Who is in the photo at right?
I’m Diane Kelly, author of the funny Death and Taxes mystery series from St. Martin’s Press. In my previous life as a CPA/tax attorney, I inadvertently worked for white-collar criminals - twice. Lest I end up in an orange jumpsuit, I decided self-employment was a good idea. So I became a writer. My brushes with white-collar crime gave me great fodder for my novels, which star a rookie criminal investigator for the IRS.
On the left is Reggie, a Dalmatian/Tasmanian devil mix. On the right is Junior, a shepherd/husky mix. In my lap is Brownie. She belongs to my daughter’s best friend, but she’s hanging out with us for a few days while her family is out of town.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We’re celebrating that the groundhog did not see its shadow, so spring will come soon. That means good weather at the dog park! Yay!
We’re drinking chai tea lattes with soy. It tastes like liquid spice cake. Yum!
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?
Peanut butter dog cookies. They love them!
How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?
Junior had been surrendered to the city shelter by his previous owners, so he was already named when we got him. Reggie was just a name we liked. It sounds more like a male name and she’s a female dog, but since she’s deaf she can’t hear her name anyway so we figured she wouldn’t mind. They both have several nicknames. Junior is also June-bug, Junie, and Justin Bieber. Reggie is also Reggers, Reginald P. Kelly, and Noodlebutt (I have no idea where that one came from!).
How were you and your dogs united?
I had a dachshund mix who lived to be 19 ½. I’d had him since I graduated from college and it was really hard when he passed away since he’d been with me my whole adult life. When he died 3 years ago, we knew we wanted to get more dogs. A house doesn’t feel like a home without a dog or two. I took my kids to the city shelter and let them each pick a dog. My daughter picked Reggie and my son picked Junior. The dogs are a good match. They get along great and love to play fight.
Are your dogs more help or hindrance to your writing?
As much as I hate to say it, they are definitely a hindrance! They want in, out, in, out, in, out all day long. It really interrupts my train of thought. Not that I blame them. I’d get bored being in one place, too. I take them to the dog park every morning it’s warm enough so they can run around and burn off some energy. Sometimes I even take my computer and sit at a picnic table at the dog park to write.
Squirrel, postman, cat....?
Squirrels! Especially a particular one that likes to sit on top of the back fence and flick his tail in challenge. We call him Taunty. He’s a jackass.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
Nylabone. Reggie has had one particular bone since we got her and it’s really held up well. She gnaws on it constantly and has gorgeous white teeth as a result.
What is each dog's best quality?
Junior’s best quality is that he’ll round up Reggie for us. Since she’s deaf, we can’t simply call her into the house when she’s out moseying around in the yard. But if I tell Junior to “go get Reggie,” he’ll run over to her and somehow communicate that we want her to come in. Reggie’s best quality is her sweetness. She loves hanging out with us and always greets us with a wagging tail in the morning.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
That I’d stop being so stingy with the Oreos.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Since Reggie is both deaf and cute, Marlee Matlin would be perfect to do her voice. Junior would best be played by John Krasinski who plays Jim on The Office. Junior and Jim are both basically nice guys, but they don’t tolerate a lot of BS, either.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
I’d ask Reggie what she’s dreaming about when she makes that whimpering sound and twitches her nose in her sleep.
Visit Diane Kelly's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
My Book, The Movie: Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria.