Monday, February 2, 2015

Wendy Wahman & LaRoo and Jody

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Wendy Wahman, an editorial illustrator and children’s book author/illustrator & lifelong animal lover. These are my two sweet standard poodle beloveds, LaRoo (in white), who just turned 7, and our 2-1/2 year old silver boy, Jody. To my right is Nickel, TinTin and the apricot is Eureka! More about them coming right up...

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

See how well behaved the three poodles to my right are? Those are someone else’s darlings, my friend Vikki Kaufman. She and her girls are on an epic adventure, traveling to South America in a one ton pickup w/camper. You can follow their adventures here.

What's brewing?

Trader Joe’s medium roast 1/2 decaf, 1/2 regular with chocolate almond milk.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Nope. They just had breakfast, some homemade raw meaty veggie glop.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

LaRoo’s full name is Lili Bolero LaRoo, LaRoo. I heard a song sung by Frank Sinatra, "LaRoo, LaRoo Lily Bolero." I love to sing, I make up songs for all my dogs, I loved the name… Voila! I have a full song already written for my little Minky (one of her ‘pet’ names) Jody’s registered name is, Desert Reef’s A Boy Named Jody. People usually (almost always) raise an eyebrow at our naming a boy, Jody, but for my husband and me, ‘Jody’ brings up fond childhood literary memories such as, The Red Pony and The Grapes of Wrath. Jody is an old fashioned Irish name. We like it, it fits him, our Joy Boy, so that’s all that matters. One of his nicknames is Squeaky Jim. He’s a yawn squeaker.

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your books?

Many times over. Our brown poodle, GoGo, had two children’s books written about her. They are unpublished. I have a new character based on LaRoo and I’m almost finished with the book dummy, then my agent will send it out to find a publisher (hopefully!). I dedicated Don’t Lick the Dog to our first standard poodle, Momo. He loved kids. I wrote Don’t Lick the Dog for my poodle on the jacket flap photo with me. That’s Andy. He was afraid of kids. I thought if I could write kids a safety manual.... well, you get the picture.

What is each dog's best quality?

LaRoo is super snuggly, malleable and easy to groom. She loves to sit on our laps and press her neck onto ours. We undoubtedly baby her too much. Jody and I do Rally together, working for our Excellent title and he knows a lot of tricks. He just earned his Novice and Intermediate Trick Dog titles in the same day. Jody doesn’t just wave, he sits up high and flings both arms in the air like a propeller, swirling his long arms, “Hello, hello! What else can I do?!” He has a really cute trick. When you say, “Sleepy,” he lies down and sinks his chin on his paws. You see his eyebrows working like crazy, watching for his treat.

If your dogs could change one thing about Seattleites, what would it be?

Why can’t we eat in restaurants too?

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

GoGo’s voice was Audrey Hepburn. My heart-dog, Andy, who died way too young, his voice was Towelly from South Park. I’m being literal here: I talk for my dogs with my husband. Jody and LaRoo don’t say a lot... I think I’m running out of voices! LaRoo sounds a bit like Lauren Bacall.

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

What else can I do to make you happy, my loves?

What advice would LaRoo and Jody give if asked?

Be good and adorable and you’ll have ‘em wrapped around your pinky paw.

Visit Wendy Wahman's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Watch a cute video of LaRoo and Jody, and the book trailers for Don't Lick the Dog, A Cat Like That, and Snowboy 1, 2, 3.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Hooray for the talented Wendy and her beautiful books! WOOF to LaRoo and Jody, too :)

    1. Thank you talented Henny and Peddles creative genius. Mother of kitties and kiddies..

  2. Thank you, this was a lot of fun to read! (I too am running out of voices!)

    1. What to do, Michael, what to do....? Someone suggested James Garner would be a good voice for Jody, but his is a voice and personality I don't do. Gotta work on this.

  3. thank you Wendy so much for your wonderful read. My joy boy Joey and I share your stories with many.