Monday, January 25, 2010

Cindi Myers & Snoopy and Katie

Who is in the photos?

Author Cindi Myers and her two spoiled pooches, Snoopy (beagle mix, 13) [photo, below left] and Katie (Chow/Lab/Newfie/?? mix) 3 1/2 [photo, right].

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We stopped at The Knotty Pine on our way to snowshoe in the National Forest in the mountains of Colorado.

What's brewing?

Green chai for me -- I'm not much of a coffee drinker.

Any goodies to go with the chai?

A cranberry/orange scone. Yum!

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

The dogs are having Mother Hubbard biscuits. Snoopy likes the Carrot Cake flavor. Katie is a beef girl.

How did you come to be united with your dogs?

Excuse me, but I think we should be allowed to tell our own stories. Snoopy here. I ended up with Mom and Dad all because of romance. (And I didn't even know she was a romance author at the time.) Here's how it went down: when Mom and Dad lived in Texas, I lived across the street with five WILD children. To escape from them, I'd go across the street to hang out with their dogs, Gretchen and Shelby. Shelby was a gorgeous blonde -- a Belgian Malinois. Very regal. It was love at first sight, I tell you. She didn't usually get along with other dogs at all, but she flipped for me. One day during an ice storm I followed her right into the house. Mom found me eating out of Shelby's dish and after that I just sort of moved in. Mom must have worked it out with the neighbors, because when Mom and Dad moved to Colorado, I made sure I was the first one in the front seat of that moving van.

Katie: Snoopy says it's my turn now. I'm a little shy. I have a tragic past I don't really like to talk about. Let's just say my puppy years were not all good times. I ended up at an animal shelter, where I stayed for a month. I was really depressed, beginning to think I'd never find my forever home. Then one day, Mom and Dad and Snoopy came in. They seemed like really nice people. Snoopy said if I threw my lot in with them I wouldn't be sorry. He'd been living with two older lady dogs who passed away and he was lonely. So, even though I have issues about trusting people, I decided to trust Mom and Dad. And boy am I glad I did. I've been with them over two years now and life is good! I'm even learning to deal with some of my trust issues, thanks to them. And Snoopy has taught me a lot of things, like how to catch squirrels and how to do a beagle howl!

How did your dogs get their names?

Snoopy was named by his former owners, I suppose because of a certain famous beagle. Katie had another name when we adopted her, but it really didn't fit her. We thought a pretty girl deserved a pretty name, and Katie seemed to fit.

Do your dogs have any influence on your writing?

Katie and Snoopy are my constant writing companions. In my office, Snoopy has his own chair and Katie has a dog bed by my desk.

Where is your dogs' favorite outdoor space?

They love going hiking or snow shoeing in the woods, where they don't have to be on a leash.

Stick, Frisbee, tennis ball...? Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Katie likes chew toys, but Snoopy thinks he's above all that. But Snoopy is a Mighty Hunter. So far his tally is six squirrels, a ground squirrel and a rabbit. Katie is following his lead and has managed to dispatch a squirrel and a ground squirrel. Fortunately, they leave the deer and elk alone.

What's an ordinary day like for Snoopy and Katie?

Up at 5:30 with Dad, breakfast and a nap. Mom gets up at 6:30 and writes until 8, then has her breakfast and reads her email. They bug me for the next hour to take them walking, so finally we go for our walk, which takes about an hour. Back at home, more napping for them until noon, when they get a treat. More naps, with forays into the back yard to patrol. Dad gets home about 4:30, an occasion for much rejoicing. Dinner, playtime with Dad, another patrol of the backyard and a treat before bed. It's a good life!

Who are their best pet-pals?

Wesley, the black dog next door, is Katie's age and they were adopted about the same time. He occasionally hops the fence between the yards and comes to play. Kai and Rusty are our pet sitter's dogs and Katie likes to play with them. Snoopy prefers to observe the children from the top step.

What's each dog's best quality?

Snoopy is super smart and very obedient. Katie is so sweet and loving and gentle.

What's each dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Snoopy: I am the mighty hunter. We don't have to worry about any squirrel infestations at my house. And the UPS man hasn't broken in yet, though he keeps trying. I scare him away every time. If Mom would only let me out the front door I could keep those guys from stealing our trash every week, too.

As for embarrassing moments -- I did not steal that whole chicken carcass from the garbage in the kitchen. It crawled out of the can, down the stairs and out the doggy door all by itself. And that incident with the potting soil -- I had no idea if I ate the stuff it would swell up inside me and I'd have to go to the hospital.

Katie -- I'm really proud of the way I'm getting over my fear of people. Mom can take me places now -- like this coffee shop -- and I'm not terrified the way I used to be. I still am not sure about strangers petting me, but I'm getting better.

Mom and Dad make fun of me for being scared of the dragon in the basement (central heat blower) but that thing breathes fire! Who wouldn't be scared?

If Snoopy and Katie could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Snoopy: Mom sits in front of that computer too much! She should go for more hikes with us. And she shouldn't be so stingy with treats. She says she doesn't want us to get fat but Duh -- if we went hiking more that wouldn't be a problem.

Katie: I wish Mom and Dad would stay home ALL the time with me. I would be happy if they never went anywhere without me.

What's one secret about Cindi only her dogs would know?

Snoopy: She reads dialogue and stuff to us and asks our opinion.

Katie: Snoopy and I think she should write a book with a dog as the hero or heroine, but so far that hasn't happened.

Cindi Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager before turning to writing full time. She's written both historical and contemporary romance, as well as dozens of short stories and nonfiction articles.

Her latest books are
Her Christmas Wish, Harlequin American Romance (December 2009), and A Father For Her Son, Harlequin Superromance (January 2010).

Cindi Myers' website.

--Marshal Zeringue