Here’s what happened on an afternoon walk with my dog.
A young man is approaching. As he is about to pass, he calls out: “Your dog is so cute.”
I smile and Sir Henry Higgins ignores the fellow. Undeterred, the stranger comes over to pet Henry, and they seem to strike up a nice connection.
“Dogs are amazing, aren’t they?” the man who called himself Winston noted.
“I’d say so,” I replied. “Have one yourself?” I posed, to keep the dialogue flowing.
He was young; I’d estimate no more than twenty years old. He had a full head of curly light brown hair and a beard that was trimmed short but not evenly, and on the neckline it was irregularly cut; still, he was clean and nicely dressed.
He smiled and then continued with not a shred of abasement. “Mine’s a Puli,” he informed us, but not without a tone of imperiousness that seemed uncharacteristic of this friendly and humble man. “She’s my service dog.”
As soon as he made that disclosure my head was whirling clockwise. Is it possible? I silently murmured. In my novel, Juliette (a sequel to The Making of A Madman), I had written in a character, Darryl, who had a service dog, and she also was a Puli. Then as Winston continued, I was speechless.
“She wakes me in the middle of the night if I’m about to have a panic attack—I get them every so often but somehow she knows they’re coming and she nudges me up and then drags me to safety.”
Darrly also had panic attacks. His Puli dog, Amalie, registered as a service dog, did exactly the same: it was as if I’d met Winston earlier in my life, used his circumstance as a sideline in a novel, but forgot the encounter ever happened—which I’m certain it never did, since my account of Darryl was solely derived from my imagination.
It was this random and chance event between Winston and myself that set me off on the idea of soliciting stories from people whenever I was out and about in the world—then writing them as a blog entitled, 100% TRUE. I’m archiving each one of them on my website, along with the 97% TRUE tales.
By the way, Puli dogs come from Hungary…aha, now that’s an investment. If this breed is better than Xanax, why not buy out the future stock of Puli dogs, cornering the market? Then watch Pfizer sweat.