Archives for posts with tag: Pets


The ACLU 2012 Bill of Rights awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.   I sat with my lawyers Barry Litt and Peter Eliasberg.

We ate stewed pear salad, grilled chicken and for dessert they served a strange, solid cake.

During the dinner they projected various videos describing the work they do for Homeless Veterans, Immigrants Rights, The LGBTQ community.

Of course the work I have been contributing to was just part of what was projected.  I was incredibly proud to be asked to stand in front of the 1000 or so people and introduce myself.

Will Ferrell, Jay Roach, Ermin Chemerinsky and Jane Lynch all spoke beautifully on behalf of the ACLU and their various causes and friends.

During the interval both Usher (the singer) and Scooter Braun (2 million twitter followers) took the time to introduce themselves and congratulate me.

Of course, as usual, not one gay person, including honoree Jane Lynch made themselves known to me.  The chasm that exists between me and the gay community in LA was even more evident than usual at this event.

Only last week the gay ‘director’ Guy Shalem texted me telling me that I deserved to be in jail… mocking the time that I had spent there, telling me that I only had friends I made in jail.

Guy Shalem is a gay Israeli fame-whore who lives in Los Angeles.  I met him at some grimy gay party in the Hollywood Hills last year and he subsequently invited me to Griffith Park for a walk the following day.

The conversation on the mountain centered around his visa problems, his inability to make relationships work, his celebrity friends and his desire for younger boys.

He complained that Outfest were sniffy about his short film.  When I saw it I understood why.  “Bruce Vilanch is in it.” He boasted, “They should love it.”

After all, he’s obsessed with celebrity… why shouldn’t Outfest?

So, it was mildly shocking to see Guy at the ACLU event. Wearing a bad suit and even worse shoes.

He had seen the video lauding the work we are all doing for those held on spurious ICE holds.

He heard the applause I received when they asked me to stand.

He heard Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU talking publicly about my personal bravery and commitment to the ACLU.

Guy is the perennial plus one to any gay celebrity.  Last night, yet again, he was with Jane Lynch.   He saw me, headed toward me and shook my hand.  Apparently forgetting the vile things he said last week.

I told him in no uncertain terms how and what I felt about him coming up to me.

He motioned to his ugly short gay friends lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his ‘husband’ that this was worth watching.  They snickered, like vile bullying children, behind my back.

Let’s face it, Guy was only there for the free dinner and to stand with his famous friend and hope to ensnare other famous people with his puppy eyes and his maudlin sob stories.

The point of the evening was completely lost on him.

After I walked away from Guy other honorees came up to me and offered their hands.

One of them, an elderly female philanthropist  said, “We are like kindred spirits, you and me.”   I was so touched by her generosity.

So many kind people… not one of them gay.


There was a moment in Beverly Hills recently when my body decided enough was enough.  7am, Beverly Drive, walking the dogs… I fainted.

The last thing I remember:  kicking a fresh pine cone.  The next thing?  I crashed to the ground painfully twisting my wrist under the weight of my body.

Dude, my fat red dog ran away as fast as he could.  The Little Dog stayed beside me as loyal as any dog can be.

I probably should have seen a doctor but, like my Grandmother and my Mother, a visit to the doctor is the last thing I do willingly.

It took an hour or so to persuade Dude to come back to me.  For the rest of the day he looked at me differently.  Like I was a  stranger.

The good news:  I can keep goats and hens on the property in Malibu.  I spoke with a very polite lady at the Malibu Council code violation department.

I was expecting a very long conversation, instead, it was very short.

“Can I keep three goats on two acres in the Santa Monica Mountains?”

“Yes.” She replied, adding.  “You can keep 3 goats on your property as long as they’re 50 feet from anything humanly habitable.”

Silence.  She cleared her throat.

“Is that it?”  I said, expecting more.    “Yes.” she replied, “that’s it.”

“I think I may very well be in love.”  I murmured.  She giggled like Marge Simpson.

The last vacation tenants just left the property leaving a rather unpleasant egg smell behind them.   Perhaps they were vegetarians or something.   There was orange peel on the paths and some child had broken a faucet that cost $85 to mend.  I shall take it out of their deposit.

This morning, after breakfast with John and the others, I started my list of things to do for the New Year.  Suddenly I was thinking about yield per acre, chicken coops and chevre.

Malibu house.  The dogs just love it here.  Luna spends hours exploring the garden-just like the Big Dog.  I missed darling Big Dog so much today.  Jerome left pictures of her in the mail box that I could not bear to open.  They remained unopened since Christmas in a large pile on my desk marked ‘urgent things to do’.  I thought I better look at them.

It made me feel sick with grief when I saw her sweet face.

I wish I felt that way about my grandmother.

Anyway, I spoke to a very eager sounding vegetable garden planner, my architect and a lady who lives near Sacramento about buying goats.    Our call was dropped so I’ll call her again tomorrow.  She is a ‘grazing service provider’.  I met the plumber  at the house who mended the faucet and tomorrow, first thing after breakfast I need to make a list-like call Lewis for instance who will reconfigure downstairs so I can start living there in April.

There is just so much to do!  I just need to do it.

At breakfast I confided in John that all my life, my real career has been the maintenance of my addiction and anything else I got up to was a hobby.  Making films was a hobby, making theatre..a hobby.  A distraction from the disease of addiction.

My primary purpose has been the pursuit of selfish pleasure.

Today, I have only good news to report even if Luna trotted out of the long grass covered in ticks.  Everything was very dealable with, not nearly as scary as I expected-and I never once had to take a nap.

The last picture of the big dog..

October 11th 2009

Runyon Canyon 8am.

Many dogs, did not count exact number. Fewer people. Overcast but from the top of the canyon I am able to see the ocean through the light mist.

On the way up I overheard an industry type talking with his female friend about our VH1 show. It was oddly satisfying. The last days of anonymity. I don’t suppose people here or in New York will see the show. Few of my friends watch that kind of TV, even if I am in it.

The little dog scampered through the dry brush hunting for small mammals. In London we had the privilege of Battersea Park. Dogs unleashed charging around the huge, manicured lawns. In Whitstable he explored the beaches, in Paris the Tuilleries and the Jardin des Plantes. It really was a magical time for the Little Dog. After all he has been through.

The Little Dog was found behind a trashcan in east LA. 8 months old, his eye badly cut, his paw broken, traumatized by cruelty. Thankfully he was nursed to health and not murdered at the pound. When I first met him he was angry and distrustful. My friends urged me to get a less damaged dog but I recognized in him what had been so badly lacking in my early childhood. He was desperate for love. For three weeks he barked at me and pooed in the house and peed any time I would go near him. Then one quiet night I lay on the sofa and he hopped up beside me and our great love began.

We have had quite an adventure. We drove to New York and back (twice), visiting the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque (where we smuggled him into a hotel room), Memphis (where he ate at the interstate barbeque) and other cities along the way. We arrived in New York to frozen pavements and new snow. The Little Dog loves cities, he checks every path and every bush. He screams like a child when he sees a cat or a squirrel and leaps acrobatically at pigeons. He doesn’t appreciate being taken to a dog specific park, he sits beside me looking at the other dogs disdainfully. Once, in Tompkin Square Park he caught a rat but when it squealed he let it go.

The reason we drove to New York rather than take the plane, as we do now, was that at that time I had another dog. A beautiful Boxer/Pitt originally called Maggie but became my Big Dog. She arrived a month after The Little Dog. The three of us carved a life for ourselves in Malibu. Maggie was the most sweet, intelligent, funny dog. Everybody who met her immediately fell in love with her. She loved the Little Dog and taught him how to hunt, routinely catching lizards and gophers and squirrels. She really was a remarkable dog. She would go to any lengths to find a thrown ball, and if there were more than one she would herd them with her huge paws until they were just where she wanted them. The little dog and the big dog were inseparable. They would spend hours patrolling the huge Malibu garden then come home at dusk and lay happy and exhausted by the roaring fire.

She would have loved Whitstable but God had other plans for us.

On June 30th at 7.50am she was killed by a truck on Franklin Avenue. Unable to control her urge to catch squirrels she leapt across the road. She didn’t get killed on the way over. She was making her way back to me. When I saw her on the other side of the road I asked what she was doing? She tried to make her way back but the truck, unable to see her, tangled her in its wheels and scraped her across the road. From her face to her waist she was fine but below her waist she was torn to pieces.

She was desperate to live and held on until we got to the animal hospital but the vet could not save her and my darling Big Dog died in my arms.

We buried her in the garden in Malibu. My friends came from all over LA. Paul dug the hole and Sarah sang a beautiful lullaby.

I think about her every day. I remember her velvet brow. I miss her in the evenings in Malibu when she would fearlessly chase away the deer and the coyote. We both miss her. I had never been so sad, not when my grand mother died, not when relationships had ended. I cried solidly for a week until I had no more tears.

The most important thing the big dog taught me was to go into any situation with my tail wagging and if people don’t want anything to do with you not to take it personally.

Some day soon we will find another dog for The Little Dog to play with but when the time is right.