Sunday, June 10, 2018

Demetra Brodsky & L.B. and Ponyboy Curtis

Who is in the top two photos here?

I’m Demetra Brodsky, the author of Dive Smack and this is L.B. (my 9-year-old female terrier mix) and Ponyboy Curtis (my 2-year-old Doxiepin).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I go to the gym at 6:00 a.m. every morning and then come home and sip my coffee on a small deck outside of our kitchen and hang out with my dogs for a while before I get to work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I take them for a walk (we have the family on rotation) and those are actually my favorite days because sometimes I pick up a take out coffee along the stroll.

What's brewing?

This depends on my mood so much. At home, if I’m on a deadline, I use the Keurig and whatever coffee I pick up by the truckload at Costco. But I prefer my Keurig. If I’m feeling extra fancy and want to get in touch with my roots, I’ll make Greek Coffee. It’s something I grew up with and is made on the stovetop in a small copper pot. It’s similar to espresso or Turkish coffee. If I’m feeling regular fancy, I’ll get a soy latte, sometimes with lavender.

Any treats for you or L.B. and Ponyboy on this occasion?

I always have peanut butter filled Kongs in the freezer and the cookie jar filled. They’re spoiled. But if I’m having a treat, they should have one, too. Cookies for everyone all the time.

How were you and your dogs united?

I lost my job during the recession in 2009 and my dog Luke, a gorgeous 8-year Viszla, died two weeks later of undetected stomach cancer. It was a nightmare. About a month after that, I told my husband I wanted to get another dog and he was going to be the luckiest bastard every adopted and that I was going to name him L.B. I started looking at the kill shelters in Los Angeles and saw L.B.’s picture and knew she was the one. I didn’t know she was a she because she just had a number, but I called on a Thursday and they told me that Saturday was her last day. My daughter and I asked them to hold her. They wouldn’t, so we raced up there and got her the next day. She’s still L.B. for Lucky B-word. I got Ponyboy for my daughter because she was at a time in her life where she needed a good friend, a loyal friend, and I couldn’t think of anyone more loyal than a dog. We got Ponyboy local from Thrive Rescue because I knew introducing another dog might be tricky. Thrive also rescues from kill shelters and puts the dogs in foster homes to get a feel for their personalities before adopting them out. I saw him (His name was Snoopy) on their website and fell in love with that 7-month old cutie.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Oh geez, well, I answered this question about L.B. above so I’ll tell you how Ponyboy got his name. The Outsiders is the book that made me want to be a writer as a teen. Ponybody Curtis was my first celebrity crush and when we went to meet “Snoopy” he was so sweet and sensitive, like his namesake, the homage just popped out of my mouth.

Do L.B. and Ponyboy do more to help or hinder your writing?

That depends on the day. They’re both pretty mellow while I’m working and will lie down in the office near me…if they’ve been walked. Otherwise, they want to go outside every time I move.

Have any actual dogs ever inspired dogs in your fiction?

Yes, I have a book out on submission with editors right now and there’s a husky in that book named Skyla that’s named after my friend Aly’s dog that passed away.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Hate, hate, hate.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball for L.B., any day, any time. Ponyboy is a stone cold squeaky toy killer. He uses his small, razor-sharp teeth to puncture and destroy every squeaker in every toy I bring in the house. I swear he’s very docile otherwise.

Who is each dog's best pet-pal?

Me. I’m both of their favorites. Probably because I’m home the most.

What is each dog's best quality?

L.B. is so empathetic and loyal. If you’re having a bad day, or upset, L.B. knows and will come to you right away.

Ponyboy is a lover. That’s the first thing the vet said about him, too. “This dog is all love.” And it’s true. He’s ready for cuddles and kisses 24/7.

If L.B. and Ponyboy could change one thing about Californians, what would it be?

I think both dogs would ask Californians to walk more. The traffic is atrocious.

If L.B. and Ponyboy could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I’d ask L.B. “Why do you bark at me like a lunatic every time I come home?”

And I’d ask Ponyboy, “What were you doing on the street in Compton when they picked you up?”

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

C. Thomas Howell, of course, for Ponyboy. And Jane Lynch from Glee for L.B.

What advice would L.B. and Ponyboy give if asked?

It’s okay to play more. There will always be work to do but we won’t be here forever. Step away from the computer. Aww, that answer made me sad.

Visit Demetra Brodsky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Sorry you lost your Viszla to the dreaded C disease. Bless you for rescuing a couple real cuties who it seems won the dog lotto.