Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Danette Haworth and Casey!

Me and Jack
Danette Haworth
Danette Haworth's new book is not just a "dog story", although it certainly is in the best sense of the phrase. Me and Jack, is also the story of one community's struggle with the devastating effects of the Vietnam War and howwar can divide good people. The book is also a coming-of-age story about a boy learning to fight for what is true and dear. And like Danette's other two books, there's a hint of magic. Danette's book reminds me very much of two other books (and authors) in the Fido and Friend spotlight: Letters from Wolfie, by Patti Sherlock, and Finding Jack, by Gareth Crocker. Danette drew on her experiences growing up as a "military brat" to portray the world of her her narrator, Jack. I'm also happy to say Danette is a fellow Floridian. Her earlier book, Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning, is set in my home state and is on my bedside table waiting to be read.
Danette shares her home in Orlando, Florida with her much loved dog, Casey. Let's meet them both in this week's Fido and Friend in Five!

1. How did you and Casey find each other?  A friend of mine adopted a really fluffy dog that greeted me wildly every time I visited her. He scampered about the house while we visited, his toenails clicking against the wood floor. She once started to close him in a room, but I begged her to leave him out with us. I began to look forward to seeing him almost as much as my human friend. I hadn't had a dog of my own for about eight years, and Alfie was the first dog to capture my heart in a long time. I would've kidnapped him were it not for my love for my friend! Searching high and low for Alfie's clone, I came upon a woman whose dog had just had puppies. One of the females was sandy colored with a white snout and freckles! I just knew she was the dog for me. My kids and husband and I couldn't wait until she was old enough to bring home. And we couldn't get enough of her once she was here. For days, we debated her name. It couldn't be anything too girly, because the two boys and one man in the family didn't want to be shouting, "Prettyfrillybottoms! C'mere, Prettyfrillybottoms!" (this cracks me up every time I read it) It was hard to find a name five people agreed upon; finally, we went with majority rules, and that's how Casey got her name.

2. What makes Casey's tail wag?  One of the best parts of having a dog is how happy they always are to see you. If I go out to check the mail and come back in, Casey greets me, her tail wagging with great flourish and bounding about the house as if I've been away at sea. The sound of plastic, the rattle of foil, and the pull of the refrigerator door--any sound that means food is a big tail wagger as well.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  It's not a classic, but I really like the movie "Good Boy." It's about a dog who's been dispatched to this planet to check on the dogs who were supposed to colonize the earth. He's shocked when he sees the state of affairs: dogs as pets! He's extremely opposed to a boy's efforts to befriend him and tells him so. But of course, they do become friends, and the boy helps the dog in his efforts. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but it caught me by surprise and involved a big sacrifice.

4. If Casey could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  If Casey had her way, I would be throwing her red "Wubba" twenty-four hours a day.

5. In five words, tell us what Casey means to you:  This is how Casey makes me feel: I am important and loved. Or  I always have a friend.

Thanks so much Danette and Casey! I'm going to see right now if I can find that movie, "Good Boy", and I can't wait to read your other two books  Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning and The Summer of Moonlight Secrets.  And be sure to visit Danette's website to find out more about her and her books!

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