Saturday, February 21, 2009

Interview with Willow the Dandie

Woof! Woof! I'm so happy to introduce my first guest!

His name is Willow aka Wollington P DeWinters McGillicuddy Dinmont and he is a rare and costly Dandie Dinmont Terrier from the UK (talk about fancy! but you know those Brits). His owner, author
Lucy Coats, writes childrens’ books when she is not taking him for walks and pandering to his every whim (lucky dog!).

Willow is mustard coloured and likes to bully people and bark a lot all on one gruff note. He is very manly and good-looking (his words, not mine!), having a dashing permanent wave, bottlebrush tail and bootbutton eyes. Some ignoramuses say he looks like a Highland Cow with the legs cut off, but this is Not True. He claims there are only 454 dinmonts in the whole world, so obviously he is Very Important (okay, at this point I'm wondering whether his author mom is as modest as him.)

Willow does not like being washed or groomed. He prefers the tousled look. Forget this at your peril. His teeth are in good order and designed to hang on till Death. For film/casting applications and further interviews, apply to his agent/owner at

Okay, Willow, spill the beans. Describe Lucy Coats as a writer and as a pet owner. No sugar coating here. Give us the real deal. This blog is only read by pets, so don’t worry, Lucy won’t find out what you say. In the event that you find yourself into trouble, I can always offer protection. I have a good connection at the CIA.

(Putting on my disguise of dark glasses here). Okey-dokey. Maybe the CIA can talk to Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Gonna need them when I’m done here. So. Known her since I was born (she delivered me, and I used to snuggle along in her bra when she took my real mom for walks). Yes. I was that small. Wanna make something of it? She’s always been pretty good to me, feeds me the best raw mince with my biscuit, gives me treats last thing at night. She even brought in a nice labrador girl for me to boss around—one who can wash all the bits I can’t reach if ya see what I mean.

Writing? Oh, that tappy tappy stuff she does. Yeah. Yawn. Children’s books, it’s called. But it pays the bills and I guess she’s pretty good at it because the postman (woof woof woof) is always bringing big boxes of stuff with funny letters on it. Heard her say that her Greek Myth book has been translated into six or seven languages. I dunno. She has trouble with Dog sometimes, so I don’t see how that works. ‘S all Greek to me. Ha ha.

Then sometimes people turn up at the door and she sits for hours while they ask questions about how she gets her ideas and boring stuff. Yadayadayada. They always pat me and say how handsome and rare I am, so that’s ok. Mostly I just sleep and hope they notice that I have my best side to them. What I don’t like is when she goes away to do writingy stuff. I get lonely. She’s going to some school in Switzerland to talk to kids next week. Remind me to ignore her for a few days when she gets back. That’ll teach her.

Good idea, Willow. Don't ever let her take you for granted. So tell us, what do you do for amusement while she pounds at the computer all day and ignores you?

Well, a dinmont needs his beauty sleep, so I do a bit of that on the big tartan dogbed in the kitchen. Then I might take a wander outside into the garden. There’s really good stuff to sniff, and I like to terrorise the rabid rabbits who live under the hazel tree. I’m a little stiff in the legs now (not that age has anything to do with it, how dare you), so I can’t run about like I used to and keep the young ones in order. So I sit on the stone step and bark instructions to my friend the lab, and her friends the retriever and the yorkie on how to ruin the plants and pee in the best places. Of course, I’m the boss, so if they find a bone or a really juicy smelly something yummy, I take it away from them and eat it or roll in it. No. Of course that’s not stealing. Why would you think so? The continual barking seems to annoy my mom. At least, she shouts a lot about needing peace and quiet. Dinmonts don’t do peace and quiet. Not until they are taken for a walk. Bark Bark Bark. Works every time. And it’s really fun. At least I think so.

I like to stare at my mom while she writes to make her aware that she’s ignoring me and make her feel guilty. What do you do to annoy Lucy while she writes?

Apart from the barking, you mean? Well, I find that chewing a plastic flowerpot or a log works really well if you put a bit of tooth into it. Crunch crunch grind crack. Drives her INSANE! Then there’s the…do I have to be polite here? I do? OK then, (whispers) the W-I-N-D. I have a series of great moves here. The pop-pop. The whistle. The silent and deadly. You should see her jump up and down and wave her hands and open all the windows and snarl at me. She does a good snarl—makes me love her even more. What I don’t understand is the idea of it being ‘disgusting’. Eau de Dinmont Intestine—what more could any human want? Labrador Girl loves it. I, of course, look innocent. Me? It was the other dog that did it.

I'm glad you're using all those strategies to make Lucy pay for ignoring you. Be careful not to overdo it, though. That stuff--er, yeah, the 'wind'--can kill newbies who aren't used to it. I try to control myself when we have visitors. But anyway, does your author mom have a website or blog? Tell us about it!

Blimey! Don’t want much do you? My paws are cramping right up here. The website. Now let me get this right. It’s at and it has all sorts of great stuff on it for kids, or so she says. Books and all that, but also an interactive map thingy and puzzles and masks to color and all that. No pictures of me, which is a Bad Mistake, but for some reason I don’t feature in any of her work. Yet.

As for blogging, she tells me she just started doing that at I have been mentioned—she gave me the pseudonym of The Dastardly Dinmont. How cool is that? If I play it right and look even cuter than I already do, she might even do one of those posty things all about me. Actually, if she doesn’t, I’ll bite her.

Thanks for sharing that, Willow. Leave us with some British words of wisdom, will you? What advice would you give to those pets that have to live with irrational, egotistical authors? (believe me, the world is full of them!)

Cut them down to size, show them who’s REALLY boss. An example here. We’ve had snow in England lately—deep snow. I’m short. Walking in deep snow is hard when you’re that close to the ground. My manly parts were acting like a snow plow, and it was Not Pleasant (not to say frrrrreeezing cold). A little whimpering here, a little play with the big black eyes there, and she was mine. “Poor little Dinmont, here, let me break a trail for you!” So there she was, in her moon boots, dragging one foot sideways to make a path for ME. Ha! She looked like something from ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’! Show me an irrationality or egotism that doesn’t break before the Power of Pathetic. And I INVENTED pathetic, I OWN it. Thank you for your applause. I deserved it. I am the King of Dinmonts. Watch and learn. And Goodnight.

(clapping) You've got to like this guy. That's pretty wise, Willow. Thanks! Woof! Come back anytime.


  1. This was fun to read. What a great idea. I am owned by two basset hounds and would love to see what their comments about me would be.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. Basset Hounds, huh? I hope to have them as guests here soon!

  3. I have not yet had the pleasure of being owned by dog, cat, bird, lizzard, or any other species (do kids count?) Any how, I find it great insight to see an author through the eyes of their pets. Very vigilant and revealing in ways some may not wish to see. But all the better for the fans I say. Good job with the interview Amigo!

  4. That's a reminder - I need to go out very soon to make Rascal's path in the snow.

    Morgan Mandel

  5. Amigo

    What a wonderful interview and only your first. I can't wait to read the next one.

    Shari Lyle-Soffe

  6. I just heard that Willow has hijacked Lucy's blog:
    That should keep her on her place, Willow. Good work.

  7. Willow is tough! A no-nonsense type of dog for sure.

    And Rocko & Spunky took over my blog last Monday while I was out celebrating my birthday. I'm still cleaning up the fur...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  8. Oh...Willow! You are cheeky enough for me to admire...even if you are a dog!

    (owner of Lynn Huggins - Cooper)