We’re coming to you live from sunny Central California, a couple of blocks from the Pacific in a quaint coastal town called Cayucos, which is about 15 minutes outside of San Luis Obispo, a.k.a. SLO. I’m out here for Nat Geo, halfway through a two-week shoot. And I’ve become one of those douchebags with a Mac Powerbook in one hand and his smart-phone in the other. The staggering cost of gainful employment.
Cayucos is the type of sleepy town where half the dogs are off leash. The first day I was here, I was biking along when a small dog started chasing after me as distant voices shouted out “NO COCO! COME HERE!” Being painfully well-versed in dog-running-away-dom, I started hauling ass after Coco, who had passed me. Not five seconds later, a second dog took off in front of me and ran alongside Coco, at top speed, down the middle of the street. I held my breath as they approached the main drag, but it was their lucky day, as they banged a right and just kept trucking, with no cars in sight. Eventually dog number two got bored and turned around, but Coco led me on a trip through Cayucos until the little fucker eventually took me back to his home, nonchalantly running up the steps to his balcony and lying down.
Last night Dave, the producer/director of the show we’re working on, invited me to a small birthday party for one of his friends in an equally quaint/beautiful coastal town called Los Osos (Spanish for “Daaaaaa Bears”). I was moderately excited to mingle with a bunch of Hollywood Phonies, but, sadly, everyone there was actually really down-to-earth and great.
There were ten grown-ups, five kids, and myself. Between mingling, I spent some QT with the dog of the house, a Benji-type dog named Perro who was totally into having his rear haunches rubbed. It turns out that Perro was a homeless-street-urchin-dog from Mexico who was rehabilitated by none other than Cesar Millan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer. The man of the house (and birthday boy), a great guy named Bryan, is the D.P. (director of photography) for “The Dog Whisperer.” I had a nice heart-to-heart with Bryan, a dog lover who wears his heart on his sleeve. On a shelf in his home was a picture of his previous dog, and a small urn with his ashes. Bryan and his wife Karen (who made a great dinner that Dana/my Mom/etc. would totally approve of, including halibut and broccoli) spoke about the dog in somber, reverential tones. Quoting True Romance, we park our cars in the same garage. [If he’s reading this now, perhaps Bryan would like to read a previous posting of mine called “Hoover.”]
Plus, it turns out that Snoots and Perro are only separated by two degrees of separation! As mentioned earlier, Perro was rehabbed by Cesar Millan. One of Millan’s first celebrity clients was Jada Pinkett Smith. And JPS is a Friend of Snoots, having fallen in love with him on the set of “The Women” in 2008. Amazing! Yay, dogs.
[Below: the crew photo from said movie]