Who are in the photos accompanying this Q & A?
I’m Weston Ochse, owned by three Great Danes. They’re all rescues. Goblin, the big old merle, came from San Bernardino. Ghost, who is deaf and was set on fire, came from Phoenix, and Ghoulie, who is blind as three bats, came from Charlotte, N.C.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We live in the desert. We are always thirsty.
Goblin and me, we like ice coffee with very little cream or sugar. Ghost likes hot coffee with enough cream it’s the color of tan. And Ghoulie prefers Green Tea, although I seriously doubt she needs the caffeine.
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?
No. We’re all watching our weight during the holidays.
How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?
Both my wife and I are dark fiction authors. Once we had Goblin, the other names just fell into place. Their full names, for the record, are Goblin Monster Dog, Pester Ghost Palm Eater and Mad Dog Ghoulie Sonar Brain.
How were you and your dogs united?
Through Petfinder, which is an online search engine, much like eBay, but with animals who need to be rescued. Note that rescuing an animal is a lifetime commitment, and not at all buy and forget. We were vetted each time, interviewed, and our homes checked for suitability. We almost didn’t get Ghoulie. The adoption agency wouldn’t adopt out of state. But we impressed them with our bonafides. The breaking point came when they realized that a youtube video of Goblin and me, which has had several hundred thousand views, was one they’d recently watched. We drove from southern Arizona to Charlotte in two days, then drove back in two. Long, fast trip.
Do your Great Danes have anything in common with the Belgian Malinois in your new novel, SEAL Team 666?
They do in that both the Danes and the Malinois are excellent althletes.
Great Danes were raised for a singular purpose, to hunt down wild boar in a pack. They spent most of their lives laying on the castle floor, soaking in the heat from the fire, and eating scraps off the table. Then during one ferocious weekend they’d hunt and run and howl.
Malinois are very much like this except they do it every waking hour. Where a Great Dane is like a middle distance runner, a Malinois is a decathlete.
Squirrel, postman, cat....?
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
What is each dog's best quality?
Goblin is scent sensitive.
Ghost is forever curious.
Ghoulie is fearless.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
They would like me to be rich so they could live the life they want to be accustomed to living.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?
What a question! I have no idea.
If your dog s could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
What can I do to make your life better?
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