Friday, September 23, 2011

Jenny Hubbard & Oliver

Who is in the photo at right?

Jenny Hubbard, a young-adult novelist, with Oliver, a seven-year-old Schnoodle (a Schnauzer-poodle mix).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Every morning in bed, Oliver, my husband, and I have coffee while we read or listen to NPR. My husband prepares it: Starbucks Verona with “steamy milk,” as we call it.

How were you and Oliver united?

I saw his face on a website and knew he was the one. He had been in foster care for two months with Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas, who came and interviewed us for the job of Oliver’s parents. We’ve had the job for six months now and wouldn’t trade it for a hatbox full of hundreds (or millions).

How did he get his name? Any nicknames?

He came to us as Oliver. And it’s perfect for him.

He does have a nice little series of nicknames: Cujo (his persona when he’s out for his walk and sees other dogs); The White Shadow (because he follows us at every turn); and Hoover (he’s a canine vacuum in the kitchen).

Does Oliver play any role in your writing?

Yes, he sits in my lap during thunderstorms. I especially love to write on rainy days.

Does Oliver have a favorite place to go for walk?

Any walk is preferable to no walk, but we’ve learned that he prefers the country to the town. Oliver likes to feel a breeze blow through his hair.

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

It appears that toys may be beneath his dignity. He is frightened of the container in which we keep his food (a large clear-plastic bear).

What is Oliver's best quality?

Oliver is a dog that inspires superlatives.

But if I had to choose one, I’d go with his loyalty, his fierce and unwavering loyalty.

If Oliver were a talking dog in the movie of your life, who should do his voice?

Michael Caine.

If Oliver could change one thing about you, what would it be?

He would like for me to be giant-size so that I could carry him everywhere in my pocket.

What's Oliver's proudest moment so far?

He managed to scavenge a chicken bone left over from a picnic during one of our walks through a park and hide it in his mouth for a good, long while.

His most embarrassing?

A bout with diarrhea on my parents’ living-room carpet.

If you could ask Oliver only one question, what would it be?

What about your past still haunts you?

Pat Conroy called Paper Covers Rock, Hubbard's new novel, “one of the best young-adult books [he's] read in years.” It’s “bold,” he says, “pitched to the very heart of boys.”

Learn more about the author/dog-lover at Jenny Hubbard's website.

My Book, The Movie: Paper Covers Rock.

--Marshal Zeringue