Friday, November 2, 2012

Lisa Edwards & Boo, Porthos, and Pinball

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Boo my dog and I am his human, Lisa Edwards. I am a nationally certified dog trainer and behavior consultant. Boo is a very mixed breed dog. He found his way to us twelve years ago when he was only six weeks old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

When the weather turns colder, I like to sit outside with my morning cup of coffee warming my hands as I watch the dogs eat leaves like they are potato chips. Occasionally the dogs come over to check in with me. Normally I’m in my bath robe, but today I got dressed.

What's brewing?

My coffee of choice is a very, very strong Columbian blend—eight scoops for six cups of water and enough half-and-half to make those clouds Carly Simon talked about.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Usually the leaves-as-potato-chips are enough for them to have fun, but sometimes I have to pay them well to come in from the leafy-fun. For that I use my probably-should-be patented puppy crack mixtures of stinky treats.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Boo got his name because we found him on Halloween—it was only in later years we found that would help his work with children so much as both his name and demeanor charmed all and disarmed those who may have had fears of dogs. Porthos got his name because his back end looked just like Gerard Depardieu’s naked butt in the movie Man in the Iron Mask. Pinball [photo left] got his name because he bounced back from puppy Parvovirus when he was just seven weeks old with just a little antibiotic and some sub-q fluids. Later we found that name fit his energy too well and wondered if perhaps the name caused that… The next dog will be named Calm.

How were you and your dogs united?

Boo’s litter was dropped off at a pet store doorstep. I was headed to buy Halloween candy when I saw the sign – “Puppies $49.95” and thought I’d just stop in for a puppy fix before heading home with the candy. Instead, I headed home with Boo.

Porthos chose us when we took Dante and Boo to pick out a new puppy and Porthos sat at my feet, sat for Dante, and then sat for Boo while his littermates ignored us almost completely save for a couple drive-by sniffings.

Pinball’s sister Callie was to be our dog after Dante died. However, she did not survive the Parvovirus and all the other dogs from that litter and their mother had been adopted from the shelter. In Callie’s memory we couldn’t leave Pinball there. In hindsight, given his craziness I am not sure he could have made it in most homes. We believe he owes Callie his life.

What surprised you most in taking A Dog Named Boo from an idea to an actual book?

Boo’s overall achievement. Training and living with a dog can often be like watching your hair grow—you know it does, but you just don’t see the dramatic changes that others do. In writing A Dog Named Boo I had to stop and really look at Boo’s accomplishments that I had simply accepted as part of Boo and in that I realized just what an amazing dog he is in terms of overcoming his limitations, offering love and affection when he was so often confused and fearful in the beginning, and ultimately using all his charm and gentle awareness to help so many—including me, my husband and our son.

What is each dog's best quality?

Boo is love and patience.

Porthos is intelligence and eagerness to comply with whatever I ask of him—he takes his insulin shots twice a day quite happily.

Pinball for all his zaniness reminds me everyday to play or else!

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

Boo would sing “Don’t worry – be Happy.”

Porthos would try to convince me that he can take care of things.

And, Pinball would try to teach me to be more ebullient. They would all like me to worry less.

If Hollywood made a movie about A Dog Named Boo in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Boo would have to be Yoda. Porthos would have to be Morgan Freeman and Pinball would need to be Robin Williams from his Mork and Mindy days.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

Did I miss anything you needed?

Visit the official A Dog Named Boo website and Boo's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Great interview.
    If you are on the East Coast,
    we send our prayers and Power of the Paw
    out to you and your sweet dogs.
    Linda and Cinnamon

  2. what a great interview. Nice to meet new friends
    Benny & Lily

  3. That was very interesting! Thank you for sharing!
    stella rose