Bang Away.


…It’s not what you think. But really, what is? It’s after midnight on a Saturday night, and I’m in bed writing. Not what I pictured when I was 16 years old.

How about things that suck because they weren’t as great as I thought they would be when I was young: Adulthood. The Star Wars prequels. Soundgarden, Lollapalooza, 1996-ish. Working in fashion, especially the day I lost a pair of $10,000 diamond earrings for Gloria Estefan (one of which I found in the gutter outside the house where we were working—and I dropped an entire rack of Oscar dresses for her on the wet lawn of the Beverly Hills Hotel). Glitter. Going to the gun range, spending the day in Tijuana and flying. Reading “The Fountainhead.” High heels. Skinny Jeans. Driving down the street where I grew up. Seeing my late father’s Air Force dog tag where the keys hang. Growing up.

Things that rule way harder than I thought they would: Getting published. Seeing the Breaking Bad finale with the cast at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Working with Farrah Fawcett, and eating chocolate cake with her on her bed. Getting married to the foxiest, kindest man ever. Listening to Purple Rain, 30 years later, beginning to end. The Salt N’ Pepa “Push It” commercial. Point Break Live! the play. Kobe beef. Garage sales. My boxers, Shamus McDog and Sabina. Getting up at 7:30am and going to yoga. Having friends—my friends. Taking in the scent of the salty, murky bay water near our summer house on Balboa Island. Sipping coffee first thing in the morning next to the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel, the day after my wedding. Staying up as late as I want and eating last night’s brownies for breakfast, even though I’d rather be young again when, come to think of it, I stayed up as late as I wanted and ate the last night’s brownies for breakfast. Being in bed writing, after midnight on a Saturday night.

Bang Away was a dog, a rock star, a “superstar, elegant and streamlined,” an amazing boxer they called “the greatest boxer of all show dogs.” Bang Away won an amazing 121 Bests in Show from 1951 to 1956. He appeared in Vanity Fair, Colliers, Esquire, Life, Sports Illustrated and Time magazines, and many newspapers. And he fathered 81 champions.

 Now go hug your dog.

Written by Anne Clendening
Anne Clendening was born and raised in L.A. She's a yoga teacher, a writer and occasionally slings cocktails in a Hollywood bar. She could eat chocolate cake for every meal of the day. She has a huge fear of heights and flying. And fire. She wishes she could speak French, play her guitar better and make cannoli. She's probably listening to The Dark Side Of The Moon right now, kickin’ it with her boxer dog and her hot Australian husband ★