Monday, June 20, 2016

Lisa Tener & Sophie

Who is in the photo at right?

The cute one is Sophie, our Labradoodle. I'm the other one--Lisa Tener, and I am a book coach. I help people write and publish their books.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

A relaxing warm drink in our yard for me while watching Sophie chase bunnies. She never catches them, fortunately for all involved.

What's brewing?

Neither Sophie nor I drink coffee, though I love the aroma. What's brewing is some local loose nettle and clover tea made using an old fashioned strainer, originally blended by "The Herb Wyfe" of Belmont Market -- Leslie Wooler.

Any treats for you or Sophie on this occasion?

Yes. Sophie loves to chew on carrots. In a few more weeks, though, we'll both be savoring raspberries from our yard. Sophie sometimes picks her own, but she also likes to show off her catching skills.

How were you and Sophie united?

A lady on Long Island was giving away her 8-month-old labradoodle because her neighbors told her the dog cried incessantly when she traveled. The woman wanted a home where someone would be home most of the day. My husband and I work from home, proving ideal. However, I told the woman we could not come to see the dog until the weekend. She had 2 or 3 people lined up to see the dog before then.

[photo left: Sophie in her youth]

I told her about the list we had made two years prior--true story: labradoodle, good with kids, white coat, about 9 months old and potty trained. Sophie was everything on our list. That clinched it. "I think this dog was meant to be yours." She offered to cancel the other appointments if we were very serious, which I assured her we were. We traveled from Rhode Island to Long Island three days later and my husband, 6-year-old and I fell in love with that sweet dog.

The baby of our family was 2 days younger than Sophie. People thought we were crazy to adopt a dog with a baby who was just about to start walking, but it turned out her antics made him hardy. He played a bit roughly with Sophie and often pulled her tail or hair but she proved exceedingly patient. However, she did enjoy leaping over him while he sat up, and she often missed the mark and knocked him over from his seated position. Passive aggressive?

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

She was already named Sophie when we got her. Coincidentally though, if I had given birth to a baby girl we had planned to name her Sophia.

Does Sophie do more to help or hinder your writing?

Help. She loves to sit by me on the couch or bed as I write by hand in notebooks. And she'll lie in her bed by my computer when I type.

Who is Sophie's best pet-pal?

Henry, my mother-in-law's cockapoo. He's the older of the two but of course, he looks like the baby being so much smaller. You can definitely tell they are "family" and people remark that they look alike.

[photo left: Sophie, Lisa, and Henry]

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Bunnies of all sizes.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Bunnies of all sizes.

What is Sophie's best quality?

Whenever people meet Sophie, including animal intuitives, they always use the word "sweet." She takes sweetness to a new level.

If Sophie could change one thing about New Englanders, what would it be?

She'd get them outside more.

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

What's your secret to such a happy disposition?

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

Gwyneth Paltrow.

What advice would Sophie give if asked?

Best exercise regimen ever--chase bunnies. Also, she'd probably tell us to chill and wag our tails a little more.

Visit Lisa Tener's Book Coach website and Writing and Publishing blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Thanks, Marshal, this was the most fun I've had in an interview EVER! Sophie likes it too.