W. Bruce Cameron, bestselling author, most recently of “The Dog Master: A Novel Of The First Dog”

Bruce Cameron—the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including a string of canine-oriented novels, among them “A Dog’s Purpose,” which generated rapturous critical acclaim and sweeping commercial success—begins the conversation by describing his new publication, “The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog.” the-dog-master-book-jacket-cover-finalHe explains the impetus for “The Dog Master,” recalling that he read that all dogs have wolf DNA in them, and struggled to reconcile that information with his sweet, 25-pound pooch, Tucker, “who’s afraid of plastic bags about1blowing in the wind.” This launched Cameron toward extensive research (“The Dog Master” carries a bibliography with 21 entries), he recalls, traveling back 30,000 years, and pondering—as the book later does—life amidst the Paleolithic period, imagining one primitive man’s singular kinship with a wolf; the titular first dog. He spends some time addressing that man, Mal, and the thinking behind conceiving the character, who is born with a birth defect, causing Mal to be ostracized, bullied, and ultimately—because he’s considered a curse to the tribe—banished. But, Cameron notes, these extraordinary circumstances enable Mal to domesticate and then train the wolf (that he calls Dog). He muses about what Mal represents to him, and to 415NGRzyqULwhat extent “The Dog Master” functions as an allegory. Cameron talks a bit about the exciting developments surrounding “A Dog’s Purpose” being made into a feature film—he and his wife, screenwriter Cathryn Michon, wrote the screenplay, it’s being directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” “Chocolat,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”), the CPtZDyvUYAAEqfSstars include Dennis Quaid and Peggy Lipton, with the voice of the dog provided by Bradley Cooper. Filming has begun, and in one of the first days, Hallstrom tweeted a photo from the set, showing one of the canine actors operating the camera. (www.brucecameron.com)

2bunny-and-scott-10_03-225x300ALSO: I played back a brief interview I recorded two days earlier with Scott Blais, CEO of the Global Sanctuary for Elephants about its crowd funding campaign underway to build an Elephant Care Center in Brazil, part of its effort to provide sanctuary for elephants in South America. There was a matching challenge underway through Oct. 26, but the crowd funding campaign continues: www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-us-build-a-sanctuary-for-elephants#/ (www.globalelephants.org)

COMEDY CORNER: Sebastian Maniscalco’s “Possums.” (portion) (http://sebastianlive.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Jake Shimabukuro’s “Dragon,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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