Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Barbara Levenson & Mr. Magruder

The following is the first interview with German Shepherd Mr. Magruder, Mac for short.

He is being interviewed by his owner and author of the Mary Magruder Katz Mysteries, Barbara Levenson.

Barbara: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for Coffee With A Canine. Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty. I notice that you have assumed the last name of the protagonist in both of the books I have written, Fatal February and Justice In June. How did that happen?

Mac: I guess it was the best way for me to become a real part of my new family, you and the Alpha guy, Bob Levenson. Mac has a nice ring to it, and I can easily recognize it when you call me. My new sibling, Millie, who is over ten years old can tell the difference from her name. She doesn’t hear too well. You know ten makes her an old broad.

Barbara: Tell us about your background. I understand it is quite a sad story. But first , do you care for coffee while we talk?

Mac: No, I prefer herbal treats, preferably bone flavored, and a side of water would be good. About my background, I have had more than one owner. I lived with one family as a puppy. I can’t remember much about them except that the place was crowded with dogs. Then I was sold to a man with a big truck. I rode around on the truck all day with him and I learned to protect his tools. I never let anyone near that truck. At night we went to his house but I wasn’t allowed inside. His wife hated me. One day the man with the truck took me to a strange neighborhood and let me out of the truck and drove away.

Barbara: How awful. What did you do?

Mac: What any smart German Shepherd would do. First, I chased after the truck, but to no avail. Then I learned to fend for myself. I was always hungry and wet when it rained, which it does a lot in Miami. I met other dogs on the streets and we helped each other. One day a policeman saw me and took me in his car. He dropped me off at a dog rescue center. It wasn’t much, but at least I was out of the rain and occasionally I got fed.

Barbara: And that’s where we found you. We saw your picture in the newspaper ad and I couldn’t believe a beautiful dog like you could have been abandoned.

Mac: What can I tell you. People are stranger than canines.

Barbara: We took you to the vet and nursed you back to health and now you are the gorgeous dog in the picture. (You’re the one with the pointed ears.)

Mac: Please, tell our readers what you told me about fate having a hand in our meeting.

Barbara: Yes, it was fate. Readers of Fatal February will remember that the dog in the book, Sam, was based on Ned, who was our male German Shepherd. His picture is on the book jacket. But sadly, Ned passed away last September after fighting a fatal disease. It was a bad time in our house. Millie refused to eat or play. Then we saw you and took you home. You made our world whole again and helped me to finish my new book Justice In June, which will be released June 1st, just in time for the six month anniversary of your adoption. Tell us what you enjoy in your new home.

Mac: The food is great. I’ve gained twelve pounds. I love the backyard. There are squirrels, birds, lizards. I love my collection of balls. There’s nothing more fun than getting up in the morning and dropping the big yellow ball at your feet ready
to chase some tosses. There are rides in a van, and walks around our neighborhood. I even love my collar and leash. And in the yard there is the biggest water dish I’ve ever seen.

Barbara: I keep telling you, that’s a swimming pool. Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Mac: Just that I hope everyone will read Justice In June. I like it better than the last book. It’s got a great plot. Of course, I like the parts about the dog best, but the mysteries and court cases really held my interest. Just remember, the more books you buy, the more bones my people can afford.

Barbara: Where did you learn to read?

Mac: When I was on the street I hung out at a library. At night, I read everything I could get my paws on.

Barbara: You are an amazing canine. Thanks for telling your story. This has been Coffee with a Canine, featuring Barbara Levenson and Mac.

Barbara Levenson has lived in Miami for the past 33 years.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Miami Law School, Levenson has served as a prosecutor and run her own law practice where she focused on criminal defense and civil rights litigation. She was elected to a judgeship in the circuit court of Miami-Dade County, where she still serves as a senior judge.

Born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio,
Levenson was raised in Columbus, Ohio. She was the first woman elected to the Columbus Board of Education, and later served as the Board’s first female president. She was also the first woman to be named the Ohio Newspaper’s “Man of the Year.”

Levenson and her husband, a retired financial consultant, bred and showed German Shepherd Dogs for 20 years and finished 11 champions in the show ring. They have two sons.

Visit Barbara Levenson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue