Friday, April 12, 2013

Sue Owens Wright & Peaches and Beau

Who is in the photo at right?

I think you must be referring to the photo of me with my canine muse, Bubba Gump, who inspired my dog mysteries. He is dressed as Sherlock Holmes, and the photo was taken at one of my book signings. I’m Sue Owens Wright, an award-winning author of books and articles about dogs and write the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, which features a basset hound named Cruiser, and now in the fourth book I introduce his new basset sidekick, Calamity.

My current dogs are Peaches (F) and Beau (M). Like the dogs in my books, both are rescued basset hounds. Peaches, a tri-color, is around 10 years old and Beau, the white/red variety, is about 9.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It’s Take My Dog to Work every day around here, since I work from home much of the time. I enjoy tea in the company of my dogs every day in my front garden, weather permitting. Because of her past, Peaches is a fearful dog in new situations, and I can’t really take one dog anywhere without the other. They are too attached to each other. I do go to a café every afternoon to write for a while uninterrupted, though, and hope to someday have a café dog I can take with me, but these guys aren’t good candidates.

What's brewing?

I’m fond of Peet’s Summer House blend of iced tea, but I love any black tea. My home brew faves are English brands, PG Tips, Yorkshire Gold, and Barry’s Gold (Irish).

Any treats for you or Peaches and Beau on this occasion?

Well, they always get treats, no matter what the occasion. That’s why there are contests for lowest ground clearance at Basset Waddles. Basset hounds are total foodies and masters at counter surfing.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Beau [photo left] came with his name, and it fit him so well I’d never have changed it, though I sometimes refer to him as Beauregard Longfellow because he has such a long body.

Peaches’ name was a nod to her predecessor, Daisy, who I sometimes called my “Princess Peaches.” I call her Peach Fuzz, Peach Pie, Peaches and Cream, Peach Cobbler, any name with “Peach” in it because she’s a peach of a girl.

How were you and Peaches and Beau united?

Both dogs came from a shelter in a neighboring city, though Peaches [photo right] was transferred to the local SPCA, where I adopted her. I adopted them at different times. I saw Beau on in the months after Bubba died. He looked so much like Bubba, I knew I had to go see him. It was a long drive, and I got lost and couldn’t find the shelter, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. He was so worth the trouble. He’s such a great dog! They both are.

How do your dogs help, and how do they hinder, your writing?

There’s the repeated nose nudge on my leg when they want treats or my undivided attention. Peaches is best at that. Daisy was an expert elbow nudger. I’d be typing away when all of a sudden my left arm went flying off the keyboard. Also, their barking at a passerby always startles me out of concentration while writing. Never fails to jolt me back to reality.

When we sit in the front garden together, the dogs bark at everyone who goes by, especially if they are walking a dog. Cats are fair game, too, of course. Peaches starts in barking first, and then Beau joins in. His voice is very loud, which is interesting because he didn’t utter a sound for six months after I adopted him from the pound. Then one day he found his voice again when he howled at a cat on the back fence. I think we were both surprised. He’s been vocalizing at the top of his lungs ever since. There’s a reason I have a metal plaque displayed in my garden that says, “Ask not for whom the dog barks. It barks for thee.”

What is each dog's best quality?

Beau is the best snuggler, and he is utterly devoted to me, more than any dog I’ve ever had. Peaches is a great watchdog. No one sets foot on our property without her letting us know about it. We already had a Bay Alarm System in our house, but she’s much better than the electronic one. She really bays!

If Peaches and Beau could change one thing about you, what would it be?

That I could take them for more walks than I do. They get two a day, but they’d prefer three or more.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Both actors would be French, of course, like the basset hound. Beau’s voice would be that of Gerard Depardieu. Peaches’ would be Marion Cotillard.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

What happened in your previous life before I adopted you?

Visit Sue Owens Wright's website and dog blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. What a beautiful pair of helpers.

  2. How can you ever get work done from home when you have sweet babies like that looking at you...urrr...I'd never be able to be productive with Max looking at me...I'd so blow off working and play with him :) Thanks for the article!
    Max and Max's Ma

    1. Ha! It's not easy to focus, I admit. When a basset looks at you with that Sad Sack face, it's hard to resist. They look sad even when they're not. I'm putty in their paws, but fortunately they are also content to just lie about and snooze. Nature of the beast.

  3. I forgot to mention in the interview how my dogs help my writing, and that's by just being themselves. They are always doing something that gives me material for my fictional canines. Daisy, my craziest and most challenging dog ever, provided me with all the material I'll ever need for Calamity, Cruiser's crazy new canine sidekick in BRACED FOR MURDER. Well, there's a bit of Peaches in Calamity's character, too, but she's mostly inspired by Daisy.