Pets Unlimited in San Francisco. He looks exactly like this photo and probably weighs about 35 pounds.
I spent most of the week on the west coast, where I visited with Oakland animal services on Wednesday, followed by an event with a bunch of authors at the SFSPCA on Thursday. The SFSPCA runs an adoption center called Maddie's Place which is enormous, posh, and compared to most shelters and adoption facilities it seems extremely underpopulated. This is an illusion. Part of their method is that they want the dogs and cats to live in a home like enviornment, so small groups get assigned to large open "living rooms" where they stay until adoption. They adopt 4000 animals each year, which is a massive amount.
Friday I did my event with Kiehl's and Pets Unlimited, then took myself to a goodbye dinner at the restaurant that Sam Spade frequented in Maltese Falcon.
Saturday I flew to Portland, did a great event there with Dove Lewis, accompanied by a therapy dog. This was, once again, at Kiehl's. I should write an entry at some point about how much I love Kiehl's,but I'm going to have to save it. After Kiehl's I met with some friends from first grade and college, then went to the final night of the Tin House conference, where I got to hug Elissa Schappell, and listen to Aimee Bender, Nick Flynn and Steve Almond read. I also kept spotting my old classmate Brenda Shaughnessy in the crowd at the reception that followed, but everytime I started over to talk to her, someone intervened.
Sunday I got to have breakfast with Phil and Lisa and their kids, followed by brunch with our old babysitter, Barbara Eiswerth, followed by visits to Powell's to sign stock. And then another reading where I didn't read--what a joy! Instead I got to hear fellow New Orleanian Pia Z. Earhardt read an AMAZING story from a magazine called Spork. Then I took a redeye home, drove to Mississippi, took a French exam...and thought about how cute that little Einstein is.