Who is in the photo at right?
This old, chubby guy is my ten year-old pug, Costner. He`s a loyal companion, who sleeps in his bed all day, which is strategically placed beside my writing desk.
My name is Luke Murphy. I’m an elementary school teacher who just released my debut novel, Dead Man's Hand.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
When I write, I need two things: a hot, steaming mug in front of me and my loyal companion in his bed, watching over me.
I usually drink tea, but since my wife received a new Keurig for Christmas, I`ve been tempted by her French Vanilla flavoured coffee.
Any treats for you or your dog on this occasion?
I’m spoiling myself today. My wife just received a Keurig at Christmas, and I help myself to her selection of brews.
How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?
I think you know where the name Costner comes from…that’s right, the actor, Kevin Costner. My wife and I love his movies, and he’s one of my favourite actors. We just call him Cos for short, and my daughters are crazy about him.
How were you and your dog united?
My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, had always wanted a Pug. I was playing professional hockey in Georgia, and my wife got lonely when I went on road trips, which sometimes lasted for days. When my mother-in-law saw an ad in the paper for the dog, she called me up and together we bought it for my wife. That was in 2003, so he’s been around a lot longer than my kids.
Does your dog make any contribution to your writing?
He’s a trusty, loyal companion. He sleeps in his bed, which is situated in my writing office beside my desk, while I write. For my novel Dead Man's Hand, one of my main characters has a dog and I transferred many of Costner’s quirks and habits to the fictional dog in my story.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
He’s actually getting old now (and lazy), just celebrated his tenth birthday and has grown out of his toys. But he still enjoys my daughters’ stuffed animals.
Squirrel, postman, cat...?
Costner is one of the friendliest, outgoing dogs I have ever seen. He loves everyone, and wants to be friends with anyone (cats, squirrels, bigger dogs, etc.)
What is your dog's best quality?
Loyalty. That’s an easy one. He’s been with me for a long time, through thick and thin. He sleeps in our bed every night and is a big cuddler. He loves the warmth, hates our Canadian winters, and spends as much time in bed under the covers as he can.
If your dog could change one thing about you, what would it be?
His diet. I’m very strict when it comes to Costner’s food and portions. He is on weight-control food, and only gets two servings a day.
I also monitor his treats. Being a small dog with short legs, his weight is always a concern.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dog could speak, which actor should do his voice?
I’m sure you’ve seen the Pug in Men in Black, and everyone we meet calls him Franklin from that movie. If there was a movie on my life and we needed a voice over for Costner, I’d say the best candidate would probably by Clint Eastwood—with that old, hard-edged, husky voice.
If your dog could answer only one question in English what would you ask him?
Who do you like better, mommy or daddy?
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