Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cheryl Reid & Django

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Cheryl Reid, a mother of three boys and a fiction writer. This is my dog Django, a seven-year-old male cattle dog probably mixed with a terrier. But who knows? He could be a whippet, beagle, terrier, pit bull mix. Whatever breed he is, he’s hyper and he’s a herder.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with Django every morning and most days he’ll stick his nose in my cup at some point. That’s because when I’m home writing, he’s tucked up beside me and he must love the smell of it.

What's brewing?

I love the beans from our local coffee house/ roaster Dancing Goats Coffee, and I’ll take it anyway I can get it, latte, brewed, with cream or black.

Any treats for you or Django on this occasion?

Django gets treats all the time – on his morning walks and during the day, I’m constantly stuffing his bones with smelly dog treats so he’ll chew and keep calm, and let me get some work done.

How were you and Django united?

Django came to us at a year and a half old. He was a pound puppy that was adopted, but that owner couldn’t handle his activity level. She gave him to a local dog training academy, Jabula, and we adopted him through them. It was great. He was totally trained and ready for a loving home.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Django was a rescue with the very regal name of Marcus. We have a friend named Marcus, so it wouldn’t do to have our dog go by the same. I love the French Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and I had always wanted to name a child Django, but with each child, I chickened out, knowing that he’d always be spelling it, explaining it, etc. But a dog doesn’t have to spell his name. Django fits him. But I call him all sorts of names… Chicken, Stinker, Noodle, Nugget, Dog.

Does Django do more to help or hinder your writing?

Depends on the day… he’s an active dog and if he hasn’t gotten his walk and a bit of play, he’ll nudge my arm or walk under my chair and bump my legs. He hates going out in the cold or the rain, so on those days, he sits at the window and barks at squirrels moving through the backyard. But most days he’ll find a sunny spot in my writing room and curl up until I head to the kitchen for coffee. Then he follows along.

Has Django inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Not yet, but Django’s “girlfriend” Baby has inspired a dog in the novel I’m currently working on.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Equal opportunity for Django. He’s fast and he’s caught a few squirrels, but he has yet to nab the postman or the neighbor’s cat. I think he’s actually afraid of the cat.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball, especially footballs and soccer balls. He loves to play pick-up soccer and go for interceptions when the family is tossing the football.

Where is Django's favorite outdoor destination?

Django loves mountain trails. He’s happiest off leash hiking with his pack of humans.

Who is Django's best pet-pal?

The aforementioned Baby, my sister’s beautiful black and white, blue-eyed pitbull. She has thirty pounds on him, all muscle, but he’s the confident sort, happy to be around strong females.

What is Django's best quality?

Django never runs away. That’s the best thing about a herding dog – they feel connected to their place.

If Django could change one thing about Georgians, what would it be?

He hates it when a Georgian, or anyone else for that matter, knocks or ring the door bell. He’d like them to stop attacking our house.

If Django could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Do you like dancing with me or do you do it just to make me laugh?

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

Will Ferrell in his full range – hyper, fun-loving, frantic, anxious, wild, with short outbursts of rage.

What advice would Django give if asked?

Django’s advice would be self-serving. He’d tell me, I should let my dog get on the couch or that I should take him on longer walks.

Learn more about As Good as True by Cheryl Reid.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 20, 2018

J.D. Horn & Kirby

Who is in the photo at right?

J.D. Horn, author of the Witching Savannah series, Shivaree, and the new The King of Bones and Ashes; Kirby Seamus Weissman-Horn, male, will be declared as being 3 years old on 2/14 (not sure of actual age), Chihuahua.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

There's a cafe named Kofi just a few blocks down the street. Kirby and I sometimes stop by while out on our walk.

What's brewing?

I'm a total addict when it comes to coffee, but here I always order the "Crimsonberry" herbal ice tea.

Any treats for you or Kirby on this occasion?

No. I'm trying to get back in shape for a half marathon in February. Kirby will get a "good boy" biscuit when we get home.

How were you and Kirby united?

We met through Rocket Dog Rescue in Oakland, CA. (Adopt, don't shop!)

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

We were looking for a name that begins with a hard consonant--supposedly dogs respond better to names beginning with a hard consonant--that suited him. He just looks like a Kirby, no? The middle name of Seamus came from my younger stepdaughter. With Kirby's red fur and green--yes, gorgeous green--eyes, he has a bit if an Irish look to him.

We've come to call him "The Professor," as he is an incredibly intelligent and serious dog.

Does Kirby do more to help or hinder your writing?

I've learned to type with one hand while playing tug with a squeaky toy with the other. You decide if that's a help or hindrance.

Has Kirby inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Not yet, but our dear, departed cat Sugar appears as a character in The King of Bones and Ashes. Makes me feel like Daddy has given her a tenth life.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Kirby loves cats. His big thing is bunnies. He hates them with a fiery passion. An Anya Jenkins level of loathing for the rodents. Our place in Palm Springs is overrun with the critters. They're actually adorable, but Kirby has a total meltdown whenever he spots one.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball and squeaky. He loves both. With a dog his size, I'd have to go with a twig rather than stick, so it hardly seems worth the effort.

Where is Kirby's favorite outdoor destination?

We live half the year in San Francisco, and Kirby adores Huntington Park on Nob Hill. It's a small park, but there's usually a dog or twelve to meet there. Every Friday evening from 5 to 7, people bring wine or beer and gather in the park with the dogs for "Yappy Hour." Some of the people who come aren't in the position to have a dog, so they drop by for their canine fix.

Who is Kirby's best pet-pal?

Our Palm Springs neighbor (and pet sitter) has a Tibetan Spaniel named Ava. She's Kirby's bestie.

What is Kirby's best quality?

He is such a good boy. How can I choose just one best quality? All of his qualities are the best.

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

I would never again leave home without him.

If Kirby could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

My rescue boy suffers from terrible separation anxiety, especially when we go out at night. I would ask him what I could do to help him feel safe when we're not there.

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

Liam Neeson.

What advice would Kirby give if asked?

If you can avoid swallowing the pill your dad has wrapped in a treat, you can double or triple your treats before taking the medicine.

Visit J.D. Horn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Steph Post & Juno

Who is in the photo at right?

This is me, Steph Post, and Juno! I am an author and high school teacher and Juno is a two year old mutt. I call her a “fichippet,” as in she’s a Feist, Chihuahua and Whippet mix. She’s absolutely nuts...

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Juno and I have coffee every morning out on the back patio. I do my best to wake up and she makes sure to run off any early-rising squirrels. Juno doesn’t have the patience to go hang out at the local coffee shop.

What's brewing?

I’m a straight black coffee kinda’ girl.

Any treats for you or Juno on this occasion?

Juno is honestly more interested in the squirrels than any kind of treat. And I’m the same way about the coffee.

How were you and Juno united?

There’s a whole amazing story behind how Juno came into my life, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. One of my dogs died unexpectedly this past June and I was completely devastated. I mean, just absolutely heartsick. Skipping to the good part- I wound up at an animal shelter two counties over, to look at adopting another dog, and there was Juno. She was extremely sick with kennel cough, but there was no way I was leaving the place without her. I like to think that we were brought together to heal one another and I think we were able to do so.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

Juno had a different name at the shelter that didn’t fit her. I’m very into mythology (I have a chicken named Freyja, after the Norse goddess, for example) and so she’s named for the Roman goddess. She was also adopted on the last day of June, so the name fit perfectly.

Does Juno do more to help or hinder your writing?

I think she tries to help. She likes to be in my lap when I’m writing, but this isn’t always the most comfortable thing for both of us. At least once a writing session, though, Juno will come racing into the room, take a flying leap into my lap and put her paws on the keyboard.

Has Juno inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

No. For someone who loves dogs as much as I do, I actually make a point to keep dogs out of my novels. A dog in a story makes readers nervous- they’re always wondering if it’s going to die- and so I try to just avoid the possibility altogether.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Squirrel. Juno is obsessed, I mean obsessed, with squirrels.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

If there are no squirrels around for her to chase, she’s definitely chomp on a squeaky toy by herself. But good luck throwing her a ball or a stick. She’ll just look at you like you’re crazy.

Where is Juno's favorite outdoor destination?

Anywhere where there could possibly be squirrels. I took her to the beach for the first time this morning and she was not impressed. At all.

Who is Juno's best pet-pal?

Her big brother Vito, my sixteen-year-old Jack Russel Terrier. He’s mostly blind and deaf, so he can’t really play with her, but they love to curl up together at night.

What is Juno's best quality?

She absolutely loves people. With all the dogs I’ve ever had, she’s definitely the sweetest.

If Juno could change one thing about Floridians, what would it be?

Our need (around here anyway) to shoot off as many obnoxious fireworks as possible to mark every single occasion.

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

What can I do to make you happier? (Yes, I’m not going to lie, she absolutely rules me.)

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

Oh wow. I just don’t think of dogs as having actual speaking voices. Maybe Gal Gadot? She’s a little dog, but I imagine she’d have a pretty strong voice.

Visit Steph Post's website and learn about her new novel, Walk in the Fire.

My Book, The Movie: Lightwood.

The Page 69 Test: Lightwood.

--Marshal Zeringue