Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Heather Sharfeddin & ZiZi

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Heather Sharfeddin, an author (with a day job). I've written four novels about the Pacific and Inland Northwest. ZiZi, or more affectionately "Nut", is a female mutt of the Chihuahua persuasion. We suspect a Miniature Pincer had something to do with it as well.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with ZiZi every morning about 6am. She knows the coffee press when I get it out and turns circles on the kitchen floor waiting for the water to boil. With coffee made, she sits on my lap while I read the morning paper before she tears it to shreds. Occasionally on Saturdays we'll have coffee on the sidewalk outside Black Bird Coffee & Tea.

What's brewing?

Portland Roasting's Organic Sumatra. Hot and black.

Any treats for you or ZiZi on this occasion?

I usually give ZiZi a rawhide bone to keep her from shredding the paper before I'm finished. At Black Bird she gets a doggie biscuit.

How did ZiZi get her name? Any aliases?

When I brought her home from Northwest Dog Rescue, she was 6 weeks old and 1.8 pounds. She looked a lot like a Kalamata olive. So her first name was Olive. That quickly morphed into Zetuna, the Arabic version of Olive. That, in turn, became ZiZi, which has pretty much stuck. Although we still call her Nut or ZiZi Nut when she's particularly silly (which is all the time).

How were you and ZiZi united?

I went to the shelter to meet a different dog, but he wasn't quite right for me. While there, I found ZiZi and fell in love. We've been inseparable since.

Does ZiZi play any role in your writing?

She mostly plays the role of preventing me from writing. But she's still a puppy right now.

I think as she gets older, she'll be a nice lap companion for those long hours at the writing desk.

Does ZiZi have any non-canine pet-pals?

She loves our two kitties, Minnow and Pirate. Minnow is slightly annoyed by her, but occasionally they play and he tolerates doggy kisses to a point. Pirate hasn't figured out that he's got ten pounds on her. We're working on their sibling relationship.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

All of the above. She'll chase anything. She doesn't know she's five pounds.

What is ZiZi's best quality?

She's a nut. She can make you laugh on your worst days.

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

That my whole life was dedicated to spending time with her, doing whatever she wanted to do.

Nothing too major.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which ZiZi could speak, which actor should do her voice?

That's a hard one. Whoopi Goldberg maybe. Someone sassy and incredulous.

If ZiZi could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Why is potty training a Chihuahua so darn hard?

Visit Heather Sharfeddin's website.

Writers Read: Heather Sharfeddin

The Page 69 Test: Sweetwater Burning.

--Marshal Zeringue


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  2. What a cutie! I have a miniature pinscher mix too (look for Crystal & Pinch on this site under mini pins or the dachshunds category). I think they are just the sweetest little dogs.

    I had to laugh when I read your pup's name because "Zizi" is a familiar term used in French to refer to a man's...ahem...privates :)

  3. Zizi is adorable! Wonderful interview. We'd love to join you for coffee in the Pacific Northwest!

    Tootsie and Renee