I cover the military in Washington, along the way publishing two nonfiction books, one on Donald Rumsfeld, the other on the CIA. Six years ago last April, I drove from a park in Virginia to my home in Maryland with a rescued black Labrador retriever. I named him Jet, not for fur color, but for the way he leaped into my arms once his foster mom opened the crate. "He sprung like a jet catapulted from an aircraft carrier," I said.
They really do pick us. He quickly exposed me to an entirely new culture: the dog park and the eccentrics who come. After I observed the people and mutts over the years, I began outlining plot lines for a funny story that would try to capture our obsession with man's best friend. I created a neurotic accountant, his ambitious therapist, an overzealous dog catcher and the woman who pulls his strings.
Only one character in "Dog Park" is based on some one in real life. That would be Jet. He has sent me on a journey not just to dog parks, but also to nature trails, the urban jungle, new friendships and — happiness.
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by Rowan Scarborough
When it comes to dogs, Robert Benjamin is insanely good-hearted. His therapist wants fame and fortune. The Rexville dog catcher is hunting a nighttime scofflaw. His girlfriend accuses the wrong man. The mayor is up to no good. It all culminates in the annual Rexville Dog Show. Westminster, it is not. But the ending is so good it makes the nightly news.
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