Finn and Elvis
One of the unexpected byproducts of the Covid lockdown has been the necessity of having to recalibrate how we are using our time. More than ever, we have become aware that time is our most precious resource. Today, I will share with you a project I have launched during the past year. I would also like to hear from you how the Covid crisis has affected your relationship with time.
How do you think of time differently now than you did a year ago?
What have you been doing to use your time differently than you did before?
In what ways have you felt that you are more pressured about time and have less of it rather than more?
What do you miss about the “old” times?
What are you looking forward to most in the time ahead?
Conversations With Finn, My Imaginary Childhood Dog
I have been spending my time lately writing letters to an imaginary dog who I never had as a kid. I have a long story about how I got going on this writing project and how I came to name the dog, Finn. I will fill you in later with the full strange story of how this project came to be. This is my second book on dogs. I wrote “Conversations With My Old Dog” in 1999 and it’s still in print. The book has been a great comfort for the many people who have loved and lost a pet (please let me know if you have read the book).
Growing up as an only child, I had always wished for a dog. I was lonely and wanted one very badly. Unfortunately, my mother and grandmother who lived with us, were afraid of dogs, so I never got one. So now at the age of 74, I have made up my own pretend dog and named him Finn. I am writing to him now as the dog I had wished for as my companion when I was a young boy.
Here’s an example of a conversation I am having today with my imaginary dog from my childhood.
You spend a lot of time sitting near me when I’m in my room, listening to music on the radio. So happy to have you to keep me company. You seem very attentive, but I’m not sure if you really enjoy my music. Maybe you prefer to listen to Tiger baseball. I know you love the voice of Ernie Harwell.
Lately, Finn, I’m really excited about this thing called rock ‘n’ roll. A guy named Elvis Presley, has totally captured my attention. He is so cool that everybody in my 4th-grade class wants to be just like him. Even though we all have short hair, we try to slick it back and move our hips, just like Elvis. I have to admit, Finn, I’m not too good at moving like he does, but I sure am “all shook up” by his music.
Finn, can you believe it? One of his songs is actually about dogs. It’s called “Hound Dog” and when Elvis sings the part about ‘you ain’t nothing but a hound dog”, I think of you.
I’m not sure what kind of dog you are, Finn. Maybe you are a hound dog. But, unlike Elvis’s dog, you’re not “crying all the time.” You may bark when a stranger comes around, but you never cry.
Elvis says, “ You ain’t no friend of mine.” To the contrary, Finn, I want to reassure you that “you are a friend of mine.” Actually, maybe my best friend. Thanks for that.