A hilarious, acerbic, heartbreaking, and ultimately joyous memoir of finding companionship through the frustrations of living next to a barking dog and an oblivious neighbor.
The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff's department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. It's a touching, hilarious, and cleverly sneaky memoir of a man in Los Angeles who rediscovers himself when his elderly neighbor falls and he must reluctantly tend to her two badly behaved Yorkshire terriers. What he discovers in her apartment shocks him into a surprising decision, and by addressing her problems, he inadvertently helps to resolve his own. With humor and honesty, The Dog Log looks into big-city loneliness, heartbreak, and, ultimately, old age, but then climbs into the light. When one man knocks on his neighbor's door, his life changes forever.
September 29, 10:15 a.m.
Sophie is barking.
September 29, 10:30 a.m.
Sophie is still barking.
September 29, 12:00 p.m.
Barking. Barking. Barking... This is day one for you, maybe, but far from it for me. Sophie’s had me stretched over the rack for well over a year. The invasion of my sound space seven days a week. If God'd made an eighth day, she’d destroy that one, too - those yelps, seized up in a permanent panic - like a dog version of Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” with unseeable sound...
"Compelling and original... A strange, sideways journey into human contact..."
"If Dostoyevsky lived in Los Angeles and had a sense of humor Notes from the Underground might have turned out a lot like The Dog Log. Deep, funny and beautifully written, this fictionalized memoir is an antidote to modern urban alienation."
"'Mirth is the mail of anguish,' said Emily Dickinson, and many classic American humorists have agreed. In The Dog Log Richard Lucas spins a yarn that’s both funny and sad, and altogether engaging. After piloting steamboats Mark Twain did stand-up comedy and became an author. He might be smiling benignly as in today’s Tinseltown this modern storyteller navigates the shoals of friendship and romance, bureaucracy and metaphysics, showbiz and sanitation, with a cargo of kibble."
“Richard is a master storyteller… such a clever conceit, and, beyond funny, it’s an awakening – humbling, personal and profound. Watching him tell his story has been both exciting and inspiring. And even better, now it can be a proper book for everyone to enjoy.”
"The first book to have brought a tear to my eye in years… Funny, poignant and clever - a veritable reinvention of the modern love story.”
"I was enthralled by The Dog Log... It's exceedingly rare to find a book that expresses such depth of feeling from the male point of view. I hope that everyone in the counseling and other helping professions takes the opportunity to benefit from the window of insight that Lucas' wonderful book provides into the complexity of relationships, both with other humans and with our four-legged friends."
"A brilliant conceit… the journal is masterfully realized as an intimate, flesh-and-bone novel... funny, honest and heartbreakingly rendered... Unpretentious and real, this soulful confessional is a welcome departure from the tired cynicism of hipster culture. As a result, The Dog Log is as nourishing as it is entertaining."
The Dog Log begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, written with wry wit as a desperate, humorous plea for help, but it soon becomes a powerful diary, a self-exploration and confessional. The barking is a touchstone for one man’s personal journey along the funny and philosophical path of his own despair.
It’s a cleverly sneaky memoir of a man who, in Los Angeles - alone and anonymous, at the true end of the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," inadvertently rediscovers himself through helping his elderly neighbor after she falls, and he reluctantly chooses to tend her two Yorkshire Terriers - whom he’d so despised before. What he discovers in her apartment shocks him into forward movement.
With biting humor and unflinching honesty, The Dog Log looks into the abyss of big-city loneliness, heartbreak, and, ultimately, old age, but then - one footstep at a time along the sidewalks of West Hollywood - it climbs into the light. By knocking on his neighbor’s door, one man’s life changes forever. It’s an epic journey of 40 feet.
The Dog Log was borne out of Richard's true experience with his neighbor and her dogs. It was developed through his stand-up and storytelling performances as it was occurring in real time, Richard still having to go home only to awaken to the sounds of a Yorkie barking with the heat of the sunrise. Eventually he wrote and performed a solo show which enjoyed an extended run at The Fake Theater in Hollywood and was invited to The Comedy Central Stage, a show that a chosen an LA WEEKLY recommended event.
(THE DOG LOG is being publushed by Chicago Review Press in the fall of 2019. Manuscript no longer available for public consumption.)
This is Lauren.
This is Nelson.
Journalist Emily Holland interviews Richard about The Dog Log.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA — Our dogs are our best friends, but what happens when your neighbors pups just won't shut up?
Richard Lucas, an award-winning writer and comedian from West Hollywood, tells the story of how his neighbor's yapping Yorkie drove him into, and pulled him out of, a miserable phase of his life...
Journalist Emily Lewis interviews Richard about The Dog Log.
In the interview below, author Richard Lucas discusses the difficulties and joys of writing and the fascinating journey of transforming his comedy sketch into what became The Dog Log.
The Dog Log, written as a daily notation to the sheriff’s department, begins as a simple complaint about a barking dog, but it soon becomes a powerful self-exploration and confessional. What was your experience putting those raw, powerful emotions on the page?
It was very difficult. Fortunately, I’d had some experience on stage going to those emotional places,...
Early in the book writing process, Richard was invited to discuss the experience of befriending and training the dogs he'd despised.