J: I’m a dachshund fanatic. I have two short-haired darlings, Sasha and Copper. They’re great lap dogs and love to “shadow” their owner, (meaning, they stick close). They’re so lovable!
Le: They look adorable! How many pets do you have today?
J: Two. I had a little Beagle mix several years ago, but she passed away.
Le: Oh, sorry about that. Have you ever rescued an animal?
J: I feel like I rescued my doxie, Copper, from sure fate. He was six months old and living in a (supposed) legitimate dog breeder’s yard with over 150 other dogs! The situation was not good and I know Copper was happy to get out of there! For the first year of his life, he was told a familiar night-night story: “Once upon a time, there was a dog named Copper who lived with some terrible people in the woods. Then a wonderful family swept in and saved him from a life of poverty and despair. . .” (etc.) It’s still his favorite bedtime story.
Le: Well, I can certainly understand why! I’m sure he feels very blessed. Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?
J: Oh yes! Sasha and Copper are both key players in my “Wedding Caper” (Barbour Publishing) books. In fact, Sasha helps solve the crime. In my “Weddings by Bella” series, Bella (the heroine) has a little dog. And in my upcoming Hollywood-themed book, I’m adding a Greek dog!
Le: Gotta love that! What was your favorite character animal?
J: No doubt about it. . .Babe, the Gallant Pig. I still get excited, just thinking about that movie!
Le: Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?
J: Yes, in fact Sasha and I had a long talk before I added her as a character in the first “Wedding Caper” book. She insisted that her picture be on the cover of the book, and the folks at Barbour willingly played along!
Le: Wonderful! Now she’s a star! What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?
J: Just one? I actually wrote several devotions for dog-lovers last year, telling all sorts of stories about Sasha and Copper’s antics. One of the wackiest things I’ve ever seen Copper do is eat a jar of Vaseline. I called that devotion “Oil and Lube Job.” You can guess why. Copper likes to sit up on his hind legs to get my attention. Sometimes he’ll sit there for as long as fifteen minutes or more! His back is straight as an arrow, too. What talent!
Le: Oh, my little Belle does that! We call it her party trick. It’s her way of telling us to rub her belly. I bet The Hilo Monster and Copper would get along great. He must have a pretty stout tummy to have survived Vaseline. Is there a secret that only our pet knows?
J: Well, I live alone (with Sasha and Copper) so they see all sorts of things that others don’t. . .like, when I drink Diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast, or when I don’t change out of my nightgown till noon. They’re pretty good at not blabbing, though, so it’s all good.
Le: That’s great that they can be so trusted with your secrets! What is Copper and Sasha’s pet peeve about you?
J: They don’t think I spend enough time doting on them or giving them treats. (I’m sure my family members are rolling their eyes if they’re reading this because everyone is convinced I spend TOO much time with the dogs and give them far too many treats!)
Le: LOL! What is your pet peeve about your pet?
J: Hmm. I own a steam cleaner and use it regularly. Does that clue you in? Doxies are stubborn and have occasional accidents. Of course, I’m not sure they can still be called “accidents” when the dog is five year old. Ya know?
Le: LOL! I definitely know. We have one too. Because of our stubborn llasa. Believe me, I know what ya mean! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask Sasha and Copper a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺
Le: Hi, Sasha and Copper! Y’all are way too cute! Thanks for coming by. It’s okay, we have time for both of you to speak. So let’s get started. What would be the title of your autobiography?
SASHA: “I Did It My Way”
COPPER: “To Dream the Impossible Dream”
Le: You both seem very sure of yourselves. Good job. And very different. If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?
SASHA: If I were to write a novel using my owner/friend (Janice) as inspiration, it would have to be a romantic comedy, where a handsome fellow (a dog lover, of course) sweeps her off her feet.
COPPER: I’d rather have a treat than write a novel, but thanks for asking.
Le: Sasha, that’s very considerate of you. And Copper, I understand what you mean. Many days I feel the same way about my writing. What’s your favorite movie?
SASHA: It’s not actually a movie. It’s a TV show. I love watching “The Dog Whisperer.” Not that I ever plan on changing my evil ways, but it’s admirable to watch so many other dogs try.
COPPER: I’d rather have a treat than watch a movie, but thanks for asking.
Le: Sasha, I like that show too! I learn a lot. Copper, I’m detecting a theme in your life. What musical instrument would you like to play?
SASHA: I regularly play the keyboard. No, not a musical keyboard. I walk across Janice’s laptop keyboard and mess up what she’s writing. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get attention.
COPPER: Playing an instrument takes energy. I’d rather eat a treat and take a nap. Then eat another treat.
Le: Sasha, I have a cat that does that too. Copper, here, have a treat. You’ve been working hard here. What do you think about cats? Dogs?
SASHA: Cats are evils and must be removed from the planet. Dogs (all but Copper) are a nuisance to be tolerated.
COPPER: Depends. Will they steal my treats?
Le: Copper, they definitely might. Be cautious. I think Sasha knows the score. Where do you sleep at night?
SASHA: Three guesses! It’s warm and cozy and I get to snuggle up next to the person I love most! (And I don’t mean Copper.)
COPPER: Ever since my owner got her CPAP machine, I’ve resorted to hiding under a blanket on the closet floor.
Le: Oh, I bet Janice would protect you, Copper! What do you do when your friend is writing?
SASHA: Serve as my master’s muse.
COPPER: Wonder when she’s going to stop writing so I can have another treat.
Le: I completely understand, Copper. When I finish my writing, I get a treat too. I think we think a lot alike. So, hat is your idea of bliss?
SASHA: My current life.
COPPER: My current life with an extra bag of treats in the pantry.
Le: What is your friend’s idea of bliss?
SASHA AND COPPER: Janice’s idea of bliss is a quiet writing day with her puppies snuggled up on either side of her on the sofa and a cup of Earl Grey tea nearby.
Le: That sounds perfect! And here are some treats for being such great sports here! Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?