the sportsmans lodge
How A Cattle Shut Down The Hotel Robert Kennedy stayed at the night before he was killed.
Jackson and the Sportsman´s lodge. The Sportsman´s Lodge, nestled in Studio City right off Ventura Blvd, the last place Robert Kennedy stayed before he was assassinated, the place to stay in 1969, where you´d expect to see Frank Sinatra by the pool. But it was also where Jackson and I got booked to stay one February while I was directing some commercials for the great admen Jac Coverdale, and one of the coolest cats ever, and I was allowed to stay at The Sportsmans against the desires of the hotel, but I had service dog papers, a note from a real psychiatrist saying I was pretty much bat shit crazy without Jackson near me, and Jackson had a cool vest. Once we took the stage we had a show to put on, from hotels to airplanes, to hospital rooms even, once that vest was on Jackson´s back it was transcendent what Jackson brought to the character.. Real service dogs couldn't out service Jackson.
So we were given a room on the third floor, a suite of sorts, that had a bad ass back deck that over looked the pool. I decided to go out for dinner somewhere and so Jackson had room duty, but I left the glass doors to the deck open for him and the door to the shower open as well, because, well, I´ll explain more fully in a bit..
So, cut to some four hours later, and me returning the hotel to a scene from the movie Training Day. There were police cars with lights flashing, swat looking guys with guns out, an Ambulance also lights flashing, and almost everyone from the hotel standing outside in the parking lot. Holy Crap I thought, I gotta get Jackson. In I went but then not so fast as hotel management, their security, a few of the cops, and a dog catcher all surrounded me. Excuse me Mr. Weinrich you'll have to come with us. Oh fuck, what did Jackson do.
I was escorted promptly to my room where the door was opened and Jackson popped out from under the bed where he had wedged his head into the box spring so that the dog catcher could not get the noose around his neck. And the police waited while I packed up everything to be escorted with Jackson out of the hotel to a waiting van and to another hotel, with the honor of a lifetime ban from The Sportsman´s Lodge.
Ok, So heres what he did. Bored he walked out onto the deck and looked through the rails that looked three stories down to pool side, and deciding that he should go explore he squeezed through the rails and then walked the six inch ledge, like a tight rope, going seven rooms down, where finally he saw a door open, and more than a door open, he heard a shower.
If you knew Jackson you knew that the one thing he obsessed over more than all things on this earth was hotel room showers. Jackson and I stayed in maybe 500 hotel/motel rooms, only ever living in an actual house maybe twice, and really only a few months on the Deep Hollow Ranch which was the best of times for us.
Anyway, I digress, so every hotel we ever checked into the first thing Jackson ever did was fast track it straight to the bathroom, leap into the shower, and barely able to contain himself, he would wait staring upwards at the shower head, waiting for the water, which he thought was a living thing, an actual organism, that he saw as a threat to our safety.
I never got in a shower with him at the same time, His leaping snapping jaws were just too dangerous to trust around naked things.. Sometimes so unable to contain himself if I did not turn the water on right away he would let out a shrilling ear piercing nerve biting banshee coyote like shriek which by the 276th time really had a way of chomping into my nervous system, and I would get yelling, SHUT THE FUCK UP JACKSON, SHUT THE FUCK UP, and then ´click´ ´click´ ´click´ and me pretending to have a remote control for an electric dog collar in my hand. That I will explain in another chapter.
If Jackson had found his purpose, it didn't matter what I thought, he knew that he answered to a higher calling, and so this customary way we entered hotel rooms no matter what I did never let up.
And so on that ledge he heard a shower in a room a death defying three stories up tightrope walk more than seven rooms down from ours, and with total commitment to his calling, he squeezed through the railing of this other room, and ran full on through to the bathroom, and then the shower, where a young naked couple were in the act of some passionate mating thing, and he went at it, like he always did, leaping into the air and snapping at the water probably thinking he was saving their lives.
Even now I consider that the woman never fully recovered emotionally from the traumatic experience of Jacksons surprise Tasmanian devil assault on their romantic shower engagement. I was told she screamed louder than Jackson ever shrieked, heads turning from the Super Market across Ventura. ´A wolf, A wolf, Someone help us, A wolf has jumped into the shower with us. Please God Help Us, somebody!´
But her terror stricken voice made it much more like death screams you could say. Jackson not accustomed to such high pitched human high voltage noise coming from someone he just met, I was told then stopped attacking the water and looked at the woman, like wtf lady, shook his head and rattle his ears back into place, and then ran back out of the room, through the rails and gently down the tight rope back to our room where he climbed inside and just laid down I guess and thought not doing that again.
The lady actually believed that a wolf had scaled the walls of the hotel three stories and jumped into the shower to shred and eat her and her boyfriend. By the time anyone figured out it might be that dog in room 327, things had calmed down, but they went to make sure and opened the door and enter the room which made Jackson once again come bounding out from behind the bed, and in attack mode to the intruders, and he chased them out of the room.
They returned with the dog catcher and when the man tried to slip the noose around Jacksons neck Jackson went under the bed, tore up the underside of the box spring and lodged his head up there so far they couldn't get him. So instead they closed the doors and waited for me. We never went back to the Sportsmans Lodge. Which sucked because it was a cool place right where everything was, and where we had planned to work on editing some commercials with Ron Joe who had come from Calgary to help but quickly pretended he didn't know us so he didn't have to leave.
Jackson and I ended up in Burbank, at the Hilton, the last room because there was some sort of international college girls dance competition, and of course all 200 girls fell in love with Jackson. Jackson the rebel, Jackson the bandito, Jackson the crazed half dingo, who Id give up whats left of my career for to have him still here.