Dean Koontz and Golden Retriever Trixie A Winning Celebrity Team

At Dean Koontz's official website there are special writings that come from Golden Retriever Trixie. I have reproduced them here for you to enjoy as well. Click here 56K (modem)T1 (hi speed) to view a short video of Dean Koontz with Golden Trixie Koontz: dog, essayist and literary critic. And, Trixie and Dean have written books together.

Life is Good!: Lessons in Joyful Living was published on October 31, 2004 by Yorkville Press. People often say they wish they could have a dog’s life, with nothing to do but play, eat and sleep. In this charming gift book, you can get her tips on the good life. In breathless, stylized dog grammar ("Chase ball! Chase butterfly! Chase cat!"), Dean advocates long naps, daydreaming and appreciating nature. Some of the advice is clichéd ("take time to smell the flowers"), but Trixie also wants people to "eat joyfully" and to think of themselves as movie stars (though "don’t get drunk, punch reporter"). The book is laid out beautifully, with adorable pictures of Trixie playing, napping and nuzzling Koontz. In the margins of some pages, she ponders various "eternal mysteries" such as "did Shakespeare really write his plays himself or did his dog help?" She tells amusing stories and confides her fantasies, one being that a big rig carrying hot dogs will overturn: "I’m only dog for miles around, and same day Mom buys 20-gallon drum of mustard." There are entertaining riffs on the joy of summer and the virtue of books ("Books are fun. Dad’s books are especially fun"), as well as a pleasantly goofy argument for why dogs should be allowed to drive ("Look so cute. Sight of driving dog lift spirits of human drivers, make highways friendlier"). Trixie wrote LIFE IS GOOD to support her friends who are service dogs for people with disabilities, thus donating her royalties to CCI. up


Click here to order!Christmas Is Good!: Trixie Treats & Holiday Wisdom was published on October 31, 2005. It was written by by Golden Retriever, Trixie Koontz, along with Dean R. Koontz as Editor. Sit! Stay! Eat! Celebrate! Trixie has plenty of advice for sniffng out the true spirit of Christmas, keeping the holidays stress free, and finding that perfect gift - you can never go wrong with hot dogs! CHRISTMAS IS GOOD! is an irresistible stocking stuffer full of furry tidbits to maximize yuletide fun including caroling with cats (if necessary), baking tasty sausage, peanut-butter Christmas biscuits, and making yourself fluffier for all the holiday parties. It's the ultimate guide to Christmas cheer for pet lovers everywhere! Trixie wrote this book to give a special Christmas gift to her friends who are service dogs for people with disabilities. She is donating her royalties to Canine Companions for Independence, the national organization that breeds and trains service dogs for adults and children with disabilities.



Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life
Bestselling author Dean Koontz says that his dog, Trixie, changed his life and made him a better, happier person. A 68-pound dog who lived close to the ground, Trixie certainly did cast a long shadow. She first became known outside of her own house (dog-house, that is) as a guest blogger on Dean’s website, signing off every entry Life is Good, Bliss to You. Now, in this warm and funny book–as told to Dean Koontz–Trixie once again shares her inspiring outlook on life and reveals the eight steps that anyone can take to achieve not merely happiness, but bliss.

Packed with dog wisdom, both poignant and funny, this charming and heartfelt book gives the reader much food for thought–which might not be as tasty as a bowl of kibble but is nonetheless nourishing.

This MUST-HAVE book (I’m sure since I have all the other books by Trixie) was released on September 16, 2008. CLICK HERE AND ORDER IT NOW! You can also get this publication as a CD Audiobook.

Trixie Koontz: October 5, 1995 to June 30, 2007: "Beauty without vanity. Strength without insolence. Courage without ferocity."
A Message from Dean Koontz: A number of friends and fans have asked how they might best honor Trixie's memory in a charitable manner. Trixie was a former service dog for the wheelchair bound, trained at Canine Companions for Independence. She retired at three with an elbow problem, and came to live with the Koontz family. She has donated all author royalties from her past books to this wonderful organization that originally raised and trained her. Click here to learn how you can make a donation to CCI in Trixie's memory.

Sage Dog Wisdom from Golden Trixie



To Dad's Readers:
My dad, Dean Koontz, made me—Trixie Koontz, Dog—write another stupid piece for his website. I typed it with pencil in mouth. Tried typing with Slim Jim sausage in mouth. Went through 34 Slim Jims and only wrote 4 words. Got sick. Puked. Writing is hard. Lots of stupid punctuation. Lots of revising. Lots of puking. Then ignorant critic says "Trixie Koontz writes like dog," and sneers. I am dog. Ignorant critic now has interesting tooth pattern in left buttock, but that is story for another day. Love —Trixie Koontz, Dog



Trixie reflects

For a 68-pound dog who lived low to the ground, our Trixie sure has cast a long shadow after her passing on 30 June 2007. Gerda and I had always anticipated that when we lost her, the pain would be terrible, but the grief proved to be immeasurably more intense than we had expected. For a month, I could not write. Every day of that monthand every day of the next, for that matterwe were frequently reduced to tears by our loss.

A friend of ours, disabled by a spinal injury and confined to a wheelchair, had such a singular and wonderful relationship with his first assistance dog (now passed away) that he has said, given the choice of never having been disabled or never having known that dog, he would choose the dog and therefore the disability. What does that say about the potentially profound nature of the human-dog bond? It humbles you, doesn't it? He recently told me that when he lost his four-legged companion, he discovered, in his grief, depths of emotion that he hadn't realized were in him. I understand perfectly, because neither Gerda nor I has previously experienced such anguish as this loss has raised in us. A new CCI graduate named Gerda! A new CCI graduate named Gerda!

A new CCI graduate named Gerda!

Dear readers, friends, your letters and e-mails have been of great help in the healing process. The news of Trixie's sudden death inspired several thousand of you to send your condolences, your stories of your own losses, and your heartfelt advice for coping with the passing of a beloved pet. You composed poems, drew memorial portraits of our girl, and sent us books and articles on the subject of losing a pet. We cannot answer all of you, but we have read every word that you have written. You have given us the most generous gift that can be given, the gift of your time, and in your sensitive correspondence is yet another proof that no writer alive can possibly have a more articulate, insightful, and caring group of readers than I do.

A great many of you sent donations to Canine Companions for Independence, to memorialize Trixie. We were moved by this and grateful for your generosity. Please know that your money could not be put to better use by any other organization. We have worked for many years with CCI, which is a top-drawer nonprofit with a great staff and legions of good-hearted volunteers.

The Oceanside, California, campus of CCI was years ago named the Dean and Gerda Koontz Campus. CCI has now renamed that facility the Dean, Gerda, and Trixie Koontz Campus. We will post a photo of the new monument sign on Trixie's page. Meanwhile, our friends at the Assistance Dog Institute, in Santa Rose, California, another worthwhile organization, will award Trixie Koontz scholarships to students in their bachelor's and master's programs.

For those of you who may not know: Trixie was bred to be an assistance dog for CCI. She enjoyed 18 months of training with her puppy-raiser and then 6 months of intense specialty training. In her graduation photo, lined up with 12 other golden retrievers, Trixie can be spotted instantly by anyone who knew her, because while all the other dogs sit erect and stately, facing the camera with noble expressions, Trixie strikes a comic pose, legs akimbo, grinning, head cocked, revealing herself for the free spirit that she was. After graduation, she was placed with a lovely and charming young wheelchair-bound woman in the Los Angeles area. After six months in service, Trixie began to limp. X-rays revealed a congenital elbow problem. This had never bothered Trixie before, but the strain of daily service began to impact the joint. After joint surgery, no dog is returned to service. Through the good offices of CCI, shortly before her third birthday, Trixie "retired" to live with Gerda and me. The following nine years were the best of our lives.

Trixie changed us in many ways, not only brightened our life and brought so much humor and beauty into each day, but made us better people. God willing, I will write a book about her, for she was sweet, clownish, innocent, mysterious, and startlingly smart. Meanwhile, next month, a Trixie avatar will appear on the site, and we will begin to receive messages from totos (Trixie on the Other Side.)

Finally, I must tell you what happened three weeks after we lost our wonderful girl. Each Saturday, when 2:00 in the afternoon approachedTrixie passed shortly after 2:00neither Gerda nor I could bear to do anything mundane. We walked together, hand in hand, around these two and a half acres that Trixie had loved, visiting all her favorite places. Three weeks to the minute after Trixie died, as we were walking the larger lawn, a brilliant golden butterfly swooped down out of a pepper tree. Now, friends, this was no butterfly like we had ever seen beforeor since. It was big, bigger than my hand, and a bright gold, not yellow. It flew around our heads three or four times, brushing our faces, our hair, as no butterfly, in our experience, has ever before done. Then it swooped back up past the pepper tree and vanished into the sky. Gerda, who is the most levelheaded person I have ever known, said at once, "Was that Trixie?" and without hesitation, I said, "Yeah. It was."

We didn't say another word about the experience until later, near bedtime, when we both commented on the incredible thickness of the butterfly's wings, which were too thick to have been aerodynamic. Gerda remembered them as being "almost edged in a neon rope," and to me they had seemed to be like stained glass with a leaded edge. No landscaper who works here has ever before or since seen such a butterfly, nor have we; and it danced about our heads at the very minute that Trixie had died three weeks earlier. Skeptics will wince, and I feel sorry for them. I will always believe that our girl wanted to let us know that the intensity of our grief was not appropriate, that she was all right. In sharing this story with friends, I have heard of others who, after losing a particularly beloved dog, had uncanny experiences quite different from ours but which also seemed to be intended to tell them that the spirit of their dog somehow lived on.

— Dean Koontz, October 2007


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

1) Sun.

2) Swim.

3) Sausage.

4) Smell the roses.

5) Sneeze.

6) Snooze.

7) Sniff, snort.

8) Quilting classes.

9) Bite Donald Trump's ankles—if he has bathed.

10) Continue with my nuclear fusion experiments.

11) Lay claim to eight square miles around house with pee markers.

12) Save fur from morning combings until have huge mass. Then pretend to cough it up, give neighbor's cat hair-ball inferiority complex.

13) Read Old Yeller, have good cry.

14) Call tobacco shop, ask if they have Prince Albert in a can, then tell them to let him go.

15) Learn to turn off alarm system. Without waking Mom or Dad, slip out of house before dawn. Drive to doughnut shop for first batch of the day.

16) Learn to drive.

17) Sausage.

18) Go to Disneyland for lunch with Walt. (Keep secret that he is not dead. Tell everyone am having lunch with Mickey and Donald.)

19) Establish contact with home planet, make report on progress of conquest of Earth.

20) Chase cat not because want to but because is expected of dog.

21) Luxuriate on lawn.

22) Luxuriate on Mom and Dad's bed.

23) Luxuriate pretty much everywhere.

24) Sausage.

25) Play with stupid ball that Dad thinks so much fun. Humor him. Practice looking excited.



By Trixie Koontz, Dog

Cookies to you! Is me, Trixie, who is dog. Have been thinking about lot of things lately. Have been thinking why people always want to stop and smell roses when world has lots more interesting things to smell, like pee-marks left by other dogs, wadded up Big Mac wrapper in gutter, Aunt Wanda's feet, and area of neighbor's backyard where body is buried. Have been thinking which came first, dog or kibble, dog or blue poop-pickup bags, dog or plush toys with squeaker inside. Have decided kibble, blue bag, and squeaky toys came first because G-d would want everything dogs need to be here before dogs arrive. Means people came before dogs, because dogs need people to tell us how cute we are. Dogs probably were last thing put on earthpeak of Creation.

Have been thinking about paws. Dogs have 'em, people don't. So if dogs are peak of Creation, paws must be better than hands. But would like to have hands to get own kibble, drive car, play rockin' ukelele, and other things can't do with paws. Seems like hands more useful than paws. Then realize other things hands good for: forging signatures, pointing finger of blame, pulling trigger, making obscene gestures, picking pockets, picking nose.... Maybe would be bad idea
dogs with hands. Probably dogs could drive if only had tentacles.

Hey, is possible dogs not peak of Creation? Whoa. Deep question. Needs much heavy thinking. No. Is not possible. Many proofs dogs peak of Creation. A few: is no dog equivalent of Paris Hilton; never saw dog wearing plaids and stripes at same time; no dog would ever tie human to post and leave alone in backyard; no dog ever got drunk, woke up next morning in bed with strange cat. Also no dog would buy film rights to best-selling novel, change story fifty ways, and produce stupid trash, which is reason dog should get many many many treats.


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

Hello, is me, Trixie Koontz (who is dog). If you are not dog, I am sorry. Life is not fair. Not everyone can be dog. World needs humans for belly rubs and comic relief. Would be different world, all dogs. Would be no garment industry if everyone came fully furred. Poetry would be worse, 'cause dogs are rhyme-challenged. But dogs have good sense of narrative structure, so movies would be better than plotless, meaningless dreck produced by Hollywood. Dogs would be allowed to drive, so all cars would be convertibles. Would be far fewer cuisines. Dogs have no patience for culinary arts, just eat raw ingredients. But all mysteries of quantum mechanics would be solved 'cause dogs have more talent for theoretical physics than humans. Math, too. I, Trixie (dog), play three-dimensional chess with Dad (not dog, human). Poor Dad is so cute, face puckered with concentration, working out big strategies, but always loses.

Dad is better writing novels than playing three-dimensional chess. His new one, FOREVER ODD, lands in stores Tuesday, November 29. Is sequel to ODD THOMAS, which draws more mail than anything Dad ever wrote. I, Trixie (still and always dog) think it is good book, good, and wanted you to know about it. Now I get cookie.

NOTE: We have just finished reading the book and loved the dedication the best. It read: "This book is for Trixie, though she will never read it. On the most difficult days at the keyboard, when I despaired, she could always make me laugh. The words good dog are inadequate in her case. She is a good heart and a kind soul, and an angel on four feet."


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

I, Trixie Koontz, who is dog, wish Halloween 2004 will be your best ever. Here are my ten wishes for you:

1)  May you have celebrity dinner date with Big Foot, and I mean real Big Foot, not hairy lummox you used to date.

2)  May you eat so much free candy, you hurl and hurl like whale blowing ambergris.

3)  When goblin eats your nose, may National Nose Graft Foundation give you perfect donated nose of dead movie star.

4)  If you contract case of flesh-eating virus, may virus eat only those parts of your body you think unattractive, not eat parts you think pretty.

5)  When evil entity pulls you through vortex into parallel dimension, may you discover fantastic shopping mall with, like, the biggest Gap ever.

6)  When extraterrestrials abduct you to mother ship and give usual proctological exam, may they not find anything requiring referral to specialist.

7)  If rotting cannibalistic zombies take over world, may you smell unappetizing to them.

8)  If doorbell rings on Halloween and you answer, find burning bag, stomp out flames, then find little blue bag full of poop all over shoe, may you not blame me. Am good dog, good. Must be some other dog, some bad dog, devil dog. Not me. Am good dog, good. Was not me. No way, Jose. No chance, Lance. Might've been cat.

9)  If you hear jack-o-lantern whispering "Kill everyone, kill everyone," take it to driveway, run over with car. Go to market, buy less psychotic species of squash, carve spooky face. Just to be safe, make sure new squash knows what you did to pumpkin.

10) May you have lots of sausage.


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

I, Trixie Koontz, (who is dog) resolve to be better dog in all ways starting 12:00:01 am. January 1, 2004, but not one second sooner. Am told all the time by Mom, by Dad—by everyone—that I am good dog, good dog. Don't know how could be better. But would like to be told am perfect dog, perfect dog, 'cause maybe perfect dog gets more treats than good dog. I, Trixie (who is dog, and good), hereby resolve as follows:

1)  to be furrier;

2)  to wag tail more;

3)  to recommend ODD THOMAS to everyone at next Mensa meeting;

4)  to say nice things about cats even if every time say nice things, I vomit;

5)  to eat more frankfurters;

6)  to avoid say nice things about cats immediately after eat frankfurters;

7)  to be standing beside cat immediately after say nice things—and to aim well;

8)  to get own newspaper subscription so don't have to read Dad's and get drool marks all over food pages before he reads them;

9)  to have groomer cut words ODD THOMAS into fur so can sell Dad's new book everywhere I go;

10) to find out if other book writers live in neighborhood, then pee on their lawns;

11) to register and vote like good citizen;

12) to get driver's license, help Mom and Dad with errands like to pet store, grocery store, bakery, ice cream shop;

13) to pick up after myself with blue bags;

14) to put blue bags in garbage instead of in Dad's shoes no matter how funny would be in Dad's shoes.


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

  1. Sausage
  2. Sausage
  3. Sausage
  4. Sausage
  5. Peanut butter
  6. Sausage
  7. Potato chips
  8. Grapes
  9. Meatballs
10. Meatballs
11. Sausage meatballs
12. Peanut-butter sausages
13. Pepcid AC
14. Seventy-eight tennis balls
15. Twenty-five tennis balls
16. Nine rubber balls
17. DVD - "American's Funniest Stupid-Cat Videos"
18. A partridge in a pear tree
19. Bottle of Billy Joe Bob's Partridge Bar-Bee-Que Hot Sauce
20. Sausage
21. Tattoo of Garfield on my butt
22. World peace
23. One hundred snappy comebacks for when Mom and Dad say "bad dog"
24. Psychological counseling for mentally disturbed little dog who thinks he saw cow jump over moon and dish run away with spoon
25. Scientific discovery that cats are sole cause of human aging
26. Seven million pints of wild berry Tofutti
27. Driving lessons
28. Map to Jimmy Dean sausage factory
29. Map to Farmer John Bacon factory
30. Map to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory
31. Liposuction as needed
32. All fleas in hell
33. Night Vision Cat Scope
34. Pepper spray to deal with aggressive mailman
35. Federal law against stupid yellow-vinyl dog raincoats
36. Apology from Disney for stereotyping all dogs as dumb by creating and promoting witless character named Goofy
37. Sausage


By Trixie Koontz, Dog

Dress up like witch. Tour neighborhood. Fill bag with goodies. Return home. Dress up like Frankenpuppy. Tour neighborhood. Fill bag with goodies. Return home. Dress up like terrifying ET. Tour neighborhood, demand goodies or will kill with ray gun. Return home. Insert in mouth set of giant wax fangs, spray whipped cream on muzzle to fake rabies, chase neighborhood children who are trick-or-treating, terrify into dropping their bags of goodies. Snatch bag. Return home. Pee. Dress up like Lassie, go to bakery, convince everyone that Timmy is trapped under overturned tanker truck. Get everyone to leave bakery to help Timmy. Loot store. Experience moment of guilt. Chastise self: "Bad dog. Bad dog. Bad, bad dog." Go to butcher shop. Convince everyone that Timmy is trapped in burning sawmill. Get everyone to leave butcher shop to help Timmy. Grab all the frankfurters and steaks. Experience a moment of guilt. Decide can live with it. Go home. Eat. Eat, eat, eat. Throw up. Write memoir of criminal activities. Sell to Bantam Books. Sell film rights to Steven Spielberg. Go on book and movie tour. Stay in 4-star hotels with room service. Order six dozen frankfurters every night. Go to Betty Ford clinic to take cure for serious frankfurter addiction. Do spot on Dr. Phil's show. Weep. Win audience sympathy. Sneak into Dr. Phil's dressing room, get his American Express card number, order one million frankfurters. Take vacation in Tahiti. Plan for next Halloween.



By Trixie Koontz, Dog

Last year this was, one minute past midnight, I wake Dad with urgent bark. Pee. Have to pee. Quick, quick, quick. Pee soon, pee now, pee right away! Dad is confused. More than usual, I mean. Trixie (which is me) is well trained and usually pees only four times a day and only on command: first thing after breakfast, on 11:00 walk, on dinner walk, and in evening before bed. Trixie (which is still me) has never before woke Dad to pee. Trixie can go twelve hours without peeing if necessary. Trixie has fantastic bladder control. Will never need Depends. Bladder can swell big as basketball, and Trixie just smiles...sloshes while walking, and smiles. Trixie has never exploded. Trixie never will. But now at 12:01, Trixie is in need-to-pee frenzy.

[Trixie (which is me) doesn't know why she keeps referring to herself as Trixie while writing this, and now in the third person, too. She (which is me) is still new at this stupid writing thing. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Semicolons make Trixie nervous; dangling participles make her growl; and sometimes she (which is me!) gets all bollixed up over pronouns. Trixie was not born to be writer. Trixie was born to eat. And to be adored.]

Pee, pee, pee. It is now 12:01 in the morning, Dad is putting on shoes, and I (which is Trixie) am in hey-look-how-bad-I-need-to-pee frenzy. At 12:02, Dad trips over untied shoe laces, falls on bedroom floor. Is very amusing. At 12:02:25, sleepy Dad walks into closed bedroom door. Is so funny I might cough up dead bird if I was bad dog and ate things I shouldn't. At 12:02:45, sleepy Dad stumbles and falls down stairs. Is more hilarious than Scooby Doo. Outside, in moonlight, Dad says "Trixie, hurry," which is my command to pee, but I (me, which is Trixie) go to the bush where earlier I hid page from day-date calendar under stone. Bring page to Dad. Page says "April 1." Ha-ha-ha. April Fool. Ha-ha-ha. Don't need to pee. Ha-ha-ha. Only Trixie laughs. Dad has little sense of humor between midnight and dawn. Humans. They are moody, but you've got to love 'em.

At 3:10 in morning, Dad is sleeping again. I wake him with bark and, through elaborate series of facial expressions, ear twitches, tail wags, whines, burps, and paw gestures, explain to him that alien spacecraft is hovering over house and small gray ETs are eating potato chips and cheese puffs in kitchen. Dad says, "You can't fool me twice, Tricky." I consider waking Mom, but she needs her sleep because I have seen shopping list for tomorrow and know she is going to Three Dog Bakery to buy tasty treats and maybe tug toy. Good Mom. Good. Good Mom.

At 3:23, half a dozen four-foot-tall gray aliens, reeking of Cheese Doodles, enter bedroom. Because they are advanced species and know that dogs are the true secret masters of the universe, these ETs salute me. We chat telepathically for a few minutes in language of Pan-Galactic Federation, mostly about price of cantaloupes in the Andromeda solar system and sad state of television in their arm of Milky Way Galaxy, where stupid "reality" shows, like here, clog the airwaves. "Who Wants to Marry an Ocotopoidal Billionaire?" and "How Many of Your Own Body Parts Can You Eat and Still Survive?" are huge. After we chat, they levitate sleeping Dad and float him out of bedroom, downstairs, through kitchen, to backyard.

Because I pause in kitchen to eat dropped chips and Doodles, I almost miss being beamed up to ship with Dad. Is nice spaceship. Decorated by expensive Beverly Hills interior designer. ETs are proud of $2,000-per-yard hand-sculpted wool carpet, Empire Period French antiques, and black-lacquered chinnoiserie proctological-exam table. Keeping Dad asleep, they measure, photograph, and take plaster impressions of his teeth for their Supreme Ruler, Glorgg, who preens over the most valuable collection of human dental models in galaxy. For their own amusement, they study his nostrils. Then, of course, the proctological examination. For this, Dad is away but drugged and delirious. He says to me, "Lassie, go tell the sheriff that Timmy's in big trouble on the alien spaceship."

Later, after Dad is pulled inside out by his tongue and the ETs examine his insides for Evil Slugs from Saturn (he is not infected, though he has a weird paisley spleen), he is levitated back to bedroom and tucked in for rest of night. ETs leave lovely complementary terry-cloth robe embroidered with name of their spaceship: XXSPLNORG.

Dawn draws near. From hiding place Trixie (me) quick extracts fake pile of rubber dog poop purchased by computer from Internet novelty shop. Place rubber poop on bathroom floor and wait. Waking from dreams of unthinkable violation, Dad goes to bathroom, steps in fake poop, slips, falls through window, crashes into flower bed on top of creeping cat. Cat is not amused. I am. Ha-ha-ha. Funny. Funnier even than Katie Couric interviewing Cher about fine points of United States foreign policy.

Dad has new novel coming to bookstores May 27. Title is The Face. It is fast-moving suspense with supernatural twist, set in privileged world of a movie star with legendary Bel Air estate—scary but fun. The Face has nothing to do with April Fool's Day, but Trixie (I, me, secret master of the universe) need to score points with Dad after the rubber poop trick.



By Trixie Koontz, Dog

Turkey. Good turkey. Turkey, turkey, turkey. Pumpkin pie. Yams. Yams stick to roof of mouth. Don't like yams. Yams taste like bad cat. Ha, ha, ha. I never really ate a cat. Am told they taste worse than Satan's toes. I am good dog, good. Turkey, turkey. Chestnut filling. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Gravy is what G-d drinks instead of water. Gravy and turkey—bliss. Gravy and mashed potatoes—to die for. Gravy and pumpkin pie—mistake. Gravy and chestnut filling—delicious. Tried gravy and cat. Cat became very angry.

My first Thanksgiving memory is landing on Plymouth Rock with Pilgrims. That was in another life. I was a goat. Sailed all the way from England. Butted lots of Pilgrims overboard for fun. They wanted to eat me for Thanksgiving. But Indians brought gifts of corn and turkey and Hostess cupcakes. When I was goat, I owed my life to Indians.

I remember Thanksgiving 1878. Was cow-herding dog in the Old West. Liked cows. Much in common with cows. Cows don't like yams. Cows think cats are stupid. My master had no turkey that year. Only cows. I could not eat my friends the cows. In dark of night, I set the cow herd loose. "Run, dear cows!" I whispered. "Run, run, for your lives, dear cows! Be free like cats and yams and other things that taste too bad to eat!" In their excitement to be free, they trampled me to death.

The next thing I remember, it is 1916, and I am a cat. This is The Reincarnation We Don't Talk About.

Later I was a human male. Owned corner grocery in Brooklyn. Married girl named Stella. She was nice except for small second head in middle of her back. Didn't know about second head until after wedding. Stella Two, the second head, was not nice. Talked about Stella One behind her back. Cursed a lot. Ate yams. Stella Two prayed to Moloch after midnight. Moloch is not a nice G-d. He eats small children. I prefer the Judeo-Christian tradition.

While human, I owned ten dogs and fed them well. Storing up good karma for my next incarnation. Dogs would not come in house. Scared of Stella Two. Scared of Moloch, too, who sometimes manifested in the refrigerator. Had no yard in Brooklyn. Dogs lived on roof. So did I, more nights than not.

Now am dog again in new life with my dad, writer of books, Dean Koontz, who has new book, BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, coming to book stores on December 24. This is what we are thankful for in the Koontz house this Thanksgiving: that Dad has new book coming out, that Mom, also known as Gerda, doesn't have second head, that in our lifetime Earth will be visited by extraterrestrial dogs of vast intelligence (this is secret), that somewhere a family of free cows roams forests and fields (happy descendants of those I set loose), and that we have lots of gravy, no cats, no yams. G-d bless you on this holiday. I don't mean that Moloch G-d, either, but the nice one.



by Trixie Koontz, Dog

Dad teaches me to type. Hold pencil in mouth and type. At first is fun. Then is not fun. He says to me, "Write, Trixie, write. Write essay for website." Being good dog, I write. Not fun, but I write. Expect treat for writing. Get no treat. Stop writing. Get treat. Carob biscuit. Good, good, good. Okay, so I write some more.

Dad promises website visitors my essay end of July. Must give up important ball chasing, important napping, important sniffing to write. Work hard. Writing hard. So many words. Stupid punctuation rules. Hate semicolons. Hate; hate; hate. Chew up many pencils in frustration.

Finish article. Give to Dad. Then I rip guts out of duck. Duck is not real, is Booda duck, stuffed toy. I am gentle dog. Cannot hurt real duck or even cat. But am hell on stuffed toys. Work off my tension. Rip, rip, rip. Feel pretty good. Cough up soggy wad of Booda-duck stuffing. Feel even better.

Dad gives editorial suggestions. Stupid suggestions. Stupid, stupid, stupid! He is not editor, is writer. Like me. I pretend to listen.

Am actually thinking about bacon. Bacon is good. Bacon is very good. I am good, too. People call me "good dog, good, very good." Bacon is very good. I am very good. But I am not bacon. Why not? Mysterious.

Then I think about cats. What is wrong with them? Who do they think they are? What do they want? Who invented them, anyway? Not G-d, for sure. Maybe Satan? So nervous writing about cats, I use too many italics. Then I hit hateful semicolon key; don't know why; but I do it again; and whimper.

Dogs are not born to write essays. Maybe fiction. Maybe poetry. Not essays. Maybe advertising copy.


Dad gives me editorial notes for study. Eight pages. I pee on them. He gets message.

Dad says he will give my essay to webmaster as is. Webmaster is nice person, nice. She will know good writing when she sees it.

Days pass. Weeks. Chase ball. Chase rabbits. Chase butterfly. Chase Frisbee. Begin to notice sameness in leisure-time activities. Pull tug-toy snake. Pull, pull, pull. Pull tug-toy bone. Pull tug-toy rope. Lick forepaw. Lick other forepaw. Lick a more private place. Still do not taste like bacon. Get belly rub from Mom. Get belly rub from Dad. Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad. Get belly rub from Linda, Dad and Mom's assistant. Get belly rub from Elaine, Dad and Mom's other assistant. Linda. Elaine. Linda. Elaine. Dad. Mom. Get belly rub from Elisa and Paula, housekeepers. Elisa. Paula. Elisa. Paula. Linda. Elaine. Mom. Dad. Belly rub, belly rub. Read Bleak House by Charles Dickens, study the brilliant characterizations, ponder the tragedy of the human condition. New tennis ball. Chase, chase, chase. Suddenly is September.

Webmaster asks where is Trixie essay. Where? Dad lost. Dad got busy working on new book (BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, in bookstores 24 December 2002, good book, good), got busy and forgot Trixie essay, and lost it. My human ate my homework. Sort of.

All my hard work, my struggle, all those hateful semicolons—for what? All for nothing. Essay lost. All for nothing. Feel like character in Bleak House. Worse. Like character in Joseph Conrad book.

Think about getting attorney. Get agent instead. Writing fiction. Novel. Maybe knock Dad off best-seller list. Teach him lesson. Writing novel called My Bacon by Trixie Koontz, Dog. Already have invitation from Larry King, David Letterman, be on shows, do publicity, sell book, get belly rub from Dave. Maybe get limo for media tour. Ride around in limo, chasing cats. Life is good when you're a dog.




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