Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jenny Smith & Angus

Who is in the photo at right?

Hello! I’m Jenny Smith, and I am a British author who writes comic fiction for teenage girls. My novel Diary of a Parent Trainer, published by Scholastic, is out on 12th June.

My canine companion is Angus. He is going to be seven in August, and he is a West Highland White Terrier. This seems appropriate as it is a Scottish breed, and I am originally from Scotland.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

There is a beautiful country walk along the Chilterns Ridgeway between my village and the village of Chinnor, where there is a fantastic little tea-shop called ‘Lotte’s Kitchen’ run by the British food writer Lotte Duncan.

We walk along the footpaths, and admire the Red Kites flying overhead. There are long views over fields and farms. It takes about forty minutes to walk to Chinnor.

As a special treat, Angus and myself can enjoy a little rest and refreshment at Lotte’s Kitchen before our walk home.

What’s brewing?

To be honest, here in England it’s usually tea! But Lotte’s Kitchen also does coffee and I would choose a cappuccino. Angus would order the house water.

Any treats for you or Angus on this occasion?

If I’m feeling naughty, I will have some of Lotte’s famous Passion Cake. Angus would munch a doggie treat.

How were you and Angus united?

When Angus was six weeks old, we visited some local kennels specializing in West Highland Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers. There he was, looking up at me with his big brown eyes, with his huge pointy ears which made him look slightly like Yoda. It was love at first sight for me.

How did Angus get his name? Any aliases?

Angus was named by the kennels and we liked the name so we kept it. No aliases.

What role has Angus played in your writing?

The dog in Diary of a Parent Trainer, who is called Rascal, is based on Angus. Like Angus, Rascal is very friendly and loving.

Does Angus have a favorite place to go for an outing?

Angus loves the brideway walks around the fields surrounding our village, where there are streams to drink from, woods to run into and other dogs to meet and greet.

Squirrel, postman etc?

The postman is Angus’s nemesis. He thinks that it is his duty to bark and jump around each time a letter pops through the door. Luckily, Angus is all bark and no bite.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick?

Definitely the tennis ball.

Who are Angus’s best pet-pals?

Angus walks most regularly with Billy Bonkers (who is a labra-doodle) and an Irish terrier called Pixie. I think Angus has a crush on Pixie.

Angus also spends weeks at a time with my parents-in-law’s canine companion, a miniature schnauzer who is nearly 2 years old, called Toby. When we have to go away, he has a holiday at Toby’s house and if they go away, Toby comes to us. They get on very well.

What is Angus’s best quality?

His gentle nature (apart from when the postman arrives).

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

He would stop me hosing him down if he has rolled in some fox poo!

What is Angus’s proudest moment?

Angus is always very proud when he has just buried something in the garden. He looks incredibly smug and secretive.

If Angus could speak in the moving about your life, who should do his voice.

It would have to be Ewan McGregor!

Visit Jenny Smith's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Jenny Smith.

--Marshal Zeringue

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