Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Sneed Collard and Mattie!

The Gov's Dog is Missing
 Sneed Collard!
Okay, I just have to say that of all the authors I've had on Fido and Friend over the last five months, Sneed Collard, III has the coolest name of all. I just needed to get that out of the way at the start. Here's another reason I think Sneed Collard is very cool: he applied to be on my all-time favorite realty TV show, "The Amazing Race"! Seriously! If you go on his website (see link below), you can actually watch the entry video he had to send in to apply. It's amazing! True to the independent spirit of the West where he lives, Sneed started his own publishing company, Bucking Horse Books, to address the shortage of good quality regional books for children.

Although Sneed is known for his passion for non-fiction books (and he's published lots of them, including dog books), his latest book caught my eye when it came into the library where I work. The Governor's Dog is Missing! is a real page-turner of a middle grade novel with this gorgeous border collie leaping across the cover. The book follows twelve-year-old super sleuths, Slate and Daphne, as they try to figure out who stole the Montana Governor's famous dog, Cat, before time runs out. This is a great book with lots of action that will appeal to both boys and girls, dog lovers, and detective wannabees.

So let's meet two cool cats, Sneed Collard, III and Mattie!

Mattie vs. oatmeal box
1. How did you and Mattie find each other?  Back in 1998, I had a housemate who had a great Blue Heeler, and she (the housemate, not the dog) was about to get married. I think I was as sad about the dog leaving as about the housemate, and I was thinking about maybe getting a dog myself. Well, about a week before the wedding, my housemate spotted this Border Collie in the "Pet of the Week" column of the paper, and immediately became obsessed with this dog. After two sleepless nights, she asked me, "If I go adopt this dog, will you watch her while I go get married?" I said, "Well, let's go look at her." We went on down to the Humane Society, and for me, it was love at first sight. I just said, "Wrap her up!"

2. What makes Mattie's tail wag?  Now this is a funny question, because Mattie doesn't HAVE a tail! I don't know if someone lopped it off or if she was born that way. Several things do make her "stump" wag, however. One is seeing her favorite people. Another is the prospect of food. The third is the announcement of any action, from going for a walk to chasing a ball, to going for a car ride.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  Would you run me out of the kennel if I said The Pokey Little Puppy? It was my favorite picture book as a child. But to be honest, I'd have to say the story of Shep (one of Sneed's books is SHEP: OUR MOST LOYAL DOG)--not because I got to write the kid's book about it, but because it is such a moving true story. And because it not only epitomizes all of a dog's wonderful qualities, but captures just how much dogs mean to people.

4. If Mattie could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  Oh, she would make me much more active! You fellow Border Collie owners know that these dogs NEVER get enough action. If Mattie had her way, she and I would be hiking the mountains and rivers 12 hours a day--even at Mattie's ripe old age of twelve and a half!
Mattie & India on the run!

5. In five words, tell us what Mattie means to you:  Unconditional love, acceptance, and enthusiasm!

Mattie at rest
Thanks, Sneed and Mattie! By the way, the Border Collie on the cover of Sneed's latest book is not Mattie. It's another Border Collie named Tarzan! I have never heard of a dog named Tarzan, have you?

To find out more about Sneed Collard, III and all the really neat books he's written and all the cool stuff he does up in Montana, visit his website  www.author-illustr-source.com/sneedcollard.htm

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