Monday, January 19, 2015

Dale Ryan & Rupert and Clementine

Who is in photo at right?

That's me, Dale Ryan. I am at the Pineapple, a park just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. The weather is typically Scottish…rainy, and the sky is always so beautiful despite the intermittent downpour. As I’m walking, three new pals greet me, and of course, they are dogs.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I am celebrating the publication of my new book The Painted Pilgrim. We are off the beaten path, and I’m miles away from my own dogs, Rupert and Clementine who are in Connecticut. It’s raining, and due to the fact that I’m in Scotland, assam tea is my choice of brew.

Any treats for the dogs?

Wherever I travel, I always have treats in my pocket.

How did your dogs get their names?

Most of my dogs are named after well known people. For example, Clementine is named after Winston Churchill’s wife. We had a dog, named Buddha, and he was wonderfully Zen. Interestingly enough, our dogs live up to their name.

How were you united with your dogs?

My dogs came from a kennel/breeder in South Carolina. I met Rupert at an airport. My son went to New York and greeted Clementine. She was driven up from the south and was with another dog who was being admitted to The University Animal Hospital.

Do your dogs help or hinder your writing?

My dogs, Clementine and Rupert help me vs. hinder. Without their aid, I would never be able to understand the nature of dogs. Then again, all the dogs that have shared their life with me, taught me more than words can describe.

Are any actual dogs inspiration for dogs in your writing?

Most of the dogs in The Painted Pilgrim are based on my dogs, my children’s dogs, and friend’s dogs. For example, Buddha, Belle, Blossom, Elma, Eloise, Jack, Winston, are all characters in The Painted Pilgrim. Their breeds and personalities are non-fictional and closely resemble the dogs in the book.

Where is your dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

Our farm in Connecticut, like the park in Scotland, is the kind of environment my dogs most enjoy. The ability to run around, and find shade under the canopies of trees just makes their day. Also, the scent of wildlife and flowers keep their noses busy as well as curious. They would be great gardeners too!

Who are your dogs’ best pals?

My dog’s best pals are their parents [my husband and myself] and their favorite four- legged friend is Blossom, a Jack Russell Terrier.

What is each dog’s best quality?

Without a doubt, Rupert and Clementine are very different but they both share the same gift that all dogs do--unconditional love.

Would your dogs change anything about you?

I love to travel and they would definitely like to be packed away in my luggage. Actually, they have been known to get into the luggage, or they brood when they see my bags. Depends on their mood and how large the suitcase…

If your dogs could speak, and were in Hollywood movies... who or whom would be their voice?

As far as Hollywood… Mae West would have been my first choice. Clementine could easily be impersonated by her voice as well as character. Clementine is a curvy girl with a flirtatious twist. Then again, Maggie Smith could do a perfectly great job. As far as leading men, Cary Grant would be my first choice for playing the role of Rupert. Rupert is quite handsome and has an elegant demeanor. He has a keen sense of observation, and Rupert is a very clever dog. Without a doubt, Benedict Cumberbatch would be my second choice.

What would you ask your dogs if they could speak?

What do you think of the world in which you live in?

What advice would your dogs give you if asked?

The list would be endless. Just think, if dogs had a voice, the world would be a much better place.

Visit The Painted Pilgrim website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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