Thursday, December 7, 2017

Casey Daniels & Lucy

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Casey Daniels, mystery author. My latest book is Smoke and Mirrors, the first in the Miss Barnum mystery series that follows the adventures of a (fictional) sister of PT Barnum as she works at his American Museum and solves mysteries along the way! My “date” for tea is Lucy. Breed? Your guess is as good as mine! Even the vet isn’t willing to try and figure that out. She’s very tall and very furry and though she sometimes acts like a herder (she likes to nip the legs of the other dog in the house), she also can howl like a hound. We suspect maybe some Irish Wolfhound is in there somewhere. It would explain the long legs. But the furriness and the herding instincts ... who knows! We celebrate Lucy’s birthday on December 15 and in 2017, she’ll be 2.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We’re home enjoying our afternoon cuppa.

What's brewing?

We have tea together every morning (Tetley British Blend), then we treat ourselves to a cup of Typhoo (a nice strong English tea) every afternoon.

Any treats for you or Lucy on this occasion?

Nope. We’re pretty careful about treats mostly because our other dog (a 12-year-old Airedale named Ernie) is on a restricted diet and can’t have much of anything. Lucy gets a couple treats now and then when Ernie isn’t looking!

How were you and Lucy united?

Lucy is a prison dog who I found online at a site called Terriers in Need. She was dropped at a shelter when she was about four months old and she lived there for a bit, then was part of a prison training program. Lucy lived with an inmate in a prison for about six months as part of a terrific program where along with compassion and responsibility, the inmate learns a skill (dog training) and the dog is taught basic commands. She was well trained when she came to us. Well, except for “come” which she thought was the funniest word on the planet and an invitation to run in the other direction and dare us to chase her. Happy to report she’s got that command down pat now!

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

Naming the dog sparked a family debate. Lucy was the one name we could agree on. As far as aliases, there are plenty: Loosey Goosey, Lulu, and the ever-popular Lucy-Fur (say it fast) for those times when she forgets her manners.

Does Lucy do more to help or hinder your writing?

Since I write all day and she snoozes all day, I’d say she’s a help.

Has Lucy inspired the creation of any dogs in your fiction?

Not yet, but she will one of these days especially since I am currently working on a contemporary mystery that features a woman who trains Human Remains Detection dogs. I’ve been on a training with HR dogs and it was fascinating. Lucy would love it! Me? Not sure I have the stamina!

Cat, postman, rabbit...?

She loves to watch everyone and everything outside--squirrels, the chickens next door, cars, trucks, falling leaves. All are a source of fascination. I often wonder if this is because she didn’t see much of the outside when she was in prison.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Mr. Bunny and Mr. Squirrel (durable canvas stuffed toys), a Kong, a squeaky bone. Nothing too fragile, she’s a big dog with a powerful bite.

Who is Lucy's best pet-pal?

She’d love, love, love Ernie the Airedale to be her best pal, but alas, Ernie would rather sleep than play. Still, recently when he was sick, she refused to leave his side, and she constantly offers him her toys. He’s an old guy, and very laid back, but Lucy is persistent. Sometimes too persistent! One of these days, she’ll learn you don’t mess with an Airedale.

What is Lucy's best quality?

When I first talked to the people at the prison about her, they said she was a “sweet” dog. Hmmm ... I wondered what that meant. I’ve had a few dogs over the years, and I’ve loved them all to pieces, but “sweet?” Then we met Lucy and I knew exactly what they meant. She really is a dear. She loves to be hugged, she likes to be petted. In spite of her size (and she’s a moose, far bigger than the Airedale), she is gentle and so quiet, she can slip in and out of a room without anyone noticing. This comes in handy especially when she’s stealing folding money or socks, two of her favorite things to walk off with.

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

See above, I bet she’d love it if I had the energy and the time to do something like HR work, or search and rescue, or agility. There’s a lot of energy packed into that furry body and she’d love to expend it with more running and chasing and jumping. Me, not so much.

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

I’d ask where she came from and how she ended up in the shelter.

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

Ha! It may be because she played Matron Mama Morton in the movie Chicago, and a lot of that movie takes place in a prison, but I always think Lucy’s voice would come from Queen Latifah.

What advice would Lucy give if asked?

She’d tell you to roll with the punches. She’d tell you that sometimes--like when you’re dumped at a shelter in the middle of the night and then you go to prison--things don’t look too good. But if you hang in, if you hang on, you can end up finding people to love who love you right back!

Visit Casey Daniels's website.

Writers Read: Casey Daniels.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Thanks for letting me visit along with my furry pal!

  2. Replies
    1. She is a cutie. What I didn't mention is that she sheds like mad. We've always owned terriers, and terriers don't shed. Now I have mounds and mounds of white fur everywhere, every day!

  3. What an adorable pup! The kind that just begs to be petted and then a ball thrown for her. LOVED the nickname Lucy-Fur! LOL