Monday, July 6, 2009

Krista Davis & Han, Buttercup, and Queenie

Who is in the photo at right?

Left to right, we have Han trying to convince me that he deserves a treat. We're not sure what he is, but we know he's big. He may have some Black and Tan Coonhound, Springer Spaniel (I know, that's hard to see), and/or Bernese Mountain Dog in him. I'm next--Krista Davis. I write the Domestic Diva Mystery series. My most recent release is "The Diva Takes the Cake." The little white dog is Buttercup, a Jack Russell mix. The red one who's being deceptively well behaved is Queenie, a Golden Retriever, who isn't golden and won't retrieve.

What is their most intimate involvement with coffee?

They've all had little tastes of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I don't need much of an occasion for coffee with the canines. They've convinced me that they require a cheese snack every afternoon, which gives me an excuse to indulge, too.

What's brewing?

I'm a hot tea with sugar and milk kind of person. My recent favorite is Newman's Own Organic Black Tea. But it's hot outside today, so iced tea with a hint of raspberry and no sugar hits the spot.

Any goodies to go with the coffee ice cream and iced tea?

Always. There's the cheese, of course. But Sophie (my protagonist) isn't the only one who bakes. I've been into cupcakes this summer. But now that blueberries and raspberries are ripe, I'm shifting into fruit tart mode.

Any treat for the dogs on this occasion?

Cheese, of course!

I also keep a cookie jar in the kitchen, and they know where it is. For some strange reason, they think they must have a dog cookie every time they enter the house, and they cluster at the counter where the cookie jar sits, just to be sure I don't forget.

Where do you usually take Queenie, Han, and Buttercup out for fresh air?

We live in the country, so they can romp around off-leash. They like to hang out with me when I'm writing, but we go for a couple of walks every day on a path through the woods.

Would they rather chase a squirrel, a cat, a car, their tails, the mailman, ...?

Buttercup thinks it's her job to chase squirrels. Queenie, true to her bird dog roots, barks at the huge vultures that fly by from their home on a nearby cliff. And last year, she surprised me by catching a groundhog that had been tormenting the dogs. Han was very proud of himself when he caught a raccoon, but he didn't know what to do with it once he had it. Fortunately, it scampered off when he released it.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, stick, ...?

I've always had dogs and have thrown many, many balls and sticks. This is the first time I have ever had dogs who aren't interested in fetching. Queenie and Han do like a good game of tug of war, though. And Han swims like a fish.

What do the dogs of a domestic diva eat?

One of my dogs is allergic to grains. That means no corn, soy, wheat, or rice. It's hard to find dog food without any of those ingredients. So the vet took us off commercial dog food, and my dogs eat pretty much what we eat. Or what we should eat. Lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, meats, and veggies. They love watermelon! Queenie is notorious for pulling raspberries and blueberries off bushes to eat them. And if I don't watch like a hawk, Han and Queenie help themselves to cucumbers and tomatoes in the garden.

How did the dogs come to be united with you?

We intended to adopt a Golden Retriever. Queenie was selected because of her strawberry blonde fur and outgoing personality.

I'm sorry to say that someone abandoned Buttercup, Han and seven of his siblings. They were so small that Buttercup towered over them. I couldn't take those sweet puppies to the shelter, so they stayed in my laundry room until we found homes for them. Four of them went to New Hampshire, so if you live there and have a dog who looks like Han, it might be one of his siblings. Poor Buttercup was scared to death. She watched me so carefully, with a worried face. The first night, she went from one puppy to the next, like she was counting them and checking to be sure everyone was okay. But since she was an adult, I let her out to play with Queenie the next morning. I'll never forget how happy Buttercup was to discover Queenie's big dog bed and giant chew bone. Queenie adopted Buttercup immediately and never once growled at her over toys or bones. They still eat out of the same bowl if one finishes a meal sooner. BFF!

How did the dogs get their names?

Queenie's mother was named Lady Ruby so we felt a royal name was in order. I wasn't crazy about the name Queenie, but she's been so gracious toward the other dogs and is such a lovely leader of the pack, that now I think it's the perfect name for her. Naming Buttercup was hard. She was an adult when we found her, so she clearly had a name before. Even though she was sweet with the puppies, she was all rascally Jack Russell. When one of my friends suggested "Buttercup" we knew it was just right. Han had a sister who looked amazingly like him, hence Hansel and Gretel.

"The Diva Takes the Cake," Krista Davis's second Domestic Diva Mystery, is now available in bookstores everywhere.

Reviewer David Marshall James says "Davis has devised a delightful romp, with engaging characters and a nicely crafted setting in which to place them."

Watch the video for
"The Diva Takes the Cake."

Learn more about Krista and her canines (and feline) at her website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue