I'm taking a week off from the book tonight but will resume next Friday, March 8th, with Chapter 3 and instead will take a tic or two and update everyone with a brief, behind-the-scenes look at what's going on and what's in store.
A Texas sized 'Thank y'all' from Yer Big Dog
Since I started posting the book here, we're now getting over 1,500 page views per week, a trend that's on the uptick. I thank you because the decision to publish on the blog and for free, especially when taking into consideration all of the people who have collaborated on the book, wasn't easy. But I think my instincts to do so are proving out.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Yer Big Dog
I always assumed it was self evident, by virtue of my continued commitment to this cause, or through my actions and writings, that I'm a lifer. Where I come from, when you commit yourself to a cause greater than yourself, it's lifelong. When you love, it's eternal.
In some shape, form, or flavor everything I do from here on out til Yer Big Dog floats down that great river, is in memory of the two I have lost, for the love of all of our companions who cannot speak for themselves, from the faith and certainty of my life's mission, and with my firmest hope and belief that we will one day overcome this disease.
I am inundated with so many ideas and possibilities that there are days when it becomes almost unbearable but they all serve a single, united purpose.
I am reminded of a scene from the movie, Shadowlands, wherein which Anthony Hopkins, portraying C.S. Lewis, is struggling to make sense of it all after the love of his life was diagnosed with cancer.. Trying to comfort Lewis, a friend of his says, "I know how hard you've been praying and now God is answering your prayers."
"That's not why I pray", he answers. "I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me at all times, waking and sleeping."
It's the Pebbles, Baby.
For the almost five years now since I started my mission, I've kinda had a hard time navigating in this sound-bytey, fire and forget, 140 words or less new, new world we live in. This story is (1) damn, dreadfully difficult to cram down into micro moments and (2) perpetual and with no hope of stopping anytime soon, and (3) unscripted and at times, messy messy messy.
I'm trying to do a better job of talking more about the pebbles and taking a long needed break from Facebook has helped me put it all into perspective and come up with a plan. Still, there are a few things I need to set straight.
2 Million Dogs.
Though I am the founder of the foundation, I am not on the payroll nor the Board. The decision to have no official capacity in the brainchild that began with me was a tough one but I did so for a few reasons. First of all, I need the latitude to fight for this cause unencumbered. free of restraint, and savagely when necessary.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, is that an organization, a cause, must always be greater than the one that began it. We've been given a perfect example of that this past year in the cancer world.
I have complete faith and confidence in the management and leadership of the Foundation as this past year has been a banner one for 2 Million Dogs in every respect.
But I am starting to feel like Yer Ole Dog instead of a Big'Un. So...
My decision to walk across Japan has baffled some and flummoxed others so it's time for me to speak about that. The burning question is 'Why?'
Now that the 2 Million Dogs Foundation is doing great, I have to think about myself and how I can, in my own way, continue the legacy that began with Malcolm.
Publishing the book. Check. Telling this story on film. Check. Working on many other fronts for the cause. Check.
But what about me? After I lost Murphy I've slowly been coming to certain realizations about who and what I am.
I'm not meant to live a sedentary life and it's time for us to get back on the road and continue our travels. Why Asia is our next adventure isn't entirely clear and certain to me. But as my instincts served us well thus far, it is and that's that.
Plans for Japan will be laid out here as we make our preparations. I've made a commitment to be a part of the November 2013 Puppy Up! walk after which we will walk from the southern most cape of Kyushu to the northernmost in Hokkaido. It won't be like the one here in the states.
One critical side point; it will in no way be financed by 2 Million Dogs.
I left Austin with a couple hundred bucks in my pocket in 2008 and this, too, will be as organic.
I'm no C.S. Lewis but like him, every second of my every day of my every year from here on out is devoted to this cause because I can't help myself.
Next week in Chapter 3 of 'The Rock', is all about that threshold we cross from being a pet owner to a pet parent.