What inspired your book?

A true story of love and loss..of a dog.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Bonnie TImmerman: Well I just . . . I was just emotional. I was emotional. I took care of this little Chihuahua and had to give him back, so I had nothing else I could do except write it down on seven legal sized pads – seven pages. And we touched a lot of people, so you know we were able to get it published. I mean I sent it to people who liked it. And then they sent it to people and they liked it. And then finally we got . . . It took seven years. It took seven years to get the book off the ground. And I don’t even know if anybody will really read it. I just think it was a great experience to, you know, give birth to a story that’s actually based on a true story. Well the . . . It was . . . The owner was really an out of work actor who was once a very big star, and somebody I knew and really liked a lot. And I was actually afraid something terrible was gonna happen to him. So I ran over to his house where he was leaving to go to a smaller apartment, and to try to help him. And the dog was in the corner, and I was . . . I said, “Who’s that little cute little . . .” and the dog just sort of flew into my lap. And you couldn’t make something like this up. And I was told to leave with the dog because he didn’t like him. He was a dog that . . . He just didn’t want him anymore. And he was so skinny. It was like just this tiny, tiny thing. And we went back to the hotel and everyone fell in love with him. And I’ve never seen a dog get so happy, and excited, and gained weight, and sat with me in casting sessions, and scouted locations with Ridley Scott, and Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael . . . He just had this great time, so it was very hard to give him up because he was really so easy to have around. And he was like a people magnet. And every time I walked anywhere with the dog, people would come to touch him and hold him. So he’s sort of a little magical dog. I did not wanna give him back, and I fought pretty hard not to give him back. But when I took him back to his owner who really missed him, and the owner had another dog . . . It was his sister – Chocolate’s sister. It sounds completely silly, but they licked each other from head to toe, and there was such a screech when they saw each other that it was . . . and they all kind of lived happily ever after. And I think it was the experience of writing that was great for me because it helped me to get through missing the little creature. You know because I’m so busy working. At that time I was working on films and traveling. And my husband was in New York, and I was living at the Four Seasons for, oh, like four or five months. I think it was lovely to be able to just put it down on a piece of paper and get rid of it, you know. And maybe I’ll always think about this little dog, but I was able to write the story down and out it away. I think it’s interesting when you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t sleep. And you get up and you write down these things – whether it’s a story or a list of things you have to do. And then you’re able to go to sleep again and something like that.I probably should have done it for more of an adult book. But when we . . . we wrote the story, we had to change it for four to six year olds. So I don’t know why . . . It’s just the way it happened. But I think the real story was a little tougher and edgier, and Little Brown didn’t think it would be a good idea. They thought actually we would scare the children. So we did change it a little bit to accommodate, which is never a good idea. I think it’s good to stay with what you feel. But I had never done it before, so you know I changed it.I don’t think my building allows us to have dogs. But I . . . We did this party for the Humane Society, so in a way now I have lots of dogs because I’ve been told I have to go visit the society and, you know, just hang out with all these people because they had such a good time. We had a lovely event for the book and for the Humane Society.Because they’re lonely. I think they’re lonely. I think . . . There was something on Today about a German shepherd who was in Iraq with a soldier, and the soldier was killed and the dog was shot at. And just he laid right by the soldier. And the family bringing the dog back to live with them so he doesn’t have to be at war. And I just think sometimes, you know, you’re lonely or you’re away. Or you’re elderly and you don’t have anybody. I think they can be pretty good company

. Recorded On: 12/21/07