I recently read the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain during a trip to the Balkans. The trip was fast and furious, just like racing cars, and the experience was wonderful, as it was reading this book. Today, I found out that Universal Pictures is turning the book into a movie and although IMDB doesn’t say much about it other than the project is being developed, I decided that writing about it was a good enough way of transitioning into writing about my dog, Luna.
To be honest, I’ve been wanting to write about Luna’s passing for quite some time. When I had to make the decision of putting her down I started thinking about all the times we spent together and everything I learned from her.
Luna and I were very similar, all or nothing kind of gals; very different from “Enzo” who is the dog and main character of the book and through whose voice and point of view we learn the story of a race car driver, his wife and daughter. In the book (and hopefully the filmmakers can find a way of doing this without entirely relying on voice over) Enzo is ready to be a human. He is ready to be in control and internal, in the same way that humans tend to be and he so admires. Instead, Luna was nuts, sometimes invigorating and often times overwhelming. She gave so much love in such an unintentional way. She had no self control, she didn’t know how to spread out her energy. She reminded me of myself when I go back home and try to do everything in just one visit. I will wake up early and exercise with my mom, I will stay out late and have drinks with friends. I’ll dance, talk, cook, and rest only when exhaustion hits. One of my favorite things, was to watch Luna running on the beach. She was a black fire ball, a panther in the wild, to her there was no tomorrow, no time to waste. When people asked me what breed she was, I told them she was half panther, half baby seal. That pretty much summed her up.
In some ways, Luna forced me to grow up. She grounded me and taught me so many things.
– I learned to enjoy running around the field when the grass is still wet from the rain — It feels so good against the sole of your feet.
– I learned that any place where you have never been, no matter how far or how close it is, is always exciting.
– I learned that sometimes you just need to go home.
– I learned that sometimes we get angry, but we don’t have to stay angry.
– I learned that we can be accepting, fully accepting of ourselves and fully accepting of others.
– I learned forgiveness (maybe I’m still learning this one).
I don’t know how to explain how much I miss Luna. Most of the time, I purposefully don’t think about it. Right now all I want to do is take her out for a walk. I want to ride my bike back home from work and be welcomed by her wagging tail that never failed to show honest excitement. I want to kiss her head and feel her soft shinny hair against my skin. I want to play with her ears and rub her belly. I want to watch her act like an animal; without rules or limitations, uninhibited and unapologetic.
I want her pure energy back.
I remember five things we were told to avoid in film school:
1- No children
2- No animals
3- No boats
4- No voice over
5- No dream sequences or flashbacks
This movie will probably have all these, ok, maybe not the boat. Best of luck to them and best of luck to Luna, wherever she is.