Friday, November 27, 2009

Therese Walsh & Kismet

Who is in the photo at right?

That’s me, Therese Walsh, author and blogger, hanging with my favorite pooch, Kismet. Kiz is a 3-year-old female Jack Russell Terrier.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No special occasion, but we decided to take our normal morning caffeination-of-the-human routine outside to enjoy a sunny fall morning. (Please ignore the incorrect date on my camera.)

What's brewing?

I’m not a coffee drinker unless desperate, so I had my regular cuppa caffeine: some Bewley’s double-strength Irish Breakfast Tea.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I wish. A lemon poppy seed muffin would’ve been most welcome.

Any treat for the dog on this occasion?

Kismet had her favorite treat: a Greenie.

How did Kismet come to be united with you?

My daughter participated in a musical competition several years back. She performed very well, so she, my son and I stopped for lunch on the way home to celebrate, then visited a nearby pet store. I saw a cute JR and suggested we take her out to visit. I remember the kids looking at me as if I’d lost my mind, which maybe I had; we weren’t planning to buy a dog. We played with this adorable white pup with brown spots until our time was up, and then Kiz looked at me with eyes that said, “You know I’m for you, right?” So we took her home and have never once regretted the decision. It was kind of funny calling my husband, who was at a gig that day with his band, to say we’d bought a dog. He thought we were kidding at first but fell in mad love with her, too, once he arrived home that night.

How did the dog get her name?

It was that look she gave me, and the sense that it was kismet our family found her and she found us.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, stick, …?

Kismet loves tennis balls and anything that squeaks. She likes to be chased around the coffee table before bed, carrying one of her favorite toys, just to wear out her owners. Funniest, though, is when she’s chased sans toy; you can pretty much hear her saying, “WTH, peep?”

What’s something that only Kismet’s closest friends know about her?

Three things. She’s incredibly lazy in the morning. She’s as finicky as a cat. And she’s a diehard Yankees fan.

Is Kismet like any famous TV dogs?

Eddie on Frasier—and not just because they’re both JRs.

So she’s smart?

Very. I think she can comprehend more words than the average toddler.

Want to share a favorite dog story?

One day while walking in a nearby state park, Kismet sniffed out half of a small skull. My father-in-law, a former bio professor, said it was the skull of a raccoon. A few weeks later, Kismet was on a trail at the same park but several hundred feet from the first, and sniffed out a jawbone. The two halves fit perfectly together; we’re sure it was from the same animal.

You mentioned a state park – is that her favorite doggy haunt?

One of them. The state park has loads of trails, and she’d happily spend the entire day there running her humans into the ground. Another fave hangout is a community park, which is always crawling with other dogs and squirrels.

Is she afraid of the squirrels or vice versa?

They have her picture up on all of the trees as a visual reminder to beware of Kismet. As soon as a squirrel realizes its being stalked, it heads for a nearby tree. Kiz anticipates the move and heads for the tree instead of the squirrel. She has yet to catch one, but I know it’s on her Top Ten List of Things to Do Before My Next Trip to the Vet.

Not a fan of the vet?

She hates the table at the vet’s office. Hates. And as smart as Kismet is, she hasn’t yet learned that my shirt is not a secret portal to freedom. That said, she adores the vet’s assistants and smiles broadly, wagging her entire body, when she sees them.

She smiles?

She does indeed [see photo at left]. Though you may look at this photo and see a ferocious beast, Kiz is actually thrilled. Some of her favorite people have just arrived at her front door—Grandma and Grandpa Walsh.

Therese Walsh is a cofounder of the blog

The Last Will of Moira Leahy, her first novel, was published last month by Shaye Areheart Books.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Will of Moira Leahy.

an excerpt from The Last Will of Moira Leahy, and learn more about the book and author at Therese Walsh's website, blog, and Facebook page. Follow her on Twitter.

Walsh lives in upstate New York, with her husband, two children, a cat, and Kismet.

--Marshal Zeringue