boy will adore you forever. Just quit escaping to howl at the moon (unless you invite me to join in). #arroyo #historicalnovel#mysterybridge #Pasadena #aboyandhisdog