Two years after How to Steal a Dog I wrote the book, I called the owner of the lost dog that inspired the story.
I waited a long time (two years? yikes) for two reasons. First, I wanted to be able to give her a copy of the book. But secondly, and the more cowardly reason, is that I was dreading stirring up sad-dog-stuff for her. I am SUCH a dog lover. I just can't bear to think about sad-dog-stuff. Also, I knew when I called her that she would have one of those heart-stopping moments when she would think that I was calling because I found him.
This is the sign that inspired the book.
So I called the number and a woman answered:
Me: Are you the person who lost a dog named Willie? [I know, I know - but I HAD to say that to make sure I was talking to the right person, didn't I?]
Woman: [LONG PAUSE; HEART-STOPPING MOMENT] Yes
Me [really really really quickly]: I haven't found him, but I wanted to tell you blah blah blah
So I told her about seeing her sign and the inspiration for the book and all. She seemed to be thrilled that I had called and excited about the book. Sadly, she never found her little dog. She told me losing Willie was the saddest thing that had ever happened to her. She said she had consulted two psychics and they both told her he was still alive. [waaah - this sad-dog-stuff is awful] Since then, she has adopted two shelter dogs. (I might add, also, that I first saw that sign in 2005. Willie had been missing since 2003!!)
So I sent her the book and she loved it and appreciated that I had contacted her. (Phew!) She sent me a thank you note with a dog on the front that said "Pooches Gracias."
Okay, I'm off to watch My Dog, Skip.