Who is in the photo at right?
Suzanne Redfearn, author. My debut novel, Hush Little Baby, will be released October 8th. My dog's name is Cooper, he is a seven-year-old male cockapoo (cocker spaniel/poodle mix).
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Enjoying a Diet Coke while hanging with Cooper in the pool and catching some rays. This is Cooper's favorite place to hang out, and he's a bit too high strung for chilling in public, loves to chase the UPS truck, the mail truck, seagulls, and skateboards, and has no qualms about dragging the patio table along with him to do it.
Diet Coke, my guilty pleasure.
Any treats for you or Cooper on this occasion?
Note the three pool balls collected on the raft. After the photo was taken, I threw them into the water for him to retrieve. He paddles the raft around picking them up if he can reach them, or he will jump in to get them if he can't maneuver close enough.
How were you and Cooper united?
Cooper and I met when he was a pup and it was love at first sight. We had only gone into the pet store to look, but we ended up walking out with Cooper. He charmed all of us and has been charming us ever since.
How did Cooper get his name? Any aliases?
My son named him, and the name fits because it has so many nicknames: Cooper Pooper, Super-Cooper, Mini Cooper, Cooper-dooper, Coops. He also responds to Butter Brain, Butt Face, Tail-wagging-dogface, Cooper-you're-in-the-way, Ugh!, and Martha (the cat's name).
Have any Cooper-inspired dogs appeared in your published work?
Hush Little Baby does have a dog in the story, but it is not a dog like Cooper, and the dog ends up getting killed. Having Cooper certainly made it easier to describe the dog-owner relationship.
Does Cooper do more to help or to hinder your writing?
Help. Writing is a lonely business and so I talk to Cooper all the time. He patiently listens, and though he does groan every once in a while and mostly ignores me, he doesn't complain or criticize. He's perfect company.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
He has a fabulous love/hate relationship with our evil cat, Martha. It is very entertaining watching him attempt to assert his canine authority over her obvious feline dominance. He's gotten his nose scratched more than once by those razor claws.
He hates the postman, the UPS man, and the Sparkletts man, ferociously barking and refusing to be won over by their overtures or dog biscuits, but the moment they open the gate, he becomes a tail-wagging wuss.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
Loves anything with a squeak and makes it his mission to search and destroy the source of the squeal the moment he receives a new noise maker, but his favorite possessions are his pool splash balls. He drops them from our deck into the water then makes a game out of jumping into the pool to retrieve them. He swims them back to the deck, then drops them in again – hours of ridiculous entertainment.
Does Cooper have a favorite place to go for outings?
The beach. Sand, birds, waves – what's not for a dog to like?
Who is Cooper's best pet-pal?
Martha, the evil cat. They pretend to hate each other when the family is around, but if you catch Cooper unaware, he'll be lying beside her or sometimes taunting her to play.
What is Cooper's best quality?
The dog is just super fun. He's a lover not a fighter and makes everything a little brighter with his dopey enthusiasm.
If Cooper could change one thing about the people of Orange County, what would it be?
Cooper likes to play a game where he drops one of his splash balls outside the gate of our house whenever anyone walks by, half the time, the person will throw it back for him. I think Cooper would change it so everyone took the time to give him his ball back.
If Cooper could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
You know you're going to get stung, why do you still chase after the bees?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Cooper could speak, who should voice him?
Visit Suzanne Redfearn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.