Monday, April 4, 2011

Debra Webb & Toto, Trixie, and Smoky

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Debra Webb and I'm an author of romantic suspense novels. My 89th book, Missing, comes out in this month! Missing is part of my long-running Colby Agency series.

I have three wonderful dogs! Toto, a Cocker Spaniel-Scotty mix; Trixie, a Maltese; and Smoky, a Beagle!

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Every morning my husband, the dogs and I have coffee on the porch of our 111-year-old house!

What's brewing?

We love Dunkin Donuts coffee! We buy the whole beans and our coffeemaker grinds and makes the heavenly brew with the push of one button. My husband is usually up first and the wonderful smell of brewing coffee drifts through the French doors of our bedroom and wakes me (and the dogs!). All three of our pups follow me down for coffee (and their morning treats!).

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Occasionally we have coffee cake or home made pound cake.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Trixie, Toto and Smoky sometimes get a bite of cake but they always get their morning cheese treat!

How were you and your dogs united?

We rescued a lost dog who turned out to be Toto's mother. The owners were so thankful that we had rescued their dog that they allowed us to pick one of the puppies! Trixie lived with one of my dear writer friends, Rita Herron, whose daughters had both gone off to college and with Rita traveling Trixie was feeling a little lonely. We were thrilled to bring Trixie home with us! My younger daughter bought Smokey as a little pup at the Dog Days Festival in Ardmore, Alabama!

Have your dogs had any influence on your writing?

Definitely! They keep me company! Each day when I go to my office to write, they follow. Also, their love and loyalty remind me every day how important those traits are in my characters!

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Toto reminded us a bit of the dog from The Wizard of Oz when he was a pup. We sometimes call him Snake because when he was younger he was so good at keeping snakes out of the yard or warning us when one was there.

Trixie already had her name when we got her but we usually refer to her as the Princess since she rules the roost!

Smoky was named by my daughter who believed his stealthiness was like that of smoke.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Smoky chases the squirrels! He has been known to climb the ancient Pecan tree in hot pursuit (this is absolutely true!). Toto has no interest in the squirrels. He prefers to bark at the cats who stroll the alley behind our house. Trixie is above such trivial pursuits.

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

When the dogs were younger they loved all sorts of doggie toys (and most anything else that happened to be in their paths). Nowadays it's more about a nice pillow to lay their heads on.

Where are your dogs' favorite places for outings?

They love to go for rides. We have several dog parks and they love them all! Mostly they love being wherever we are.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Well there's Samson, my younger daughter's new Lab pup. Then there's Kisses and Nona, my older daughter's wonderful doggies. And Gizmo, my niece's Shihtzu.

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

Oh my gosh, so many! When he was younger Toto was an excellent guard dog! There are far too many proud moments to name. I can't think of a single embarrassing moment with Toto. Trixie is pretty much the same. She rules, allowing her subjects only so close. And if anyone is going to sit in Mom's lap, it's Trixie. Smoky is the young one, only three to Toto's fourteen and Trixie's eleven.

When we first moved into this 111-year-old house, it was a mess and we were trying to live here during the renovation. One night my husband was going through the downstairs turning off lights before bedtime and Smoky stopped dead in his tracks in the back hallway. He simply would not move on to the next room. My husband finally turned the light back on to see what the problem was and there was a huge spider on the wall! Once my husband got rid of the spider, Smoky moved on. The next day we found a place in that hallway where the big old nasty spiders were coming in! We might not have noticed it for weeks if Smoky hadn't!

During our first summer here Smoky would climb that big old Pecan tree after those elusive squirrels. The second summer he was older and a little heavier. No matter, he chased the squirrels and climbed that tree again. But this time he lost his nerve and was afraid to try and get down. So he howled until we rescued him!

Visit Debra Webb's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue