Friday, October 18, 2013

Trudy Ludwig & Hannah

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Hannah, my 11-year-old female American Fox Hound, and me on a tea break. My name is Trudy Ludwig and I’m a children’s author. Hannah adopted us after having had three previous owners. When we first met, it was love at first sight for the both of us. We even look like we could be related!

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Since I work from home, Hannah always follows me into the kitchen every time I get a cup of tea. She’s got me trained to give her a little treat whenever I get myself one.

What's brewing?

Tazo Refresh mint tea and lots of it!

Any treats for you or Hannah on this occasion?

I have my daily dose of two or three Dove dark chocolate bites. Hannah gets mini salmon biscuits or dried chicken and sweet potato treats.

How were you and Hannah united?

Seven summers ago, I was with my two children at the schoolyard across the street from my house when this elongated beagle came up to me, stared into my eyes, and wiggled her tail. She instantly won my heart. A lovely woman named Kate, who also had an Australian Shepherd with her, came over to chat. I remember saying to Kate, “What a sweet, gorgeous dog!” With tears in her eyes, Kate responded, “Yes…and I may have to find another home for her.”

It turned out that Kate’s mother had rescued Hannah from the Humane Society two years prior, and with another dog in the house, two dogs became a bit too much for her mother to handle. (Hannah had this unbelievable knack of pilfering the owner’s steaks off the barbecue grill, which didn’t help matters.) Well, 24 hours later, we not only adopted Hannah, we adopted her former owners, too. Kate and I have become very good friends. She and her mother get visitation rights whenever they need a Hannah fix or when we go out of town.

How did Hannah get her name? Any aliases?

Her name was originally Ada, but the previous owners preferred “Hannah” and thought the new name was close enough to her original name that it wouldn’t confuse the dog.

And, yes, Hannah does have a few aliases: She’s also known as “Hannah Banana” and “the Duchess of Pineridge Court.”

Have any Hannah-inspired dogs appeared in your books?

Not yet, but I’m working on it!

Does Hannah do more to help or to hinder your writing?

Hannah helps my writing. Our daily walks, which I had originally thought would be a hindrance, are actually a blessing. She forces me to get out of my own head and out the door for some fresh air and exercise. I always feel so much better after our walks—even if we’re walking in the pouring rain! I truly believe that my writing has improved since she’s come into my life.

Does Hannah have a favorite place to go for outings?

The neighborhood park is her favorite turf. She loves hanging out there with all her quadruped and biped friends.

Who is Hannah's best pet-pal?

Nutmeg, a.k.a. “Nuttie,” a Cairn Terrier mix. Whenever Nuttie sees Hannah, she gives her a “high five” body slam. It’s a hoot to see!

What is Hannah's best quality?

Oh that’s an easy question to answer: her gentle, kind-hearted disposition. If Hannah were in a Miss America pageant, she’d be declared the Miss Congeniality winner hands down.

If Hannah could change one thing about Portlanders, what would it be?

They should all be carrying great doggie treats--like steak, chicken, and salmon--instead of umbrellas. Let’s get our priorities straight, people!

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

Why do you have the need to roll on such foul-smelling things on the ground?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Hannah could speak, who should voice her?

My daughter Allison already voices Hannah to perfection, keeping our family and neighbors in stitches with outrageous Hannah comments.

But if I must pick a professional actress, it would have to be Maggie Smith. The Duchess of Pineridge Court would give an enthusiastic paws-up to have Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess be her stand-in!

For more information about Trudy Ludwig and her children’s books, visit, and connect with the author on Facebook and Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

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