by David Kleinberg
The Rogue Festival is almost here! Here is another of several Rogue Performer Preview articles that will be going up between now and March 3. You will be able to find all of them, along with a preview article about the Festival itself, in our Rogue Festival category and you can find more info on our Rogue Festival event page over on KRL News and Reviews. Tickets for the Rogue Festival can be purchased on their website and you can find this year’s schedule.
My latest solo theater work, my fourth, I believe isn’t something that you will see very often. It’s a dog story.
You may ask, but what is it exactly? Is it that you love your dog? Is it also that your dog loves you? Or is it also that the dog makes your life more interesting because he brings you in contact with other people?
Nope. None of that regular stuff. This is the true story of a guy who hates running and dogs, and how I ended up running with my neighbor’s dog in rural Cloverdale for thirteen years and what Butler taught me about living and dying.
“GO HOME, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!” I shouted at the dog when he showed up on the street just as I went out to run the first time at our new vacation home in Cloverdale, 100 feet from the beach of the gorgeous Russian River.
But the dog just wouldn’t listen to me. So, I had to contact his owner – who lived right across the street.
I told him, “Every time I go out to run, your dog is jumping up on me and trying to run with me.”
But his owner Will said, “Well, you must be a very good person because Butler here is an excellent judge of character. But we do tend to treat the animals a little differently out here in the country.”
Finally, the owner conceded that when I went out to run, he’d put the damn dog in the backyard.
However, the next time I went out to run and got half way up the street, THE DOG WAS THERE AGAIN! His owner ran up after us. “Dave, I am so sorry. Butler jumped the fence. He’s never jumped a fence before. I’ll take him back and tie him to a tree!”
Eventually me and the dog made peace. And it got to the point where he would wait on the dirt road between our houses all day for me to come out to run, saying loud and clear, at least in my mind: “When’s he gonna come out?” then more frustrated, “When are we gonna get to run?”
And the moment I’d hit the patio of our house, he’d fly over, jump in the air, grab my running pants with his teeth and start pulling me up the road. And all I could do is yell at him, “He Wants to Run.”
And eventually, as my wife Sandra put it, we ended up running “like an old married couple.”
And we ran for years and years.
And at one point, I said to Butler, astonished myself at the reflection, “Butler, we’ve been running for ten years now, and we don’t have one single picture of us on the road.” And I’m sure I heard Butler reply, “Dave, this relationship has never been about Instagram.”
And I just had to reply, “But Butler, then what’s it all been about? You taking me to so many amazing places!”
And Butler responds, “Daaaaaave. So simple. Just spell “dog” backwards.”
And Butler and I keep running, but he is aging six times faster than I am.
And eventually he stops running. But don’t worry. I promise, the story will not have a sad ending.
He Wants to Run will play five times during the Rogue festival at Dianna’s Studio of Dance, 816 N Fulton St (Sat 3/4 6:30 pm; Sun 3/5 5 pm; Th 3/9 7 pm; Fri 3/10 8:30 pm; Sat 3/11 2pm)
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.
Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section. You can also find more theatre coming up on KRL’s Local Theatre event page.