Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Patti Sherlock!

Letters from Wolfie
Okay, confession time: I love Patti Sherlock. She is wise and funny and inspiring and sassy. She loves poetry and can cook a mean bear roast. Yes dahling, I said bear. She's also one heck of a writer and dog mother.
Patti & Shakespeare
Patti wrote, among other wonderful books for kids, the award-winning Letters from Wolfie. In this book, a young boy decides to help his country during the Vietnam war by donating his beloved dog, Wolfie (modeled on Patti's dog, Shakespeare), to serve in the armed forces. It's not only a novel about the love between a boy and his dog, but also takes a look at how the ideologies of war divided not only a family but a whole nation. In her latest book, A Dog for All Seasons, Patti writes her personal love letter to Duncan, an amazing border collie she shared her life with on a sheep ranch in Idaho during a very tough period of her life. Patti took time out from her busy life on that ranch in Idaho to share the Fido and Friend spotlight with her two dogs, Shakespeare and Mick.

Dog for all Seasons
1. How did you and your dogs find each other?   I, a single parent, sometimes had to leave my teen daughter alone in the country at night. I heard of a German shepherd\Malamute at the Pocatello dog pound. When I visited him at his foster home, I saw that the other dogs and even the household cats dominated him. His eyes pleaded, “Get me outa here.” I said, “You don't seem very protective.” He sat up tall, and was undeniably large. He went home with me, and a kinder, gentler dog you've never seen. Guard dog? Not so much.
Duncan, the Border collie subject of my memoir A Dog for All Seasons, had been dead a year or so when my friends Debbie and Steve offered me my pick of a nice litter of Border collie pups. I chose the biggest and most enterprising, and named him Mick. My kids planned to buy him for me for Christmas, but Debbie and Steve refused payment. What a gift. He is confident, fun-loving, and a wonderful traveler.
2. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  Our Idaho Falls, Idaho library has a statue on its front lawn honoring Where the Red Fern Grows, which was written here. I think it's a well-deserved memorial for a touching and enduring book.
Also, Shiloh, the book, was so much more substantial than what I'd expected from the movie trailer.
3.  If Mick and Shakespeare could change just one thing about you, what would it be?
Shakespeare- “I'd like you to walk us more.”
Me: “Have you checked the thermometer?”
“It's not so bad.”
“You have a big coat.”
“So do you.”

Mick: “Every time you go to the pantry to get yourself a chocolate or a cookie, you should give us a treat, too.”
“Do you know how many treats that would add up to? That wouldn't be good for your health.”
“Did you hear what you just said?”
4.  What makes your dogs tails wag?  Company arriving. When I put my coat on. When I take my coat off. A full food dish. Snitching cat food (Mick). Rolling in disgusting, rotting stuff (Shakespeare). When I sit down on the sofa. When I stand up. Fresh water. Brackish water. In other words, everything.
5. In five words, tell us what your dogs mean to you:  They show me what God is like.
**BONUS QUESTION (because she asked for it): If you were a dog, what kind would you be?  I'd be a mutt. A scrappy-looking, smiling, healthy mutt, who would fit in anywhere, intimidate no one, and be the best friend the family's children ever had. (and she would be too!)

To find out more about Patti, her dogs, and her books you can visit her on her website www.pattisherlock.com
Sherlock & Sherlock

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