Friday, June 24, 2011

Paty Jager & Tink, Boots, and T-Bone

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, I'm Paty Jager. I'm the author of nine historical and contemporary western romance novels. My side kick, Tink, believes she's my muse. Being a Miniature pinscher and Chihuahua mix she is the right size to squeeze onto my lap when I'm writing, and therefore, she believes she is the ghost writer of all my books. She's been on all of my research trips. Gold mining in Sumpter, OR, checking out the historical center in The Dalles, taking a trek up the gravel roads of Silver City, ID and she's even been to several book signings, wearing a tiny cowboy hat. Tink believes she's a person and ignores the two cow dogs. Boots, a Border collie, and T-Bone, a Red heeler/Australian shepherd mix who help us move our thirty head of cattle. And the two Mini-aussies we're keeping for our daughter.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We heard about Coffee with a Canine from another dog lover and had to stop in and check it out and see if you have tasty treats. Tink's cute face always gets her a treat.

What's brewing?

I'm a green tea drinker- especially green tea with honey, lemon, ginseng.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

T-Bone and Tink have sweet tooths and will consider just about anything a treat, but Boots is a picky eater. While T-Bone might take half your hand when you give her a treat, the other two are very polite. So feed them first.

How were you and your dogs united?

Shortly after we bought our 70 acre ranch, a friend showed up at our door with T-Bone as a puppy. He picked the dog up for his daughter, and she didn't want her. Since she was a cow dog and my husband can never turn down a puppy face, she stayed. She hasn't been much of a cow dog, but she has such a happy go lucky personality you can't help but smile when you look at her. That was 14 years ago.

A year later a man was selling Border collie puppies out of the trunk of his car at the local feed store. My husband was there and the man told him this last pup and fallen out of the trunk and hurt herself, and if he didn't find someone to take her he was going to kill her. So my husband brought her home, and she has been his shadow ever since. She has the best cow instincts I've ever witnessed in a cow dog.

We'd lost a house dog and moved into a new house. I told my husband I didn't want another house dog, but an elderly couple who are good friends had a small dog that I made over every time I saw him. And low and behold, one day the couple showed up at my house saying, "Come on, you get pick of the litter." Their little male had sired a litter of pups and they were giving me the pick of the litter. I went along and sitting in the middle of eight puppies, I picked out Tink. She had a little crook in her tail but she had the same coloring as three other females. The owner of the mother said she couldn't tell which one I wanted and I might as well take her with me that day. She was 4 weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand. My husband and I wouldn't know what to do if something happened to her. She's been our enjoyment the last five years now that the kids are all raising their own families.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Tink is short for Tinkerbelle. Because she was so small when we first got her, I wanted a name that fit something small and dainty. Our friends and kids call her Stinker.

Boots… I'm not sure why my husband picked that name. He just did and it stuck, but I like to call her Tootsie.

T-Bone- The person who gave her to us said that was her name because the white on her face looked like a T-bone. And she's just T-bone.

What role have your dogs played in your writing?

As I said above, Tink thinks she's my muse. She sits on my lap when I write, travels on road trips, and attends book signings. But the outside dogs have influenced cow dogs in my contemporary novels. I've used some of their personalities in fictitious dogs in Perfectly Good Nanny and Bridled Heart. One is a cow dog mix like T-Bone and the other a Border collie.

Do your dogs have a favorite place to go for an outing?

Tink likes riding in the car, but she especially likes to ride on tractors. My husband fixed up boxes on every tractor so she can ride along. If she's at the house and hears a tractor start at the barn she heads down there and the next time I see my husband and the tractor Tink is riding in her box. Boots and T-Bone like to ride on the hay trailer in the winter when we feed the cows.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

T-Bone and Boots- Cat, Sage Rat, Rock Chuck.

Tink – mice and voles.

What is each dog's best quality?

Tink- Peppy character and doesn't bark.

T-Bone- happy face and attitude.

Boots- Sweet and cattle savvy.

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

They'd have me handing out treats every hour.

What is each dog's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Proudest for Tink would be when she chased a rabbit out of my flowers. It took her some time to get up the gumption to chase it. It was bigger than her. Her embarrassing moment: when our daughter's mini aussie rolled Tink. She got up looking so befuddled.

T-Bone's proudest moment would be when she finally caught a rock chuck she'd had cornered in a rock pile for several hours. Embarrassing: chasing a cow out of a pasture we'd just put her in.

Boots' proudest moment would be when she herded five heifers out of one pen and into the next just with my husband giving her hand commands. Most embarrassing would be when she fell from the hay trailer and caught her leg in the stake pocket and dislocated it.

Visit Paty Jager's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue