In Painting The Invisible Man Anna's dog, Jazz, was an inveterate West Wing watcher. That scene was indeed inspired by my dog, Saatchi, who plopped in front of the television each night just before 11:00 p.m. to watch reruns of West Wing.
This past summer, Saatchi's health began to rapidly decline. I searched the airwaves each day hoping to find a West Wing rerun to no avail. On the day I decided to put her to her finally rest, I stopped work early that afternoon to immerse myself in our final hours together. As I cuddled next to her on the floor, I grabbed the remote control and turned on the television. I don't recall what was on, probably some rerun of Law and Order.
Saatchi, who had been lying quite still, feeble and weak from kidney failure, suddenly lifted her head and peered at me with a look that said, Would you mind changing the channel?
I picked up the remote control and hit a random channel. And there they were...Martin Sheen and John Spencer in a scene from West Wing. Saatchi watched the screen intently as the scene played. When the clip ended and the talk show featuring Martin Sheen as guest resumed, she lay her head back down, closed her eyes, and slept peacefully.