Sunday, November 11, 2018

Abbi Waxman & her dogs

Author Abbi Waxman answers a few questions about her dogs, Daisy, Jasper, and Wilbur.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I don't really need an occasion. I pretty much mainline coffee and dogs all day. The three we have, plus one that comes over to visit a lot, plus my brother-in-law's dog who often comes to stay... there's always fur everywhere and a lot of noise, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Of course, that might explain my need to mainline coffee, but correlation is not causation, right?

[photo right: Wilbur]

What's brewing?

Drip coffee: Peet's Major Dickasons, at home, although I don't like the way they make coffee in their coffee shops (sorry, Peet's). I work at a Le Pain Quotidien near my house, and there I drink either lattes with cinnamon or mochas.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Yes, always treats, although mostly for me. I'm a cake whore.

How were you and your dogs united?

Two of them came from the pound, and one from a small family breeder (it's a long story, adopt don't shop, etc).

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

The kids named Wilbur and Daisy, I named Jasper [photo left]. They wanted to call him Huckleberry, but I put my foot down. We call them all kinds of names, all the time; Jasperilla, Wilberto, Wilberino, Daisy D. Dog...the list goes on.

Do your dogs do more to help or hinder your writing?

Help. They're an excellent distraction and excuse not to work. The picture of Jasper is his idea of a subtle interruption to my work.

Have any actual dogs ever inspired dogs in your fiction?

There are lots of dogs in my work, they're my favorite characters to write. They're all an amalgam of all the dogs I've ever had, although Frank, the dog who appears in all three of my novels, is based on a labrador mix we had years ago, whose name was Milo. He was a great dog.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

They ignore cats, largely, because we have several, and they're nice to the mailman. However, they are driven to distraction by the squirrels in our yard, and there's kind of a running battle. We have two or three squirrels who regularly taunt the dogs and sit up in the trees and chatter and hurl invective down at them. Jasper falls for it every time. He's a sucker.

[photo right: Daisy]

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

All of the above.

Who is each dog's best pet-pal?

Daisy, who is a pug mix, doesn't think she's a dog, so she tends to hang out with me. Jasper loves Wilbur, because when Jasper came to us as a puppy Wilbur was already grown. He looks up to him. Wilbur loves whoever has food. All of them love my youngest daughter, Kate, who is a dog whisperer and animal fanatic.

What is each dog's best quality?

Daisy has a commitment to sleep that I envy. Wilbur has a commitment to food that I appreciate. And Jasper is the most enthusiastic dog on the planet. He is up for anything.

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

They would encourage them to drop more food.

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

What can I do to make you happy?

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

Well, currently we have three dogs, two cats, a leopard gecko and 7 chickens, so I think they should all be played by Meryl Streep, just to give her a challenge.

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

You should take a nap. And snack more. Snack and nap, over and over again.

Visit Abbi Waxman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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