In the new film The End of the Tour, Jason Segal portrays the late author David Foster Wallace during the period of his life when he was being interviewed by author David Lipsky, who's played by Jesse Eisenberg in the movie. Wallace is, of course, best-known for being the author of the gigantic and influential Infinite Jest, and for tragically taking his own life in 2008. Many consider his work, especially his discussion of depression, to be the defining voice of his generation. The End of the Tour deals with a lot of the author's thoughts on a number of subjects, but what often ends up stealing the show is a lighter topic than the main ideas of his work: David Foster Wallace and his dogs. The movie shows him bonding closely with a number of pets, and in real life, Wallace was a dog owner who spoke of his furry friends in a way that only he could.
Just like in the film, Wallace was incredibly close with his dogs. He rescued his first dog, Jeeves, from a shelter and apparently used to feed him out of his own mouth. He lovingly referred to his next dog as "The Drone." The Drone was a stray that attached himself to Wallace and Jeeves while they were out running one day. Following their passing, Wallace's last two dogs were Werner and Bella, and Wallace walked them dutifully every morning during his last days.
Wallace obviously cared a lot for his dogs, and here are some of his greatest quotes on what it's like to own his beloved companions.
1. "If you live by yourself and have dogs, things get strange. I know I’m not the only person who projects skewed parental neuroses onto his pets or companion-animals or whatever."
Anyone who's ever had a dog knows that it's basically your child. Wallace understood this truth.
2. “It’s just much easier having dogs. You don’t get laid, but you also don’t get the feeling you’re hurting their feelings all the time.”
Wallace is right, dog relationships are way less maintenance than human relationships. A dog loves you no matter what, even if you drink the last of the milk.
“I’ve been going around crying like a toddler at the prospect of him suffering or dying.”
Wallace said this after The Drone was diagnosed with lymphoma, which eventually killed him. Anyone who's ever lost a dog knows that it's the hardest thing in the world to go through.
4. "After a while I got so I actually needed one or more dogs around in order to be comfortable enough to feel like working."
While Wallace was actually talking about how his intense concern for his dogs' well-being became a hindrance to his work life, there's no denying the fact that life is just better when there's a dog around.
5. “Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?""I give.""You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there's a dog.”
This joke from Infinite Jest is pretty funny.
Wallace's caring, funny, and always adorable relationship with his dogs makes for some of The End of the Tour's most heartwarming and memorable moments.
Images: A25 Films; Giphy (5)