Who is in the photo at right?
The person in the photograph is me and my name is Emily Ruth Verona. I am a novelist and entertainment writer. The little dog sitting there is Phoebe, she is a two and a half year old Cavalier King Charles poodle mix. Professionally speaking, she is a licker and a snuggler and rather fond of general enthusiasm.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
My first novel, Steady is the Fall, will be published on October 29 and since Phoebe is my writing companion, we are celebrating it in our own reclusive way. She also happens to be there when I eat my meals, so this particular publication celebration could easily just be a regular Thursday.
My stomach is incredibly sensitive and so I cannot drink straight up coffee, but I enjoy the smell and enjoy a good iced coffee. Preferably caramel or mint with an excessive amount of sugar.
Any treats for you or Phoebe on this occasion?
She likes cheese. A lot. Like seriously. I cannot emphasize this enough. She really really really likes cheese.
How were you and Phoebe united?
I've been around dogs my whole life and while everyone in my family has at one time or another had a puppy, I had only known those dogs when they were older. Phoebe was my first puppy. I got her from a litter in the Midwest in 2012 and after a harrowing plane ride, which was filled with delays, to New Jersey we met for the first time at the airport. Ever since, we have been inseparable. It's sort of ridiculous. My friends often make fun of me.
How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?
She is named after Phoebe Buffay from the series Friends. She shares her namesakes compassion and general determination.
Does Phoebe do more to help or hinder your writing?
For the most part Phoebe lies around while I write, often insisting that she stay right beside me. Occasionally she will put her paws on the keyboard as a sign of defiance, or walk around my room knocking over each shoe one by one if she thinks that we should be doing something together instead of my typing away and mumbling to myself.
Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?
Surprisingly no, though Phoebe has served as inspiration for a dog in a piece one of my friends is writing.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
None of the above. She is a surpassing pacifist.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
Definitely a bone or small, squeaky stuffed animal.
Who is Phoebe's best pet-pal?
My parents watch her when I am away and so she is very fond of their two dogs who consistently teach her bad habits.
What is Phoebe's best quality?
She has an incredible enthusiasm for everything and is so very loving towards everyone.
If Phoebe could change one thing about New Jerseyans, what would it be?
The fact that we insist on transporting her places in cars.
If Phoebe could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
I would ask her the meaning of the universe. I'm pretty sure she'd know it.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Phoebe could speak, who should voice her?
Carey Mulligan (Pride and Prejudice, Never Let Me Go) because she seems very wise.
What advice would Phoebe give if asked?
She would probably tell you to live, love, and eat cheese. She might advocate reclusiveness, but that is just a ploy. She will do anything to get someone to snuggle. She is incredibly fond of that.
Visit Emily Ruth Verona's website.