I’m sad and shocked today; I just learned that one of my favorite authors, Stephen Foster, has died. He wrote “Walking Ollie” and “Fetching Dylan,” the best books about living with dogs that I have ever read, as well as “From Working Class Hero to Absolute Disgrace,” an informative (for me) and hysterically funny memoir about class. He was a UK author and I have not been able to find his other books here in Oregon, but I gather he and I both came from an underdog, anti-elitist background though our cultures had some radical differences.
I can’t say enough about what a wonderful writer he was. While the three books I read had me screaming with laughter, I couldn’t see the screen through my tears when he posted on his blog about the death of his dog Ollie (the one on the right in the picture). I felt like I knew that dog and grieved the way I have over my own lost pets, “Walking Ollie” gripped me so hard.
His blog–with its scattered and highly varied subject matter which includes dogs, sports, photography, cooking, art, poetry, music, and everything else he could think of–was the direct inspiration for this blog. I have followed his blog regularly for years now, and around the middle of June, his posts stopped. His mum was ill, and I feared the worst. I checked again today and finally there was a post… the last one, put up there by his partner, Trezza Azzopardi. He had just came out with a new book, too.
Ollie died years back, but every so often, there’d be a post with a photo saying he still really missed that dog. As Trezza, his partner, wrote, “he’ll be walking with Ollie now.” As tears blur this page, I want to say farewell, and thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration you’ve been. I’d counted on more of your books trickling across the pond for years and years, and I will so miss reading your blog.