Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anna Mitchael & Isabella

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Anna Mitchael and I am a writer. My first book called Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am just came out last month, so for the time being I am also a book-promoter. Isabella is three years old and I met her for the first time at a Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue — she’s mostly got Ridgeback in her, but there’s something else running through her veins, that’s why she doesn’t have the traditional ridge you usually spot in her breed. She doesn’t have a formal occupation, but she keeps me sane and that keeps her pretty busy… it’s practically a full-time occupation.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We go for a walk every morning, even if it’s only to get the paper. Of course, I live on a ranch so walking to get the paper is a 20-minute affair.

What's brewing?

I don’t drink coffee, but there’s always a pot brewing in the house so I get the benefit of waking up to the smell. I start out with orange juice, Isabella sticks to water – she’s not very high maintenance until she starts chasing her armadillos (that’s usually an afternoon affair).

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

If someone else is cooking them.

Any treat for Isabella on this occasion?

Breakfast is warm-up for her day on the ranch, this is when she starts to get excited for what’s coming next.

How were you and Isabella united?

My house was broken into and at the time, I was living alone in a big city. I decided that it was time I go for some companionship and so I started looking for a pet to come share my home. As soon as I found Isabella I knew we were stuck with each other.

Does Isabella have any influence on your writing?

Other than distracting from it? I’m kidding. I write about Isabella for the occasional article and quite often on my blog… mostly I’d say that her influence is to make me a more content person – so obviously that’s going to come through in whatever I’m writing at the time.

Squirrel, cat, postman, armadillo...?

Armadillos. By the truckload. She can’t get enough of them. When people who live around us hear the stories of her chasing down armadillos they always ask if they can borrow her for a day or two… even though I know she’d probably enjoy a fresh batch of ‘dillos to chase, I’m selfish and don’t like to give her up—even for a weekend.

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?

Isabella doesn’t do dog toys. Those would seriously interfere with her assumption that she’s a human.

Who is Isabella's best pet-pal?

My boyfriend has a dog named Dolly, and she and Isabella are best friends. Now that we all live under the same roof they are … hmmmm. How should I say this. Best friends with benefits? Is that a term that people use or is it just what people in college used to call friends who occasionally made out in the back of keg parties?

What's Isabella's most endearing quality?

She is always Isabella, you never see her change her demeanor or her behavior for anyone. I like strong personalities, so for me, that is very endearing. I could probably take a few lessons from her tenacity to hang on to who she is in any situation…. Heck, maybe it’s safe to say that most humans could.

Anna Mitchael is the author of Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am, a memoir that details her twentysomething experience living and working in cities across the country. A reformed nomad, Mitchael has now returned home to Texas. She will tolerate y’all but reserves the right to raise hell when anyone calls her ma’am.

Among the early praise for the memoir:
“Worlds away from her small-town roots, Anna Mitchael spent most of her twenties pretending she wasn’t from the South. In this engaging memoir, a reluctant belle finds peace in her past and reminds all of us that it’s not only okay to bloom where you’re planted, but sometimes it’s the very best decision you can make.”
—Celia Rivenbark, author of Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny With A Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits
Read the daily chronicles of Mitchael's life at
her website and blog.

Writers Read: Anna Mitchael.

--Marshal Zeringue