Advice for Aspiring Writers: Learn Dog Language

A small terrier sitting on a Muni train
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Stop to smell the roses, jasmine, and angel’s trumpets.
  • But don’t bother to smell the camellias; they don’t have a smell.
  • Get a guidebook to local flowers and find out which ones are worth smelling.
  • Get to know people who aren’t like you.
  • Befriend them.
  • Eavesdrop on your neighbors.
  • Find out about your neighbor’s dog’s health problems.
  • Make friends with dogs.
  • Learn dog language.
  • Talk to your local dogs.
  • Learn what smells interesting to dogs.
  • Learn that your neighbor’s dog isn’t sick but is actually the victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
  • Confront your neighbor about dog abuse.
  • Get in a fist fight with your neighbor.
  • Get arrested.
  • Get bailed out by your new friends who are unlike you and therefore have the cash on hand to bail you out.
  • Make promises you can’t keep, like I will pay you back for bailing me out.
  • Represent yourself in court.
  • Discover the judge has a dog, Baxter, with emotional problems who sits at her feet in court to help with Baxter’s separation anxiety.
  • Violating all rules of propriety, talk to the dog instead of the judge during your closing statements.
  • Offer to talk his emotional problems through with Baxter.
  • Get sentenced to community service as the judge’s dog’s psychologist.
  • Help Baxter resolve his Oedipus complex.
  • Finish your community service but stay friends with Baxter and the judge.
  • Get another client for dog psychotherapy from people you meet at a potluck at the judge’s mansion.
  • Make business cards that say “Dog Psychologist and Writer.”
  • Start running seminars on dog psychology.
  • Cross out “Writer” on your business cards.
  • Become an Instagram-famous dog whisperer.
  • Really famous.
  • Treat Beyoncé’s sad pup for social anxiety.
  • Get on the late night talk show circuit to talk about how you cured Beyoncé’s sad pup.
  • Due to popular demand, write a book titled “How to Psychoanalyze Your Pup” with a jacket blurb by Beyoncé.
  • Get new business cards that say “Writer and Dog Psychologist.”
  • Take time to appreciate your success.