We love HumorOutcasts’ writer Dave Jaffe and because we love his work, we are proud to help him re-launch his “pandemic–(who knew it was coming) launched book Sleeping between Giants: Life, If You Could Call It That, With A Terrier: Book I: Budleigh, the Early Year
Give us a little background on Dave Jaffe
As a humorist, author, columnist, and former Chicago reporter, I’ve written for online media, print, television, and radio. Creative, clever, witty – these are traits that kept me in detention for most of the eighth grade. But as an adult these skills led to award-winning columns, a book, and TV and radio commentaries.
My work has appeared in a wide range of outlets, from The National Lampoon and HumorOutcasts to HuffPost, WGN TV and National Public Radio. I even wrote sketches for Bozo the Clown, although a merciful History has all but forgotten the “Bozo Juggles Invisible Chainsaws” bit.
What inspired you to write this book?
Like most inspirational stories, this one begins with a dead dog.
My wife and I felt obliged to adopt a terrier from a shelter after the passing of our formerly alive terrier Oxford, a young rough-and-tumble hoodlum who matured into a dignified, coldly ruthless mob leader lacking only a fedora and Miami tan. Oxford’s rule was paternal and loyal, but arrogant. He passed away to a kidney ailment although he’d have preferred withering under police machine gun fire in a Chicago alley.
Oxford left behind his muscle, Brisby, a German schnauzer-French poodle mix ever at odds with himself. Now with no one to guide him except a couple of pet owners who just didn’t “get me”, Brisby risked succumbing to a lifestyle of violence, drug addiction and madness.
So, we got him another little thug.
On April 30, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day – a significant holiday that falls between Hairball Awareness Day and International Turtle Day – we found Budleigh, a very social, black-and-white, cow-eyed terrier, less than a year old. We bonded immediately, brought him into our fold, and within weeks he’d hacked our passwords and begun siphoning our accounts. But he was housebroken.
I began writing the blog from which Sleeping between Giants is drawn because like many first-time adopters, my wife and I feared we’d be overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising a rescue dog. Yet Budleigh has proved no more a challenge than if we’d both pursued medical degrees. This funny, sneaky, rules-abusing, loophole-finding, leather-chewing terrier has enriched all facets of our lives. With the exception of footwear.
What was the greatest joy you experienced writing this book? Any challenges with the book you didn’t predict?
Following a panicky pandemic year that, like me, so many spent huddled in the basement behind the furnace under a plastic tarp with no social contact except with a bag of potato chips, I love hearing that readers found laughs in Sleeping between Giants. Some have responded to SbG pieces by sharing stories of their pets’ antics — accounts that usually begin, “Ya’ know what my damn dog does?”
But like many authors who had the keen marketing foresight to launch a humor book just as the entire Earth shut down, it’s a challenge to reach new readers with news that here is a book that might give them a giggle, lift their spirits, teach important lessons on living in harmony with others, and reverse global warming in weeks. Maybe days.
What do you hope readers gain from the book?
Sleeping between Giants should serve as a footnote to how Evolution, in its infinite humor, conspired to forge an unbreakable bond between Nature’s two goofiest species—Canines and Humans. This deeply personal and interdependent relationship is rooted in a primeval age when Ancient Wolf first stared across a crackling campfire at Ancient Hominid as if to say, “Are you gonna finish that Ancient Bacon?”
This book is a reminder of the many similarities, extraordinary and mundane, between Canines and Giants. Both are high-level predators. Both appear mentally attuned. But mostly both are just average “Joes” who eat, sleep, work, and put on their pants one leg at time.
Well, four times for dogs.
Future writing plans?
In Sleeping between Giants, Book I: Budleigh, The Early Year, we were introduced to a young terrier I met in a shelter after his arrest by police in Waukegan, Illinois on charges of vagrancy, loitering, and panhandling, which were false, and of being a homeless dog, which was true.
Determined never to return to life on the streets, Budleigh committed himself to raising up downtrodden dogs and their confused Giants through his advice column Ask a Terrier.
What began as a small offering of unwanted counsel has grown into an empire of sketchy advice with Budleigh as Supreme Misguider. Ask a Terrier has been translated into numerous languages, none of which he understands. Fans of Budleigh’s international speaking tours – mostly dogs – stand in line for hours howling for tickets. Or maybe just howling at each other.
Hard to say.
The popularity of the column has led to Sleeping between Giants, Book II, Ask a Terrier: Professional Advice from a Licensed Dog, which will be released in 2021. This compendium gathers letters from dogs and Giants on a wide range of topics; some touching, some tender, but none in a foreign language that Budleigh doesn’t understand.
Budleigh’s wry, amusing, and sometimes hilarious opinions will have readers howling with laughter. Or maybe just howling at each other.
Hard to say…
For more info on Dave Jaffe:
Blog URL: https://sleepingbetweengiants.com/