If your dog were a mystery writer, what would he write about? Waggleview with author Susan Israel
The Dog Owner: Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog. The Story Plant published her first novel, Over My Live Body, in 2014. Her second novel, Student Bodies, will be released in May 2016. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review, and Vignette. She has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. She’s currently at work on the third book in the Delilah Price Series.
Dog type and Name: Cocker Spaniel, Kingston
Q: Why did you choose this dog?
I believe both of the dogs I’ve had in the last 7 years actually chose me. I did want to adopt a cocker spaniel since that was the breed I grew up having. Before I adopted Max, my last dog, another family had a meet and greet with him; their dog and he didn’t get along…then I came along. After I lost Max prematurely, I was bereft; I saw Kingston’s picture and inquired about him. Another family was supposedly coming in to meet him the day before I made the trip; they never showed. So, while I thought I was going to be adopting another dog, I wound up adopting Kingston. It was meant to be, where both of my dogs and I were concerned. I’ve had the best dogs in the world.
Q: Do you talk to your dog? If so, what do you talk about?
I tell him everything that happened when I was out, where I went, what I bought (he’s only interested if I’ve bought something for him, which I do quite often). He gets the whole uncensored version and doesn’t pass judgment.
Q: If he could talk to you, what would he say?
He would say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I’m trying to follow his lead. Sometimes I succeed.
Q: If your dog had a job or career, what would he be doing?
He would be a racecar driver. He’s a Greyhound disguised in a cocker spaniel body.
Q: If your dog were a mystery writer, what would he write about?
The Purloined Butcher Shop
Q: What lesson in life has your dog taught you?
Value every day. When I adopted Max, I thought I would have him a lot longer than I did. Conventional veterinary care and a poor commercial diet prior to my adopting him caused grievous problems that I will never repeat. I’ve come to live a much more holistic lifestyle and his vet is a holistic vet. I wouldn’t do it any other way. You have to do your absolute best while you’re here and I can see for myself that this is the absolute best for him- and me.
Q: How does your dog inspire you?
I want to be his hero (actually heroine, in my case) and to thank him. I dedicated my most recent book to him- AND to Max. Both dogs opened my eyes.
Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you?
ANYWHERE, I really only take him around the neighborhood, which is fairly quiet. I did take him with me to a pet store once; he made like a pig to the trough when he saw the treats in bins at floor level and was politely asked to leave (and he had a case of the trots for his trouble). Having been abused in the past, before I adopted him, I make sure to walk him where nothing with stress him out.
Q: Who or what does your dog find the most interesting?
Paper goods! He has a gazillion toys and yet finds infinite joy in tearing up a napkin or a magazine cover or, most recently, a Papyrus bag (which is kind of redundant). Some of those magazines had a Kardashian on the cover; not sure if there’s a theme there.
Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do?
Letting their dogs run loose. On top of the fact that Kingston doesn’t get on well with other dogs, I don’t want to see someone else’s dog get hit by a car. Also, dogs left alone in cars- it seems people never learn. A dog is FAR safer at home than left alone in a car, no matter what the temperature is outside.
Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you?
Being responsible means doing the best that you can for your dog and being knowledgeable about what is the best diet and best mode of care for him and keeping him safe and finding a holistic vet who is enlightened about the harms of conventional practices and will help guide you a different way.
Q: Do you ever dress up your dog? If so, as what?
I have a raincoat for him, which he has become rather expert at shaking off after half a block.
Q: How has your dog changed your life?
I wake up every morning (well, most mornings) with a smile because he is here with me. Even when I have had to sleep all scrunched up because I don’t want to disturb him. His comfort comes before mine.
Q: Does your dog have a philosophy of life?
Eat. Bark. Wag.
Q: I love my dog because he makes me a better human being in his presence.
Q: Have you ever made dog treats for your dog? If so, please share your recipe.
Oh gosh no, I don’t even make treats for myself.
What’s a WAGGLEVIEW™? These interviews are focused on woman leaders in business, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected women in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about dogs and what these women do? This is a platform for women to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their dog!
Thank you Susan for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview™.
Please comment below.
If your dog were a mystery writer, what would he write about?