Who is in the photo at right?
The one with less hair is me, Holly Menino, author of mysteries and a good bit of nonfiction. The one with all the curly black stuff is Keel, a Portuguese Water Dog. Now that she's ten she doesn't like to give her age. Thinks she might be expected to act it.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
The occasion is morning, and it happens every day. But it might not if Keel weren't responsible for getting me up. It's her cold nose, on my warm one.
Zabar's, in a variety of roasts from light Ethiopian to dark Espresso. We drink it black, like Keel.
Any treats for you or Keel on this occasion?
How did Keel get her name? Any nicknames?
Keel was named short and sweet by her breeder, who was under the impression the pup had an even disposition.
How were you and Keel united?
I visited Keel's breeder and Keel's mother before she was born, and as soon as they would let me, brought her home. Although she grew quite a bit, her name never did.
Are there any Keel-inspired dogs in your new novel?
Alas, no. I haven't been able to get up enough nerve to try to characterize her.
Does Keel do more to help or hinder your writing?
She is the world's best editorial assistant.
Who is Keel's best pet-pal?
Pal doesn't seem quite right. It's Buddy, big, yellow, three-legged Buddy [photo right]. Keel has supervisory responsibility.
Where is Keel's favorite outdoor destination?
Our pond and her lake.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...? Cat, postman, squirrel...?
It's the door that preoccupies Keel. Who can be allowed in. Who can go out. And when.
What is Keel's best quality?
I can't say because she is a perfect—and I mean that—bitch.
If Keel could change one thing about New Yorkers, what would it be?
If by New Yorkers you mean people who actually live in the city, Keel has met only one, a divine dog trainer she met in the water pooled at the bottom of a gravel pit. Divine, and how can you improve on that?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Keel could speak, which actor should do her voice?
If Keel could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
What is it, Keel, about this water and boats thing? I mean, where does it come from?
Visit Holly Menino's website.
Writers Read: Holly Menino.
The Page 69 Test: A Distance to Death.
My Book, The Movie: A Distance to Death.