My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Mary has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog, Danny—Danny the Dog. He always has a bad attitude, usually does not speak highly of me, and you can’t always believe everything he says. But please understand that we do co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.
Andrew cut short my meditations today so that I could help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about my friend Mike. I like to write about my friends and what I write is 100% true—good or bad.
I have written about my friend Mike before in other venues, he of Mike and Beth fame. But now, I want to go into a little more detail concerning him.
However, before we discuss Mike, perhaps I should introduce myself to all you neophytes out there. Not that there are many. Everyone knows who Danny the Dog is, or at least they should by now. Oh yeah, there is also my hapless human, Andrew. We live together on a boat. I keep him around for laughs. Now on to Mike.
|Danny the Dog|
Last night just after sunset, I’m reading the collected works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Andrew is playing with his yo-yo when the phone rang. Because it takes all of Andrew’s concentration to get the yo-yo back up, I decided to answer the call. Now, I understand human, but I cannot speak it; something to do with my vocal cords or my tongue or something. I don’t really care because when I have something to say to a human, he or she understands me just fine.
It was Mike on the phone and he invited me to a cookout featuring hamburgers—my favorite next to hotdogs. He didn’t mention anything about Andrew, so I woofed once into the phone. Mike knew what I meant and said, “Okay, just for you. You can bring him along if you want, but if he gets drunk and falls into the water again, I’m not pulling him out this time!”
I can’t leave Andrew alone. One time I left him for just a few minutes to go and bark at a dog walking its human down MY street and when I got back, Andrew had locked himself in the boat. He was pounding on the door and crying like a little girl. So I have to keep him on a short leash, so to speak.
Anyway, we get over to Mike and Beth’s boat and Andrew goes right to the bar, as usual. I situated myself right in the middle of the throng of humans to make sure I’m close by when the food comes out.
Beth came over, rubbed my head, and gave me a kiss. I love Beth! Then everyone else welcomed me. Mike was in the galley getting the food ready to put on the grill. Nobody spoke to Andrew.
When Mike came out and saw me, he came right up and said, “Thanks for coming, Danny. And please see what you can do to keep Andrew from drinking all my booze tonight.”
Mike was holding a bowl of raw hamburger meat and when he noticed me sniffing it, he dipped his hand in, came out with a big glob of the stuff, and put it down on the deck for me to eat. Now, this is my only complaint about Mike. Who or what does he think I am? I’m Danny the Dog! I have a sophisticated palate; I’m a gourmand. I do not eat raw food! I don’t care if you call it steak tartare or sushi; I’m not eating it if it’s not cooked.
After Mike picked up the meat, put it to my mouth, and me turning my head away a few times, he finally got the message. He shrugged and told me he’d make a special hamburger just for me and asked how I wanted it cooked. Two woofs meant well done. And that’s how I got it. Mike sure makes great hamburgers. He puts a lot of stuff in them, but the ingredients are top secret. He won’t even trust me with the recipe.
Just one more thing: As Mike was mashing up the meat to make into patties, Big Joe, who lives on the boat next door, put on some music and Mike started to do a little jig. Having no hands, I can’t clap, so I barked along with his dancing. Mike ain’t no Fred Astaire, and he ain’t no twinkle toes, but—for a human—he has a certain rhythm.
So that was my night out. Somehow, Andrew did not fall in the water and I got him home in one piece. As I was putting him to bed, I noticed he still had the yo-yo in his hand. I gave him a questioning look. He told me he had tied the string too tight around his finger and couldn’t get it off. As I turned off the light, I looked at the poor guy; he was clutching his precious yo-yo to his bosom like it was a teddy bear.
That’s about it for now. Reckon I’ll get back to meditating on the meaning of life. I kinda already know what it is—attaining unlimited hot dogs.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s book.
This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Mary for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.
About the Book
It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.
By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.
Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”
When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.
On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.
It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.
They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.
About the Author
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn't return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.