Who is in the photo at right?
This is Jake, he's a ten year old mutt we adopted in Ohio. My best guess is that he's a border collie, golden retriever mix, but it really doesn't matter because he's a beautiful boy and we love him. As for the human hiding behind him, my name is Kristin Bailey. I write young adult historical adventures for Simon & Schuster. My latest book Rise of the Arcane Fire will be in bookstores on February 4th.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
It has been a cold and wet winter so Jake and I decided to share one of our favorite treats, curling up with some hot chocolate and a good book.
We're having extra thick hot chocolate prepared with steamed whole milk and topped with cream and sprinkles. It's perfect for cold winter weather.
Any treats for you or Jake on this occasion?
I'll probably also have a piece of my father-in-law's rum cake, and Jake will have to settle for a Grandma Gertrude cookie.
How were you and Jake united?
I had a dream one night that I went to the animal shelter and adopted three animals. The first was a wildebeest named Mocha, then there was a wallaby, but I can't remember what his name was. It was something distinguished though, like Thornsby, and then there was a beautiful black dog with a small white spot on his chest. His name was Jake.
The following Saturday, my husband and I were driving past a pet shop. He asked me if I needed anything, thinking we might need cat food. I said, "Yes!" so he turned. Then he asked me what we needed, and I said, "A puppy!"
He humored me and as it happened the pet shop was doing a shelter adoption event that day, I walked in and saw a little black ball of fluff with a small white spot on his chest and I knew. I shouted, "That's him! That's him! That's Jake!"
And sure enough, he grew to be the dog of my dreams.
How did Jake get his name? Any aliases?
Well, Jake was clearly named by a higher power, and I don't like to fight these things, but I do also tend to call him "Jakers," and "Pup Pup," even though he is now growing to be a distinguished older gentleman. [photo right: Jake the puppy]
Does Jake do more to help or hinder your writing?
Jake is a wonderful dog who curls up and sleeps close by as I'm writing. He also alerts me when packages arrive at the door, and when my husband is coming home. He is a wonderful help and a fantastic dog.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
Squirrel! When we lived in the desert in California, we had ground squirrels in the back yard. They dig holes like gophers, but they can't climb trees. Jake caught one, and to this day he thinks he can catch the grey squirrels here. They run up the trees and laugh at him.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
Jake loves his squeaky toys. He shows this love by slowly pulling the stuffing out of them and forcing me to buy new ones, but I understand that this is really a sign of the highest order of doggie affection.
Who is Jake's best pet-pal?
Jake's best pal is his doggie cousin Feliz Navi-dog, or Navi for short. She's a little Italian Greyhound/Jack Russell mix. My brother brings her over whenever they visit, and Jake loves to play with her, even though she's a fifth of his size.
What is Jake's best quality?
Jake always takes his cue from you. If you are calm and quiet, then he is as well, but when you want love, or want to play, he's right there tuned in to what you need.
If Jake could change one thing about Virginians, what would it be?
He would mandate much bigger backyards for everyone. We live in a townhouse now, and I can tell, he misses a big yard.
If Jake could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
Of all the places we've lived as a military family, which one did he like the best?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Jake could speak, who should voice him?
I always imagined Jake as having a youthful and slightly high pitched voice like Justin Timberlake.
Visit Kristin Bailey's website and Facebook page.