Monday, July 11, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Monica Kulling, Roxy and Charly!

Monica & Girls (Nancy Ennis)
What is it about Canadians that makes them just so darn nice? I've had the pleasure now to have several Canadian authors on this blog and they are a pure joy to get to know. Of course, that's almost always true of dog people! I first "met" today's author, Monica Kulling, on Facebook. I knew she was a busy and popular author--we have many of her books in our library system--but then I learned she's also a proud mom of two dogs. And then her new picture book, Merci Mister Dash!, came out about an adorable mutt and I just knew I had to get her in the Fido and Friend spotlight. Like many of the authors who've been featured on this blog, Monica writes all kinds of books for kids: biographies, collections of poetry, and picture books. Her latest book, Merci Mister Dash, cracked me up when we finally got our copy in the library and I had a chance to read it. Poor Mister Dash is a very dignified, well-mannered, meticulously dressed mutt plagued every Sunday by Madame Croissant's red-headed, hooligan niece. You just gotta feel for the little guy while at the same time laughing at the niece's antics. I wondered if Monica's own dogs were as refined as our hero, Mister Dash.

1. How did you and your dogs find each other?  We met Charly, our Golden Retriever, in Stratford, Ontario. Well, we met puppies from the same breeder, For Knox, and they were so calm and sweet we put our name down for one. Fort Knox's "Sweet Charlotte" came to live with us seven years ago and she's been a bundle of non-stop energy, enthusiasm, and no-holds-barred high jinx. Charly is slowing down somewhat, as she nears her July birthday and the ripe old age of eight. But she'll always be a fun-loving girl, totally in love with life and everyone in it.
Roxy and Charly ready to go!
Good buddies!
     Our second dog is five years old and the product of a backyard breeder who was looking for homes for the pups his two dogs gave birth to. We met Roxy while walking Charly in our neighborhood park. Roxy was five months old and came with her name. She is a black lab/golden retriever/German Shepherd mix. She's all German Shepherd in the park, where she chases squirrels and bullies puppies, or at home as she herds us out the door for her walks. I think Roxy'd like hourly walks so she can keep tabs on the neighborhood, making sure everything's the way it was the last time she was out! Roxy is smart and definitely more serious than Charly, but they are such good buddies!

2. What makes Roxy and Charly's tails wag?  Our dogs love attention, of course. Speak to them, look  them in the eye, and say all those loving words and you've got the tail wagging! There's also much tail wagging around trigger words, spoken in jus the right intonation--words such as "Supper!", "Treeeeats!"
"Walkies!" "Let's go in the car!" "Charly, you're awesome! Roxy, you're the best dog in the whole wide world!" There they go again. Thump! Thump! Thump!
Roxy and Love that Dog

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  Beverly Cleary was the first author I read from cover to cover. I loved Henry and Ribsy and Ribsy.  I've also enjoyed Because of Winn Dixie, by Kate Dicamillo and Shiloh, by Phyllis Naylor.

4. If your dogs could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  I think they'd like me to have an outdoor job, like riding the range or planting trees. These two, especially Roxy, love the great outdoors.

5. In five words, tell us what Charly and Roxy mean to you:  Joyful, devoted friendship without criticism.

Isn't that what we all treasure so much about our dogs? Thanks so much to Monica and her girls for taking time out from walkies and writing to be in the Fido and Friend spotlight! To find out more about Monica and her books, visit her website

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