The Dog in the Clouds is a blog about two dogs. Orville first appeared as an apparition in the nighttime monsoon clouds over Kathmandu two years before he was born in Colorado. Orville has passed away. Now, my little daughter dog Roo is with me. She is the usual subject of this blog. More about her below.
This is a photograph I took of a dog who appeared when the storm clouds over Kathmandu parted in the middle of the night. I was alone on a rainy rooftop, on the run and out of ideas. I believed it was a sign that that dog was on his way to me.
I looked for him for two years.
Below is the dog who found his way to me minutes after I gave up looking for the dog in the clouds.
The Dog in the Clouds is a memoir-in-progress about a dog sent for too short a time into a life on the run.
My boss at Independent Labrador Retriever Rescue of Southern California called one day and told me to pick up a frightened young Golden at a spay clinic in north Los Angeles. This dog had been left to be euthanized in a high-kill shelter because the Golden Retreiver rescuer who met her, "she was the most petrified Golden" they had ever seen in a Los Angeles Shelter. There were other dogs that day who needed to be pulled, and the sad decision to leave her behind that all rescuers face had to be made. Our rescue got a call from a shelter worker - Roo would have a needle placed in her arm shortly. She was assigned to me.
What the Golden rescuer had said was true. Roo was terrified of everything. Any sound - as slight as dental floss coming off a reel - panicked her. She only had one learned behavior: hiding behind a toilet. Roo had been badly damaged. She showed the signs of complete neglect. She was underweight and covered with lick granulates sores. She had never been given anything to chew during her puppyhood and her teeth were black. She had a thick flea infestation and a dozen engorged ticks on her. Her ears were stuffed with blood and wax. The cheap spay clinic didn't even bother to clean her up. She looked old enough that shelter workers put "3" on her card. She was eight months old, and ready to die.
Overcoming Roo's fear was the hardest part. But she is a strong and brave Golden Retriever, and she was ready to learn.
The full story of Roo's rescue is in the short book, Notes from a Dog Rescue in Progress, based on the most popular serialized dog stories of 2012 and which has been an Amazon best seller since its release.
Brian Beker wrote and directed "Lines of Fire," the award-winning documentary about revolution and heroin trafficking in Burma, which screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, and was recently curated for the permanent film collection of MOMA/NY. Brian has published in The New York Times and elsewhere, conducted clandestine war zone investigation for Greenpeace, and recently directed the aviation documentary AERO. Brian attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He operated Black & White Biplane, an open-cockpit ride company based at Santa Monica Airport that made a lot of people happy. He is currently adrift with his young Golden Retriever rescue, Roo.