Friday, December 23, 2022

Elle Grawl & Olive and Truffle

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Elle Grawl and I'm the author of the psychological thriller One of Those Faces. In this photo, my dog Truffle (an 8-year-old shepherd mix) is in front of me.

My other dog, Olive (a 1-year-old Goldendoodle), isn't pictured here.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

As I write this, we're preparing to make a quick trip to a coffee shop before I need to head to the office for my day-job as a lawyer.

What's brewing?

I typically like to support the independent coffee shops in my neighborhood, but on days when I bring my dogs, I'll swing through the Starbucks drive-thru for my venti dark roast coffee (hot, no cream or sugar), so they can get a puppucino.

Any treats for you or the dogs on this occasion?

No treats for me, but the dogs love their puppucinos, which are these tiny cups that the baristas fill with whipped cream. Olive and Truffle don't get them very often, so they cherish each one!

How were you and Olive and Truffle united?

My husband and I wanted to buy a coffee plant one Saturday morning while I was in law school and we returned with Truffle instead! While we were looking for the plant, we stumbled upon a local shelter event and we really connected with Truffle. We'd been wanting to get a second dog for some time and had been on waiting lists with doodle-mix rescues in the area for a while before we got to meet Olive!

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

My husband and I like to cook together and we love truffle as an ingredient. When we talked about getting a dog, we'd always joke that "Truffle" would be a great name for a dog. I sometimes call him "Truffie" or "Chuckles" because he always looks like he's smiling.

We had a couple of name ideas for our second dog, but when we met her, "Olive" seemed to fit for some reason. She also responds to "Ollie," "Ollie-kins," and "Stinky."

Do Olive and Truffle do more to help or hinder your writing?

They somehow manage to do both!

When we first got Olive, she was a handful and required a lot of attention as a puppy so I didn't have as much time for writing. These days, they both love to curl up by me when I write and it's so comforting to have them around. But when they're super playful or if they spot a squirrel anywhere near a window, I usually opt to close my laptop and take them outside.

Have your actual canines inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Actually, yes! Truffle inspired a shelter-adopted shepherd mix in one of my works-in-progress and Olive inspired a brief interaction that the main character has with a Goldendoodle at a house party in a different novel I'm working on.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Truffle and Olive both love to run after squirrels. We have the occasional cat pass through our yard and those are Olive's favorite to watch through the window (I never let them out when a cat is around).

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

They love all three, but the ball is a particular favorite since they get to chase after it!

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Before Olive, Truffle used to have a good group of corgi friends at our last place. But right now, they are each other's best pals!

What is each dog's best quality?

They are both so smart and so great at training. They're also incredibly loving and cuddly.

If Olive and Truffle could change one thing about you, what would it be?

They would definitely change how I manage my schedule so that I could spend every waking moment with them!

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

For Truffle, I would ask "what was your life like before we adopted you?" I've always been curious about where he came from since he was picked up from the street but was clearly accustomed to being in a house with a family.

For Olive, I would ask "what makes you happiest?"

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

For some reason, I feel like a good fit for Truffle would be Aziz Ansari. Haley Lu Richardson would be a perfect voice for Olive.

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

I'm pretty sure they would tell me to "stop stressing out so much and play with us" which is obviously great advice!

Visit Elle Grawl's website.

--Marshal Zeringue