Who is in the photo at right?
I'm Kate Charles, ecclesiastical crime writer, with Rosie, an 8-year-old Border Terrier (a breed originating in Scotland).
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
This is England, so it has to be tea! Rosie and I share quality time together every morning, with the first cup of tea of the day, kindly delivered by my husband. I catch up with overnight e-mails on my iPad while Rosie catches up with just that bit more sleep she needs. Sometimes we have a cuddle; other times she stretches out at the bottom of the bed.
That first morning cuppa is always Clipper fair-trade tea. Later in the morning I’ll have a cup of green tea, and in the afternoon I prefer Twining’s Lady Grey.
Any treats for you or Rosie on this occasion?
Only if my husband makes me breakfast in bed! He often does this on a Saturday. I shouldn’t admit it, but Rosie gets to lick the plate afterwards.
How were you and Rosie united?
We lost our last dog, a Patterdale terrier, to heart disease way too young. It was the first time in over 30 years that our home was without a dog – we’d always had overlapping dogs before, but Gemma was much happier as an ‘only dog’. We did our research and decided that a Border Terrier would suit our temperaments and life-style. I kept my eye on various internet puppy sites, and when I spotted a litter which had been born on the day Gemma died, I took that as a sign.
How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?
We saw her at 4 weeks and just knew that was her name. Her kennel name is Ardenforest Rose Maree, so she’s also known as Rose and occasionally Rosebud.
Does Rosie do more to help or hinder your writing?
Dog walks are actually very good for brainstorming and thinking about what comes next. So she’s a definite help!
Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?
Before we rescued Gemma, we visited various dog-rescue organisations. At one of them we saw a lovely black-and-white cocker spaniel called Bella. Adopting her didn’t work out for us, but I decided that my main character Callie Anson needed to have her. And she’s been a wonderful companion for Callie through four books now!
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
Rosie is the most laid-back dog we’ve ever had. Gemma would have seen off any of those, as well as any bird which dared to trespass in her garden, but Rosie isn’t bothered.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
Squeaky ball. All day, every day.
Who is Rosie's best pet-pal?
Os, a male Border Terrier who lives in the next road. Sometimes she goes to stay with him when we’re away for a day or two. It’s not a romantic relationship - just a relaxed friendship between two laid-back Borders.
What is Rosie's best quality?
She has the sweetest temperament ever, and the only time she barks is during ball games. Quite a relief after the sometimes hyper dogs we’ve had in the past.
[photo left: Rosie in church, at a pet blessing service]
If Rosie could change one thing about you, what would it be?
She would like me to abandon my writing and become a full-time ball-playing companion.
If Rosie could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
“What do you dream about?”
She has the most energetic dreams, paddling her legs, wagging her tail, and making all kinds of vocal noises that she never makes when she’s awake.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Rosie could speak, who should voice her?
Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey).
What advice would Rosie give if asked?
“Life is too short to be forced do things you don’t enjoy.”
Visit Kate Charles's website.
The Page 69 Test: False Tongues.