In his new book, A Golden Retriever and His Two Dads, author Dan Perdios, a gay man with impaired hearing, recalls his late service dog Willy. Perdios and Willy were inseparable and dependent on each other for many years. Then one day Perdios meets James, a film producer, and the two try to start a relationship.
The men were actually introduced to each other by Willy, but there was one problem: James wasn’t a dog person and didn’t seem to want Willy with him. For Perdios this could have been a deal breaker. But then James got involved in an independent film that was to be shot on Cape Cod over a period of six weeks. Perdios and Willy accompanied him on this trip.
In a short, sweet story (the book is barely 75 pages long) Perdios tells of her journey. Perdios is working as an assistant on the film, and the three bond and gradually become a family.
The bond between Perdios and Willy is deep. Perdios has lived with AIDS for many years and actually lost his hearing from the disease.
“Willy is all about life,” said Perdios in an interview. “When I adopted him, he represented a new chapter in life. A fresh start. With the advent of new treatments, I had to plan my life instead of planning death from AIDS.”
Indeed, Perdios owes his life to Willy. One day the smoke alarms went off in Perdios’ house, but he couldn’t hear them. It was Willy who pointed out to Perdios that a frying pan was burning in his kitchen.
“I forgot that I was cooking something,” said Perdios. “He saved my house and my life.”
The Cape Cod adventure is vividly written and brought to life in Perdios’ skillfully written pose. The writer recalls the six weeks of filming when everyone on the set fell in love with Willy.
Willy eats the attention. There is also a meeting with Perdios’ parents who live near the movie set.
Perdios always had a difficult relationship with his parents because he was gay. But to his great surprise, mom and dad not only accept James, they seem to like him.
A weekend without filming gives Perdios, James and Willy time to explore the vacation town of Provincetown. You will have a wonderful time sampling the many seafood restaurants in the area and frolic on the beach.
“This non-fiction novella allowed me to explore all the adventures of the time, the early days of my relationship with my husband James and Willy,” said Perdios. “With no restrictions on the subject that I really love, Cape Cod. This format also allowed me to include more scenes about filmmaking, which I found fascinating as I’ve never done anything like it. And as it turns out, many readers agree. “
Author Dan Perdios with his two Golden Retriever dogs
On golden paws
Perdios had another reason to write the book.
“When Covid started I decided to write something uplifting and fun,” he said.
Perdios succeeds in this goal. After filming on the film is complete, he, James, and Willy will stay in Cape Cod for their honeymoon. This section of the book is short and sweet and serves as an adorable memory of Willy. The book becomes a true love story, an easy read, in which Perdios reveals his feelings, challenges, and the simple joy of finding a husband who loves Willy as much as he does.
The book closes with an example chapter from Rescued by Goldens, the next book by Perdios. In this book he will record his memories of all three Golden Retrievers he has had in his life. In the example chapter “Rescuing Morgan”, Perdios and James meet Morgan, the dog who followed Willy. Morgan is a bit of a challenge at first, but with a little patience and understanding, he will soften and become a valued member of the family.
Perdios recognizes that its core audience is women, the LGBTQ community, and dog lovers. On his Rescued by Goldens Facebook page, he shares details about his life with Morgan and his other dogs, his life as a gay man with health problems, his time as an AIDS activist and his relationship with James.
“The feedback I get from a lot of readers is that they found the book very intimate and honest,” he said. “It influenced her. One reader said she cried when she read it.
Even if there are some who find the book’s title a little conspicuous.
“It’s hard to believe that a title like A Golden Retriever and His Two Dads in 2021 can still be considered provocative,” said Perdios. “I think I’m happy to still be pushing boundaries.”
The book is available in paperback and Kindle edition.
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