children’s authors and their dogs: bow wow wow wow wow!

Woof woof! Arf arf! Ruff ruff!

Brush your fur, lick your chops, and perk up those ears! Sniff to your heart’s content.

Every dog has his day, and today is the dog day of the summer!!

Doggone right. It’s pink tongues, cold noses, and wagging tails here at alphabet soup, in honor of all the perky pups and hot hounds who grace our world. We just wanna say how much we love and appreciate everything they do — whether a cherished member of the family, a faithful companion to the physically challenged, or a highly trained work dog who helps keep us safe by sniffing out bombs or drugs, or pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage. 

Dogs aren’t called, “wo-man’s best friend” for nothing. Their capacity for unconditional love, unfailing loyalty, and innate ability to bring comfort is unparalleled. Plus, they’re so dang cool. Yip!

  Cool canine © 2010 Leslie McGuirk. All rights reserved.

To help us celebrate, some extremely good-looking doggies are here today with the children’s authors they live with (who are kinda cute themselves). Can we also acknowledge our debt to dogs for the long, quiet hours of companionship, for the joy and balance they bring to frazzled writers when things get ruff? Heck, some have even inspired stories of their own.

We’ve got lots of food,

live music,

Dog Band © 2009 Diane deGroat and Shelley Rotner. All rights reserved.

and a couple of surprises. So let’s par-tay!

I’ll let our guests introduce themselves. Jump, roll over, bring on the canines, and enjoy!

Stormy and Lisa Schroeder (It’s Raining Cupcakes):

Stormy is a seven-year-old Lhasa Poo who loves going on walks and cuddling with her mama. If she’s sitting next to you and you’re not petting her, she’ll paw at your hand until you give her some love.


Stormy: Gimme all your lovin’, all your hugs and kisses too! ZZ Top sure got it right. And shhh, that’s between me and you, since they don’t know I listen to the Classic Rock station when they leave me home alone.


Copper and Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Dog and Bear series):

Copper is a dachshund and he is 8 years old. He, like Dog from DOG AND BEAR, loves to play, is very affectionate, and a bit self-centered. He’s got a tote bag FULL of toys and will never turn down a good game of fetch or tug-of-war. If he could talk, I’m sure he’d be saying, “play with me, play with me,” constantly.


Milo and Cynthia Lord (Touch Blue):

Milo is three years old. He’s half Maltese and half Pomeranian. His dad was all white and his mom was all black. He loves to come to work with me, and he loves watching TV with us at night. He can dance on his back feet, loves to play fetch, and is happiest when my daughter is home from college.


Dog portrait cookies by Whipped Bakeshop.


Pedro and Katy S. Duffield (Earth’s Biomes):

Pedro is a three-year-old red-tri Australian Shepherd who “guards” my office when I’m writing. He is also certain that I vacuum for his enjoyment. He’s so very cool — so his only message is “Yo!” 🙂

Hold the phone! We’ve got a stray!

Does anyone know who this five-year-old Labradoodle belongs to? She says her name is “Puppy,” and her special talents include chewing up books and other items, looking cute, and being OVERLY friendly.

“My human is missing again.”


Trixie and Debbie Michiko Florence (Japan):

Trixie is 9 years old, a tri-color Rat Terrier, with a special talent for catching popcorn and Frisbees. The word, “cookie,” will make her come running every time. There’s a Gilmore Girls episode where one of the characters (Kirk) is a dog-walker and loses one of his dogs. He yells, “Cookie!” and Trixie will freeze and stare at the TV every time that episode airs. She is a cuddler and a snuggler.

Trixie: I love this new home because I can climb up on the couch and bark at dangerous trespassers (other dogs, birds, and falling leaves) out the window. Mom scolds me for messing up the couch (cushions end up scattered), but I’m just doing my job! Also, my favorite time of the day is when Mom grabs a book to read because that means I can curl up on her lap without that evil laptop taking my special spot!

??? and Diane deGroat (Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth):

 Never enter into a staring contest with this dog.

I don’t have a real dog, but here’s my “pet” German Shepherd. He was one of the first pieces of taxidermy I found many years ago in a junk shop. I didn’t name him, but he stands in my front foyer, maybe to thwart burglars, but definitely to let people know that when they visit me, they’re not going to find their mother’s decor. The seller assured me it was not a “stuffed” dog, but rather a form covered with real dog fur. I didn’t want to know more . . .

Bathroom Break!

Now, where were we?


Parker, Louis and Jeannine Atkins (Borrowed Names):

Here’s my big dog Parker (named by my then preteen daughter after Peter Parker aka Spiderman aka Toby Maguire), and the ball of sometimes terrible white fluff, Louis, which is pronounced the French way, Louy, except when we’re miffed and he gets two syllables.

 Parker came from the local shelter, after his pregnant mom was rescued alongside a road, so his origins are murky. But what a handsome tail, yes? My daughter begged as well for a little dog, and got me to agree to a Maltese after putting a picture of Louis, then called Captain, as the screen saver on my computer. Obviously effective. A little dog with a big personality.

I like Parker because he gets me off my chair around three p.m. every day to walk, or as we say in my house w-a-l-k: the word that must be spelled. Louis makes me laugh by spinning in circles when I get home, or, even more exciting, before supper.


Cassie and Susan Taylor Brown (Enrique Esparza and The Battle of the Alamo):

Cassie will be three years old in November, and since she is a rescue dog, we don’t know a lot of specifics about her birth. We got her from the German Shepherd Rescue group who pulled her from the pound and until she developed an autoimmune disease, we thought she was pure German Shepherd. But it turned out the illness she had only showed up in Dobermans, so it looks like she’s got some Doberman in her bloodline, too.

She loves to learn and has a vocabulary of about 75 words right now. It’s growing all the time. We have to spell certain words (cheese, treat, cookie, bully, ride), if we don’t want her to get the wrong idea. She takes 8 pills a day, but for her she thinks it’s all part of training since I wrap the pills in cheese and make her do tricks for her medicine. She’s very good at telling time. She knows she gets some pills at noon, so she comes and pokes me around noontime to remind me. She’s fascinated by things that fly and will follow birds and bees all over the yard, but her favorite thing to watch is an airplane. While she enjoys the occasional nose-to-nose sniff with other dogs, what she really loves is people. Every time a doorbell rings she is sure that whoever is on the other side has come just to see her.

Cassie: Just because I’m a big German Shepherd/Doberman, some people think I’m scary or that I want to bite them. It hurts my feelings. I just want you to bring your head down to my level so I can sniff and say hello. I won’t even lick your face.


 Ruby, Matty and Barbara O’Connor (How to Steal a Dog):

Ruby is a 15-month-old golden retriever. Her brother, Matty, is a 10-year-old English cocker spaniel.


Ruby: I love to swim and run on the cranberry bog. Barbara and I walk a few miles every day. I love to cuddle in a bed. (Yes, I’m very spoiled.) But I especially love tearing up the lawn and eating sticks. I love to ride in the car, but please don’t ask me to jump in by myself. I want to be lifted in. It’s so much easier.

Barbara with Ruby’s siblings

My big brother, Matty, is kind of grumpy. He wouldn’t speak to me for a long time when I first arrived. But now he loves me and I love him. (But he’s still grumpy.) Unfortunately, Barbara is writing a book right now. I hate that. It’s so boring. I just sit under her chair all day and watch the squirrels. I love it when she gets writers block and gives up. Then we can go for a walk.


Guy, Pumpkin, Wiggens and Leslie McGuirk (Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant):

Guy (blk & white), Pumpkin (right rear), Wiggens (foreground).

Guy (black and white Shih Tzu mix with terrier, maybe Jack Russell, 10 years old): Well, first I went to the vet and I had a lot to say about all the poking that went on. Then my mom took me to the dog park to make up for it all. I ran and I ran. And I sniffed and sniffed. Next, I came home and had a snack and a belly rub and a snooze. This is what I will do on National Dog Day: Run, Eat, Play, Love. Maybe someone will make a movie about me.

Pumpkin (Mississippi street dog, terrier mix, 8 years old): Some people found me roaming the streets of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. They named me Katrina (bad name) and drove me to Florida where I was fostered by a lady who had dogs that were jealous of my cuteness factor. She was going to take me back to the shelter, but my forever mom heard about me and saved my life. She knows that all dogs have a secret name. You just have to listen for us to tell you. I am Pumpkin. I love the beach. I love my mom. I am the luckiest dog in the world.

Wiggens (Norfolk terrier, 14 years old): I don’t get around too much, being almost 15, you know. Can’t hear much, but I can smell and I sure do love my food. Sometimes I wake up my mom at 4 a.m. because I am beyond starving. In fact, I am always so hungry. I think I should get three meals a day just like my mom. I submit for National Dog Day that all dogs get three meals a day!!!!

“I beg your pardon, did you say something about a stray dog? She’s mine, I tell you, all mine. As is the gorgeous Lisa Yee!” 

Hot Diggity Dog

*swoons* *fans self* Need another cookie to regain my strength.



Snowball and Tammi Sauer (Chicken Dance): 

“Whadda-ya mean, second place?”

Snowball Facts:

*Snowball is a Maltese.

*Two years ago, both Snowball and my husband turned 35 on the exact same day.

*Snowball is now 49 in dog years, which makes him the senior member of the Sauer Household.

*Snowball won second place “Best Trick” trophy in the 2005 Edmond Parks and Recreation Kids Dog Show by giving my daughter a high five on command. He was beat out by a yorkie that jumped through a hoop while sporting an ill-fitting tutu.

*Snowball’s favorite game is one that my kids made up called “Burglar.” The rules are simple. The “burglars” crouch over, hold their arms T-Rex style, and pretend to creep around the house. The moment Snowball spots these menances to society, he erupts into a barking/chasing frenzy. Real burglars, beware!

And it looks like we have one final guest:

Wait a minute! You’re not a dog. Nice try, Peepy. But we’ll let you stay since you brought cupcakes!

*wipes face* Wow. I’ve been licked to death all week, but I don’t mind one bit. This was more fun than a barrel of monkeys (I wonder if there’s a National Monkey Day?).

A BIG THANKS to all the cool canines and their lovely authorial companions for helping us celebrate! Everyone, keep the fun going by posting pictures of your dog on your blog or Facebook profile. Make sure to give him/her a special treat. You don’t need to beg. Here are some biscuits for the road:

 Betty’s Collections/flickr

♥ Visit to learn about other ways to celebrate. This day was also founded to encourage people to adopt dogs from animal shelters. Isn’t it great that several of today’s guest dogs were rescued from shelters?

Click here to see Jackie Urbanovic and Melissa Sweet and their pooches!

Party pooped!

Copyright © 2010 Leslie McGuirk. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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