Gone Dogs

People love their dogs. I mean REALLY love them.

And you kinda have to, right? I mean, when you invite a dog into your life you spend 10-14 years with them pretty much every day. And they’re always there with a happy face and wet nose. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going through tough times. It doesn’t matter that the world feels like it’s closing in around you. The relationships we have with our dogs are based on something that doesn’t come easy for people—unconditional love.

This unconditional love is what endears us to them.

I never want my dogs to die. But that’s part of the contract. Because everyone who does share life with a dog, must say goodbye to it.

And that letting go is tough, man.

I’ve had to put two dogs down over the last few years. I wrote tributes to them on this blog and was amazed at how the posts resonated with people. That’s when it occurred to me that there should be a book filled with stories about the lives of dogs. Not one book about one dog, but one book about many dogs. Because every dog’s life is a masterpiece.

I discussed the idea with my good friend Laurie Smithwick, and we decided that it would be a crowd-sourced book using social media and word-of-mouth. We could curate the book and turn it into something beautiful. We mulled the idea over for a time, and ultimately decided that it was something we were willing to pursue.

Since 2015, we’ve taken baby steps in the direction of our goal, and for the past six months we’ve worked to ensure that our backroom operations were well-grounded before we launched anything.

We started with a corporation—Thomas Woodland Publishing Group, LLC. Then we set up banking, hosting, and all the legal stuff. We vetted, tweaked, and tested submission engines. We developed a narrative and built a website with all the relevant social channels. We researched and created a crowd-sourced campaign to raise funds for advertising. And finally, last week, we launched the project.

It felt good.

We are in love with this idea and believe that it’s something that will have legacy.

But only if our community gets involved. And to do that, the community has to love the idea too. So far it’s pretty clear that you do. A little over a week after launching Gone Dogs, we’ve been overwhelmed with the response.

Still, until the idea of the book reaches a critical mass, we’ll continue to spread the news. And you can too. Visit GoneDogs.com for a slew of ways to help us make this project a reality.

For everyone who has shared and donated to our fundraising campaign–thank you. No, really. Thank you. You’ve injected this project with momentum. Your support means everything.

Thank you,


Gone Dogs

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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.