Sunday, January 12, 2020

Patrick Chiles & Frankie and Beanie

Who is in the photo at right?

Frankie is on the right, Beanie is on the left. They are both 10-year-old male dachshunds. Beanie is a purebred, long-haired mini and Frankie is a rescue dog. We thought he might be part Beagle but we’ve seen pictures of Basset / Dachshund mixes that are dead ringers for him. And he has kind of a Basset howl when he wants attention.

(I'm Patrick Chiles, author of Frozen Orbit.)

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Who needs an occasion for coffee and dogs? If I’m awake I’m never far from a cup of coffee, especially when writing. And these two follow me everywhere, Beanie in particular. Frankie can be hard to pull off of his blanket pile on the sofa. We attribute that to him having had a hard life on the streets before we adopted him.

What's brewing?

Starbucks French Roast is my go-to home brew.

Any treats for you or the dogs on this occasion?

The coffee is the treat!

How were you and Frankie and Beanie united?

We got Beanie from a couple we knew who bred Dachshunds. He was about six weeks old, which we found out later was probably too young for us to take in. It’s made him extremely attached to us and he probably has some separation anxiety. We found Frankie a few years later at the Franklin County (OH) animal shelter. He’d been a stray for most of the winter and was half-starved. When we brought him home, he immediately got settled in on a pile of sofa pillows and decided he was going to relax for the rest of his life. He’s pretty much the opposite of half-starved now.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Beanie got his name because he was literally the size of a Beanie Baby. Frankie’s was a friend’s suggestion: “Franks and Beans, the Weiner Dogs.”

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

Beanie thinks he helps. I can’t sit at the keyboard without him wanting to be in my lap or by my side. He’s been there for every book I’ve written. I should probably give him co-author credit at some point.

Have any actual dogs ever inspired dogs in your fiction?

Audrey, a character from Farside, has a dachshund named Wernher (for Von Braun, and she’s a rocket scientist. Original, I know).

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

We have a Maine Coon kitty named BeeBee (for Big Butt). She’s affectionate towards Beanie but doesn’t like Frankie. It’s quite sad.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Frankie doesn’t much care about toys as long as he’s got his blanket pile on the sofa. Beanie is obsessive about playing fetch with a Kong first thing in the morning. I toss it around until the first cup of coffee is done, then give him some peanut butter. That’s his signal that Dad needs a break for the second cup of coffee. He also has this ceramic chew bone he won in a Halloween pet costume contest something like nine years ago (dressed as a banana). He’s worn it down to the nub but is obsessively protective of it, like Gollum with The Precious. We just call it the Crack Bone.

Where is your dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

Anywhere we can take them for walks is pretty much their favorite thing.

What is each dog's best quality?

Both are very affectionate, sometimes too much so. Dachshunds like being close to their humans. And as a breed they’re hilarious by nature.

If Frankie and Beanie could change one thing about Ohioans, what would it be?

If we were still in Columbus I’d say obsessive Buckeye fandom. We live in Tennessee now so I guess that’s kind of a moot point.

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

Why do you like digging through the bathroom garbage? Never mind, I probably don’t want to know.

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

Mel Blanc. He could do anything.

What advice would Frankie and Beanie give if asked?

Belly rubs are the key to inner peace and contentment.

Visit Patrick Chiles's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

1 comment:

  1. Your boys are pretty doggone cute. As for the bathroom question, humans just can't comprehend the ecstacy of a used tissue to a dog.