Who is in the photo at right?
I’m Susan Abel Sullivan, author of The Weredog Whisperer, The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama, and Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories. My older dog is a female American pit bull terrier named Moxie. She’s a shelter adoptee so we don’t know her actual age—anywhere from ten to fourteen years old. The younger is some kind of hound/pit mix named Goober. He’s close to three-years old.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I have a confession to make; I don’t drink coffee. However, I love taking Diet Coke breaks in the afternoon to sit outside on the back deck with the dogs.
I do love the smell of coffee brewing. When I worked for a Godiva Chocolate boutique, the aroma of Godiva coffee was heavenly.
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?
The dogs are on a diet as per our veterinarian, but I’m having Bavarian pretzels and cashews.
Do your dogs help or hinder your writing? Have they inspired any dogs in your fiction?
Both! When they’re quiet, they’re a delight to have in my office. But when they decide that it’s playtime, they get so loud and boisterous that I can’t concentrate worth a flying flip. Moxie inspired the character of Luna—a family pit bull terrier that gets bitten by a weredog and turns into a teenaged girl during the full moon—in my novel, The Weredog Whisperer.
How did your dogs get their names? Any nicknames?
Moxie was chock full of moxie, especially for a dog that wound up on death row at the animal shelter. We originally named Goober “Bo,” but we changed his name two weeks ago when he ate one of his toys, became obstructed, and had to have two surgeries. The vet tech who cared for him affectionately called him Goober. He actually prefers the name Goober to Bo.
How were you and your dogs united?
My sister found Moxie for me online. Don’t ask me why she was surfing animal shelters on the internet. I didn’t even want a dog at the time. I wrote an article about the circumstances on how Moxie and I found each other for my publisher’s blog. Goober just showed up in our yard when he was six-months old. No collar, skin and bones. I put an ad in Craigslist, but the only person who responded was looking for a lost Basset hound.
Where do your dogs most like to visit on an outing?
The veterinarian. Seriously. Our yard is so big, that we play in the yard and swimming pool rather than go for walks in the neighborhood.
Do the dogs have any non-canine pet pals?
Yes, we have five cats. They all adore the dogs and vice versa. One cat, a Maine coon named Ernie, used to nurse on Moxie when he was a kitten.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
Moxie is fixated on tennis balls; she was like that when we adopted her. It’s an anxiety thing. Our vet has restricted Goober to only Kong and Nylabone toys.
What is each dog's best quality?
Moxie wants nothing more than to please me. She is definitely a mama’s girl. Goober is seventy-five pounds of cuddle bunny and loves to be loved.
If your dogs could change one thing about Alabamians, what would it be?
They’d change the notion of “ban or restrict pit bulls” to “ban the deed, not the breed.” The American pit bull terrier used to be the most popular dog in America. A few bad apples came along in the 1970s and started fighting dogs again (dog fighting and bear baiting were big sports in the 1800s) and the breed lost its reputation as a great family dog, which is unfortunate, because they are great family dogs: smart, loving, and loyal.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Randy Quaid (Cousin Eddie in the Vacation movies) for Goober. I’m going to tweak this question for Moxie. Rather than picking a voice, I’d select Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson to play Moxie/Luna when she turns into a teenaged girl during the full moon in a film adaptation of The Weredog Whisperer.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
Tell me about your life before you came to live with us.
Visit Susan Abel Sullivan's website and Twitter perch, and learn more about The Weredog Whisperer.