Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to you today by Stephanie Feldstein, who wrote: Here’s my little pack (from left to right in the picture): Turtle, Juno, Sierra, and Moby. Juno is the leader of the pack. She was once a scrappy outdoor dog rescued from the ghetto, but now her addiction to couches and buffets has made her grow soft. She rules with an iron paw, often utilizing the strategy that she can get the other dogs to do what she wants by barking in their ears until deafness distracts them from their unruliness. (Oddly enough, it seems to work). Turtle manipulates with the power of cuteness. Think you’re working on the computer? See how long that lasts when she sits up on her hind legs waving her paws and grunting at you. She’s been known to convince petsitters to handfeed her and trainers to give her treats for nothing. She worships Juno, but will steal a toy from anyone as soon as they stop looking. Sierra lives to be close to me. If she could actually wrap herself in Velcro and get me to wear felt pants so she could stay connected to my leg, she would. But she’s more than just my shadow (or tripping block) – she gets along with everyone. She’s mediated scuffles between other dogs and lets my cat sleep on top of her. Moby is the puppy and the newest addition. He has no sense of his size, no sense of what should and should not be ingested, and no sense of when it’s time to come in when it’s below freezing outside. Not much sense at all, but he’s ridiculously cute and unfailingly sweet. I am the two-legged member of the house, clearly outnumbered (there are three cats here, too). When I’m not volunteering for the humane society, helping people with their pet problems, rescuing animals, or advocating for pit bulls, I write. I started as a poet, but now I write novels about the ways pets change our lives. My first manuscript, which I am hoping to find an agent for soon, is about a woman who learns to stand up for herself by standing up for her dog. In my day job, I raise money to save the world. (Check out Stephanie's blog, here.) *Love* these introductions and the sound of your novel. Now for the questions.... What are some of your dogs' quirks? This could be a long list, but I’ll limit it to one each. Juno acts like she’s afraid of small puppies, even though she’s the alpha with adult dogs and loves to nurture foster kittens. Turtle likes to sleep under the covers, with her head under there, too, every single night, no matter what the weather is like. Sierra loves to lick faces, but knows she’s not allowed to jump up on people, so she’ll do “drive by kissings” where she leaps up and turns her body so that the only thing that hits you is her tongue. Moby gets bursts of puppy craziness, but since he’s too big to run around inside the house and the girls don’t want to play with him when he’s spastic, he’ll race outside to the tree in the middle of yard, jump up as high as he can, grab a piece of bark, then run around the yard and repeat until he’s burnt off the excess energy. Any bold moments or super powers? She wouldn’t want you to know it, but Turtle is the most powerful one of them all. She has a way of making people think that they’re the only one who truly understands her, which makes them want to do all sorts of things for her. Countless people have stopped whatever they were doing to get up and go across the room to rub her belly. She’s made pet sitters hand feed her. She’s made professional dog trainers excuse her from every single exercise in class even though she was perfectly capable of performing every trick. It’s a good thing Turtle doesn’t have aspirations to take over the world…at least that I know of. Juno is the most powerful food beggar I’ve ever met. People who swore they never feed dogs have ending up cooking for her. Once, at an outdoor festival, she caused a woman to take food out of her friend’s hands and feed it to her. I’m not sure the friend had finished by the time her meal was in Juno’s paws. Sierra can read my mind. She mostly uses this power to put herself directly wherever I’m about to go. Moby is the newest addition and still a puppy…like the baby in The Incredibles, we’re sure he has a super power, too, we just haven’t figured out what it is yet. What inspired their names? Juno is named after the Roman goddess. She was the first dog in the house, so little did I know that when I got her a pack of her own, she would take on the role of the ruler who seems to equally enjoy protecting and punishing. Turtle is only indirectly named after the animal. She was found as a stray on a farm and was the most terrified six-month-old puppy I’d ever seen, so her name was really inspired by the scared little Cherokee girl in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees. [Amy rudely interrupts. I love that book!] After a lot of work over the years, she doesn’t retreat into her shell very often – only when things are very unfamiliar to her – and she finds her way out a lot faster now. Sierra looks mostly German Shepherd, but we were told at the shelter that she was mixed with Bernese Mountain Dog, so her name is a nod to her latent heritage. Moby is the Great White Pit Bull named, of course, after the Great White Whale (though some people argue that his smooth head resembles the musician). Look at each dog right now. What is he/she thinking? Juno is thinking that I should take her to the park all by herself every day, like we did yesterday. Sierra is thinking that I’m too far away when I sit at the computer (even though she’s lying less than a foot away). Turtle thinks that it doesn’t look like I’m going to work today, so I really should join her on the couch for a nap (she may be right!). Moby is thinking, as he had been all night, that perhaps ingesting part of a towel wasn’t such a great idea after all. What books are you all looking forward to in the coming months? I’m at the bookstore at least once a week, so there’s a long list in the back of my mind that I’m keeping an eye out for this year. We’re all very excited that The Dust of 100 Dogs is finally out - what could be better than dogs and pirates? We’ve been looking forward the Sara Gruen’s new novel, Ape House, due out over the summer. Water for Elephants was such an amazing book. I’m also a fan of Christopher Moore, so I’ll definitely pick up a copy of his new book, Fool. Thanks so much for letting me interview you and the whole crew for Wagging on Wednesday! And thank you for the work you do for animals. That means a lot to us here at the WOW desk. YOU ROCK!! Thanks for the interview, Amy! I’m glad that D100D is getting such a great reception now that it’s out. It’s moved its way to the top of my to-read pile and I can’t wait to get into it. What about you guys? Any books you or your pets are looking forward to? And here's the deal - I need more Wagging on Wednesday stories! Send them to the Wagging on Wednesday mailbox at WOW (AT)


Joanne Levy said...

ah - I've always wished for a whole pack of dogs. What lovelies you have, Stephanie!

I'm also looking forward to FOOL. LAMB is the funniest book I have ever read.

Gerb said...

Aww. Look at them! What a beautiful pack.

Linda, adding FOOL to her TBR list

Liviania said...

That's a handsome pack of dogs. I can't wait for FOOL either!

Anonymous said...

Fool looks great. I haven't read Lamb, but I've read several of Moore's other works, and I've got great faith in him as a writer.

I love the idea of a Great White Pit Bull named Moby.