Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Great...I Get Bills, He Gets Fan Mail From Women

Dearest Atticus,

So nice hearing from your dad today. I was afraid he was taking you into uncharted waters; but it sounds like you made it back to your abode without terrible things happen- ing to you.

Actually, I had coffee with my neighbor Linda Smiley this morning and I told her I had e-mailed your dad about bagging peaks with you in tow. She laughed and told me that your dad's pretty attached to you and would never put you in harm's way. I was greatly relieved to hear that. (But I suspected that was the case after seeing you in the basket on his bike coming back from Plum Island one summer...)

Then we had a long talk about you. I'll bet your ears were burning! I told Linda that you were kind of a funny guy; that every time I see you, you have a very determined look on your face. And that never seems to change. No jumping and frolicking and gushing over your dad, and generally making a fool of yourself like many of your counterparts. Not you. Just very focused, very intense; like a man on a mission. No grey areas for you; it's either black or it's white. Take your pick.

She then told me a story about you. One day she saw you waiting in the hallway at City Hall; waiting for the City Council meeting to start or some such thing. She said you waited quietly in the hall and when it was time to file in, you walked in with your usual dignified countenance, and had a seat on the bench next to Tom and quietly waited for the meeting to start, looking around to see who was there, and almost like you were thinking to yourself, ok, let's get this thing going already. You're a man of few words, but with an intensity that takes one off-guard.

So, you have a good Christmas. And to your dad. You guys are both doing great work for Angell. I applaud you. Keep me on your radar so I can hear about your adventures. I'll live my life vicariously through the two of you.


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