About "Animals Here Below"
"Animals Here Below" was inspired by a true story a friend told me about someone so in love with her dog that she sent its head to a renderer after it died. The idea was that she could keep the polished skull as a remembrance. I became fascinated by the idea and hopped on the Internet, only to discover a whole skull-doctoring industry. Who would do such a thing? I began to imagine a man so devastated by his wife's departure that he begins a "romance" with the family dog; somehow, it became a story about the kids, who have to compete with a dead pet for their father's love, and about the perilous ways we deify missing parents. It's also about animals, and our troubled relationship to them here on Earth.