Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Dayna Lorentz, Peter and Kerry!

Kerry, Dayna, Peter
Have I mentioned that writers are, by and large, an interesting bunch? Besides hearing voices in our heads all day and making something out of nothing, many of us also have fascinating lives outside of writing. Case in point, author Dayna Lorentz. Dayna is not only a writer of teen and middle grade books, she's also an attorney, a singer and artist, new mom, and passionate dog person. As a matter of fact, she has a whole "alternative bio" on her website called "My Life In Dog." I like that about her. She's just my type. Oh, and she also claims she's so bad at fishing, she once caught a clam. I like that about her too.

Dayna just published an exciting new series with Scholastic, Dogs of the Drowned City. In the first book in the series, The Storm, we meet Shep, the smart and devoted German Shepherd left behind when his family has to evacuate because of an approaching hurricane. Days pass and the food and water run out, and still Shep is alone. Until another dog shows up at Shep's house and convinces him adventure and salvation lie beyond Shep's familiar home. Now you know, I'm not a fan of "talking dog" stories, but there are exceptions, and Dayna's books are one. As Kirkus Reviews said, "If a dog wrote a book about the adventures of a dog, it would sound almost exactly like this..." Dayna has also published teen fiction, most notably No Safety in Numbers (Dial), which has been described as Contagion meets Lord of the Flies.

So as I said, Dayna is a passionate dog person. She shares her life with two rescued mutts, Peter the Pugston and Kerry the Jack Puggle Terrier. Oh, and a cat named Oscar. And a husband who's very funny and  patient, and a baby daughter. Let's meet Dayna and her pack in today's Fido and Friend in Five:

1. How did you and your dogs find each other? 
Peter the Pugston
Peter the Pugston (we think he’s Pug-Boston Terrier) was the first to join our family. In the months before I found him, I had been haggling with my husband to try to get him to agree to let me have a dog. (It should be noted that my husband is a cat person; we disprove the rule that cat and dog people can’t get along.J) My husband pointed out that I was graduating from law school and looking forward to a summer of studying for the bar exam to be followed by a job at a big law firm in the fall—not the ideal time to get a dog. But I would not be deterred by such things as reason! I had grown up with dogs; I NEEDED a dog!

Oscar the Cat
I spent all my procrastination time from studying for the bar trolling profiles on Petfinder and  came across the most adorable little mug, Peter’s smush face. I started the hard bargaining. Finally, my husband and I struck a deal: I could get Peter if he could get a cat. I promptly found Oscar, our Maine Coon cat, at the same shelter; we went out to meet them and fell in love—me with Peter and my husband with Oscar. Peter has yet to fall in love with Oscar.

Kerry the JPT
Kerry the Jack Puggle Terrier joined our family a year later. We had decided that Peter needed a friend. I found Kerry on Petfinder and we snagged her. Funny thing is that Kerry became best friends with Oscar the cat. They even groom each other!

2. What makes Peter and Kerry's tails wag?
Peter is a weird dog in that he rarely wags his tail. When he’s happy, he curls his tail up; if he’s sad or even just relaxed, the tail sort of droops. He will, though, get things wagging if you play Quick Draw, a game where you place the toy between the two of you then wait for the signal to both try to grab it first, with him.

Kerry will wag her curly tail if you say her name nicely. She’s kind of a push over, wag-wise. 

Everyone loves the sun!
3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?
Can I go with movie? My all-time favorite dog movie is All Dogs Go To Heaven by Don Bluth. If I had to say book, I’d go with my daughter’s current favorite, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.

4. If your dogs could change just one thing about you, what would that be?
They would make it so that I had nothing else in my life besides them. They are always looking at me like, Fine, go write/do laundry/play with the kid. It’s not like we wanted to go for a long walk or anything. We’ll just lie here on the couch and wait until you’re finished...

5. In five words, tell us what Peter and Kerry mean to you:
Comfort, safety, friendship, love, hair.

Thanks so much to Dayna, Peter and Kerry (and Oscar the Cat) for visiting with us today! Be sure to check out Dayna's website for the latest news and to read her blog.

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