Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Laurie Berenson, Blaze and Dash!

Laurien Berenson
Dog mysteries are always popular at the library where I work, especially with the adult patrons. One of the mystery authors who writes about dogs that's probably the most popular is Laurien Berenson. Her Melanie Travis Series debuted in 1994 with the first title, A Pedigree to Die For. That title was so popular, soon other books in the series joined the pack: Hush Puppy, Dog Eat Dog, Hair of the Dog, Watchdog, and many others. Each of the books features Melanie Travis, a thirty-something single mom in Connecticut with a nose for trouble--especially revolving around dogs. No matter how bad things get, though, you can always count on Melanie to be upbeat and the dogs completely believable.

Laurien was first inspired by her love of standard poodles when she wrote her first books in the series. Now, she and her husband have become devoted to a very different breed: smooth coated collies! So let's chat a little bit with author Laurie Berenson and her two collies, Blaze and Dash!

Beautiful Blaze
The dashing Dash!
1. How did you and your dogs find each other?  After 30 years with Poodles, we were looking for a big, happy, smart breed that required a lot less grooming. I has always loved the looks of smooth Collies, so we went to our local dog show and talked to some breeders. One immediately became a great friend. We went back to her house to look at a litter of six-week old puppies. Blaze, our blue merle female, walked out of the puppy pen and straight into my arms! It was totally clear from the first minute that she was going to be my dog. As Blaze grew up, we realized she seemed lonely for canine companionship. So we went back to the same breeder and got Dash, a sable male, who is now 9 months old. The two of them are best friends and so incredibly entertaining to live with. They enrich our lives in every way.

Best Friends!
2. What makes your dogs tails wag?  Everything in the world makes Dash's tail wag (except for nail clipping). He's just the happiest, most easy-going dog I've ever had! Blaze is very food oriented. She's never met a meal she doesn't like. They also like to watch horse racing on TV!

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  When I was little, I adored the Albert Payson Terhune books, so I guess it makes sense I ended up with Collies. Also, there was a paperback called The Black Spaniel Mystery, by Betty Cavanna that I read over and over again.

No couch potatoes here!
4. If Blaze and Dash could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  Blaze would like me to be more of a couch potato because then our personalities would match. Dash wishes I'd permanently lose the nail clippers!

5. In five words, tell us what Blaze and Dash mean to you:  Dog hair and laughter everywhere.

Well, it's certainly no mystery why Laurie loves Blaze and Dash! If you're looking for a thoroughly entertaining mystery series, find out more about Laurie and her books by visiting her website

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