Friday, August 12, 2011

Janet Bolin & Laddie and Lacy

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Janet Bolin. I write the Threadville Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The first book, Dire Threads, came out in June. The second book comes out in June, 2012, and the third in June, 2013.

The brindle and white dog is Laddie. His sister, Lacy, is the black and white one. We’re sure they’re littermates, of mixed parentage that probably includes border collie. They’re almost five years old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I usually have my coffee at my computer before the dogs wake up, but if I take it outside, they come, too.

What's brewing?

I like Costco’s home brand, which is actually from Starbucks. I grind the beans immediately before brewing the coffee, and I make it strong, very strong, and add skim milk to whiten it a little.

Any treats for you or the dogs on this occasion?

The dogs will get treats when they go inside. They prefer something meaty.

How were you and Laddie and Lacy united?

They were discovered trembling together on a cold day in January and taken to a very nice rescue facility where they had plenty of outdoor exercise with other dogs. Some folks wanted to adopt one or the other of them, but they are totally devoted to each other, and the rescue facility insisted that they had to be adopted together. We we saw them on, fell in love, and adopted them when they were about a year old. And they are great dogs—easygoing, friendly, easy to please.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

The rescue facility named them Lad and Lacy, and we kept the names, but Lad immediately became Laddie. I gave the dogs in my novels names that fit Laddie’s and Lacy’s fondness for exploring.

How have Laddie and Lacy influenced your writing?

Lacy lies behind my desk chair so that I can’t roll it back and escape from my computer. I have to keep writing. Or checking email or playing Solitaire (and oh help!—I just discovered Free Cell)... And dogs are very good at helping my protagonist find things like injured people or clues to murders.

Do Laddie and Lacy have a favorite place to go for walk?

We live on several acres in the country. They love rambling about with us. When we visit folks in the city near a dog park, Laddie won’t settle until he’s been taken to the leash-free park to meet other dogs. Lacy goes along, but mostly stays close to her humans.

Rabbit, postman, cat...?

Rabbit, raccoon, cat, possum, skunks, deer, goose, ducks ... If it runs (or waddles), they chase it. Fortunately, postmen don’t have to be herded.

What is each dog's best quality?

Laddie is an athlete. He floats like a ballet dancer.

Lacy tries to look after everyone, especially young animals. Both of them are perfect pets.

If Laddie and Lacy could change one thing about you, what would it be?

They would have me outside walking with them about ten hours per day. That’d be about right.

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

Proudest moments: Laddie caught a rabbit and gave it to a visiting dog of whom he is extremely fond. Lacy learned to climb a wooden ramp with gaps between the slats.It was so steep it nearly qualified as a ladder.

I’m not sure they have ever been embarrassed, but they should have been the second time skunks sprayed them.

What are their greatest fears?

When we first got them, Laddie was afraid to ride in a car, but he has conquered that fear, mostly. Lacy is terrified of the sound of smoke detectors.

What have they learned?

Lacy has learned that chasing bird shadows is a fairly fruitless pursuit. Laddie has learned that riding in a fast, open motor boat is super fun.

Have they solved any mysteries?

They solve them every day, but even though they sniff intently, they never tell me what passed by recently.

Learn more about Dire Threads, and read an excerpt.

Visit Janet Bolin's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue