Quite literally Bob and I have been ripping up the globe promoting the Disney animated film “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog” and his book of the same name. I am worried a bit about Bob as he looks tired and often speaks in an exhausted monotone. The travel, stress and too many hotel rooms are taking a toll on him. I am only 3 or so and have more energy and I can sleep anywhere. Bob has one last contractual commitment to appear on an American show “Dr. Phil”.
Bob and I fly into Los Angeles the day before the taping of the show. We have an early dinner with some Disney executives and are asleep by 10 p.m. The Disney limo comes at 9 in the morning to take us to Dr. Phil’s set. Dr. Phil greets us and I receive a Dr. Phil bowl full of water while Bob has some jasmine tea. Dr. Phil briefs Bob about the questions he will ask which are rather similar to all the other questions we’ve been asked on “The View”, “The Fifth Estate”, “Oprah” and the many other television shows we have been on. Bob says he has a special announcement to make and asks Dr. Phil to get Christine Gill from Snookie’s Society on the line as well as Mr. Gordon Lightfoot and Drake. They are to speak to a national audience. What has Bob got up his sleeve?
Dr. Phil asks the usual questions and then asks Bob what was in his heart when he wrote “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog”. Bob comes to life and there is a sparkle in his eye. “My heart was stolen by Reggie that day we ran into him by fate at Sherwood Park in Toronto. My wife Fay and my dog Dylan really warmed up to Reggie and he even shook my hand. There was something special about him. I am not a Buddhist but they believe in auspicious connections meaning what seems random is really destiny. I am not boasting but Reggie has done a great deal to make the world better by being Reggie! A street dog from Cairo has been blessed by the Pope and is a friend of many political leaders. I mean Reggie got the Iranians and Americans talking about nuclear issues because Reggie is seen as a friend to Islam and Christianity. The world was headed to madness and Reggie helped set it on course. This Reggie is my 4th dog but like all the others he has taught me about life and how precious it is.”
The audience goes wild and gives us a standing ovation. Dr. Phil says that he has a big surprise for us which he’d like to launch into before we tell him our surprise. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! It is President Biden on a video feed. He says hello to the nation and explains what I have done for international relations and announces that Iran and Israel have established diplomatic relations because Americans who release a film about a Muslim dog in such a positive light deserve to be trusted. President Biden says in my honour he will pass an executive order establishing “Rescue Dog Awareness Week”. He then waves at me and says we’ll see you at Camp David next summer.
Dr. Phil looks a bit dazed. Bob then says he will establish “Reggie’s Dogs” dedicated to helping rescue dogs throughout the world. He will fund it initially with twenty million dollars. Then Mr. Gordon Lightfoot (with Bosco) and Drake appear on a video feed saying they are chipping in a million dollars each to Reggie’s Dogs.
Then there is Christine Gill from Snookie’s Society on a video feed. She looks puzzled but breaks into a big grin when Bob announces he is giving a $2 million grant to them. Snookie’s Society is an all-volunteer based non-profit rescue organization based in Toronto and Vancouver specializing in small breed dogs of late from Egypt and China. Snookie’s saved my life paying for my medical care in Cairo and flying me to Toronto. Snookie’s relies on the generosity of donors to realize their mission of safeguarding, rescuing, medically treating, spaying/neutering and finding forever homes for the dogs that enter its rescuing arms. The dogs come from local and international street abandonment, puppy mills, local shelters and facilities including dogs scheduled for euthanasia. Their rescue is 100% foster based, meaning its dogs are placed in the home of a loving volunteer foster family. The dogs are evaluated, medically cared for, loved and receive basic training skills to aid in the transition to their forever home. They have been operating for 19 years and started as a project in a humanities class. You can find more about them at http:/www.snookiessociety.com
Christine is speechless for a minute or so and in a wobbly voice thanks Bob for establishing “Reggie’s Dogs”. She waves to me and in a faltering voice thanks me for being Reggie and doing for rescue dogs what no dog has ever done before. Bob whispers in my ear that when we return to Toronto he will ask Christine to become CEO of Reggie’s Dogs!
The audience goes wild as Dr. Phil signs off. I hear my late master Anwar laughing with joy and Karim my late Snookie’s Society Cairo street dog friend barking from the land beyond. And Dillie the Westie is barking in front of the television set in Toronto for sure!
A voice in my head says, “WELL REGGIE YOU HAVE REALLY DONE IT NOW!” I give a howl of joy and the audience cheers.