Who is in the photo at right?
I do know that the photo with me in it (and I’m Dandi Daley Mackall, author of more animal books that I can count) is a horse—my horse, Cheyenne. I have no pictures of me with my dogs because I’m always the one taking the pictures. Moxie is the smaller dog, and Munch is the big one, though the gals are from the same litter. They are supposed to be Shih-Tzus, but, come on, do they look fancy to you?
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Every morning I get up while it’s still dark, and the dogs sit on my lap while I read and down a giant mug of French Vanilla coffee, which my daughter prepares the night before.
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion? No treats, no way. If these two eat anything except their expensive special dogfood (Hmmm…so maybe they are fancy on the inside?), they puke. And puke. (Okay—on occasion, I slip them a cheerio.)
How did Moxie and Munch get their names? Any aliases?
Daughter Katy named both dogs, and we never know where she gets any of her ideas. But I’ve used both Moxie and Munch in books. In My Boyfriends' Dogs, which has recently been turned into a movie by Hallmark, a Shih-Tzu features prominently, though she goes by the name Shirley because the book’s subtitle is: The Tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley, 3 dogs from 3 boyfriends, and Shirley just seemed funnier to me.
How were you and your dogs united?
We had a real Shih-Tzu for 14 years. When she died, it took two dogs to fill the hole.
How do your dogs help--or hinder--your writing?
Our dogs do nothing. They used to not even bark, though they finally learned how. All day as I sit at the computer, Moxie and Munch sleep on my rug. I like that . . . until they start snoring. And I mean snoring.
Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?
Besides the obvious one, My Boyfriends' Dogs, I probably have dogs in over half of my novels. My brand new Knopf/Random House novel, The Secrets of Tree Taylor, brings back my first dog, Midge the mutt. Mad Dog is the title of one my Starlight Animal Rescue novels, and though Winnie the Horse Gentler majors in horses, a secondary character named Barkley has a bunch of dogs and knows all kinds of trivia about our canine buddies.
Squirrel, postman, cat....?
We have a bunch of outdoor and barn cats. I even have an I Can Read series about my kids’ favorite cat: Allyson J. Cat (aka Ali Cat). And the young adult novel Wild Cat is about a pure white cat who is blind.
Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?
My dogs are afraid of anything that squeaks. Munch is afraid of fires in our fireplace. Moxie fears the dishwasher. They’re also afraid of hair spray (to my hair, not theirs), running water, cooking.
Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?
Moxie and Munch are their own best pals, which is a great reason to have two dogs.
What is each dog's best quality?
Moxie is 9, but still bounces and acts like a puppy.
Munch is an old soul and always has been.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
They would keep me in my reading chair all day so they could sit on my lap as I drink my coffee.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Moxie and Munch could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Munch would be an old Mae West, and Moxie a young comedic Marilyn Monroe.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
What’s so scary about the dishwasher and a lovely fire in the fireplace?
Visit Dandi Daley Mackall's website.