Who is in the photo at right?
I’m Emily Anthes, a science journalist and author of the new book, Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts. And cuddled up to me is Milo, my six-year-old Cavapoo (a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a miniature poodle.)
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We are celebrating Milo’s impending fame. (Just kidding. Sort of.) My book is mostly about the high tech animals of the future—cloned and genetically modified pets, livestock, and wildlife, for instance—but Milo makes several notable cameos in the book. I couldn’t have done it without him!
An iced latte made with beans from Gorilla Coffee, a wonderful roaster here in Brooklyn.
Any treats for you or Milo on this occasion?
No—neither of us eat much in the mornings, though I’m sure Milo would eat a treat if I gave him one.
How were you and Milo united?
I grew up with dogs, and shortly after moving to New York, I decided that I was ready to get my own.
How did Milo get his name? Any aliases?
I considered a long list of names after I brought him home, and somehow Milo just seemed to fit. My family has taken to calling him “LM,” which stands for “Little Milo.”
Does Milo do more to help or to hinder your writing?
It depends on the day. Most days he’s an excellent writing companion, curling up on the couch next to me as I work. But if he hears or sees another dog walking by on the street outside, all bets are off. I have more than a few recorded phone interviews that feature sudden outbursts of barking in the background.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
You know, he never seems to notice squirrels in New York, which is strange, but whenever we visit my parents in Virginia, he goes crazy over the chipmunks in their backyard. He does a very good job protecting us from them.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
None of the above? What he really loves more than anything is the laser pointer. He will chase that red dot all day. We’ve had to scale back on it though, because he was getting so obsessed with it that he would just sit in the kitchen or hallway and wait for it to appear. We started to worry that we were breaking his brain.
Does Milo have a favorite place to go for outings?
We’re big fans of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Who is Milo's best pet-pal?
He loves running into Nico, another Cavalier who lives in our neighborhood. They clearly love each other—and race down the sidewalk to greet each other—but they’re both a little socially awkward, so they’re never quite sure how to play. Mostly they wag their tails like crazy and dance around each other in circles.
What is Milo's best quality?
He is just very, very sweet. I’m not sure he’s a terribly smart dog, but he’s incredibly loving and an excellent writing companion. He’ll happily sit by my side, or in my lap, throughout the whole workday. I’d be very lonely without him.
If Milo could change one thing about Brooklynites, what would it be?
He would ask them to please drop more food onto the sidewalk. And also to stop carrying those scary umbrellas.
If Milo could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
Sometimes he stands in the doorway and just snorts at me. I’d ask him what he’s trying to say.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Milo could speak, who should voice him?
Woody Allen. If Milo were a human, he would definitely be a neurotic dweeb.
Visit Emily Anthes's website.