We, the shop dogs of Parnassus Books, would like to highlight one of the services we offer visiting authors: friendly canine companionship. Traveling to promote your book and need some fuzzy four-legged encouragement? Feeling sad about leaving your own dog at home? We are just the creatures to suit your pooch-affection needs!
That’s right, our jobs are about more than wagging our tails at visitors, licking customers’ ankles, and running our noses along all the books on the lower shelves. We’re also happy to deliver customized snuggles and greetings to touring authors.
For example: Earlier this year, cookbook author Ree Drummond lost her beloved basset hound, Charlie. We had read all about Charlie in the Charlie the Ranch Dog books and we loved watching his guest appearances on The Pioneer Woman.
That’s how we knew a big hound welcome was in order upon Drummond’s arrival to sign her new children’s book, Little Ree. Indeed, Opie made himself right at home during her reading.
Perhaps, like musician/memoirist Todd Snider, you need a big hug to get you through your upcoming tour. As Bear demonstrates, we can do that:
Or maybe — like Rick Bragg — you’re just a dog person, so it makes you feel at home to give someone a scratch behind the ears. We are glad to oblige.
Sometimes authors get right down on the floor with us for a cuddle — like Jodi Picoult did — and we are very happy to share our dog-lounger:
Speaking of the floor: This seems like a good time to introduce our newest colleague, Meriwether Lewis the cockapoo — “Lewis” for short. If you’ve been in the shop lately, you’ve probably seen him passed out from exhaustion on the ground. If you’re an author missing your puppy back home, please feel free to enjoy the warm fluffiness of our shop puppy as a temporary substitute:
The shop-people also seem to enjoy picking Lewis up and sniffing him. This makes sense, as sniffing is a good way to get to know someone.
Just ask Zadie Smith (pictured below sniffing Mary Todd Lincoln):
Is reading aloud important to you when you visit a bookstore? We’ll gladly listen, even (or especially) if your book, like chef Sean Brock’s, is a cookbook.
Do you like to scratch a dog-belly to relax? Great news! WE HAVE BELLIES.
Maybe you’re very busy, and you have time for only a quick hug. We excel at expedient embraces. Whether you’re Chelsea Clinton . . .
. . . or Veronica Roth, or anyone else.
Of course, living as he does with an author himself, Ann’s dog Sparky is a natural for the job.
Sparky isn’t the least bit nervous about meeting important writers and will gladly enlist friends in order to snuggle several authors in one day if needed — as he did here with Elizabeth Gilbert, Joy Williams, and Jane Hamilton:
Or maybe you prefer a one-author / several-dogs ratio. We can arrange that! Here are a few of us with Azar Nafisi.
Really, it’s all about what makes the visit most comfortable for you. So please feel free to let us know how we can best meet your canine affection requests during your stay. We remain furrily yours,
– The shop dogs