Dogs = a writer’s best friend. We’d like to introduce you to some of our authors’ canine companions! Meet the dogs, learn their stories and then feel free to share us pics of your dog with your favorite book using the hashtag #DogsOfEpicReads!
Robin Benway & Hudson
Human: Robin Benway, author of Emmy & Oliver
Type of doge: Shih tzu
Doge Facts: Two things are now certain: 1) I have a boy dog, and 2) his name is now Hudson. He once ate 1/3 pound of asiago cheese off the coffee table during a dinner party. The dog groomer calls him “Salad Boy” because of the time he managed to dump a container of ranch dressing on his head. (Don’t ask.) His ears smell like maple syrup, his underbite is my favorite, and he has eyelashes for days.
So no, I didn’t find the perfect dog.
He found me.
Elissa Sussman & Basil
Human: Elissa Sussman, author of Stray
Type of Doge: Mutt (golden retriever, fox hound, chow-chow and miniature poodle)
Doge Facts: His full name is Basil Pesto Poledouris Sussman-Petaja. He loves long walks, dirty tennis balls and cheerios. He is not a fan of chicken (he’s allergic and gets very itchy), garbage trucks or being moved when he’s already settled down to sleep. His best friends are Ramby the cat (known on instagram as Neighbor Cat since he’s our landlord’s outdoor Siamese) and Luna the pitbull/basset hound mix.
Gretchen McNeil & Poodini
Human: Gretchen McNeil, author of Get Even and Get Dirty
Type of doge: Maltese
Doge facts: “Poodini” is not my adorable dog’s real name, but a nickname acquired back when I was working in television production. Our offices for Code Monkeys were in a dog-friendly building, and so my new puppy came to work with me every day. And despite being taken out for a walk literally five or six times a day, he much preferred to poop in the offices. Never mine, of course. Just everyone else’s. He’d sneak in when no one was looking and leave a little gift, usually under someone’s desk. And thus he was dubbed “Poodini: the Houdini of Poo.”
Megan Shepherd & Bascom
Human: Megan Shepherd, author of The Cage and The Madman’s Daughter trilogy
Doge: Bascom, aka Writing Assistant
Type of doge: Terrier mutt
Doge Facts: I woke up one day just knowing that my husband and I should get a dog, and that we should get one THAT SAME DAY. (That tends to be my typical decision making process.) We went to the animal shelter to get a border collie mix because that was the kind of dog I grew up with, but then this scruffy little puppy caught our eye. He was so chill and sweet! We agreed to sleep on the decision, and the next day decided to go back and get him. But when we arrived, they told us he was gone! We were heartbroken until they clarified that he was gone…to an adoption fair at a nearby winery. We raced to the winery and snatched him up. Bonus: we toasted the happy news with wine!
Extra doge fact: I based Sharkey, Juliet Moreau’s dog in THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, on Bascom.
Amy Reed & Peanut
Human: Amy Reed, author of Invincible
Type of doge: Pug + Jack Russell Terrier = Jug
Doge Facts: My husband and I had just gotten married and bought our first house, and I was ready to take the next step and get a dog. He was a little hesitant, but I convinced him to go to the animal shelter with me as “research.” He made me agree to ride our bicycles there so we wouldn’t be tempted to bring anyone home with us. But as soon as I saw Peanut, I fell in love. Brian knew I would not take no as an answer, so we raced home on our bikes, jumped in the car and went back to the shelter to adopt our new baby. She had just gone up for adoption that day and I was terrified someone was going to take her home while we were gone. But there she was, waiting for us. Other fun facts about Peanut: she obsessively licks people, especially after they’ve exercised or applied lotion; she starts snoring before she falls asleep; she hates skateboards, poodles, and people wearing hats; she sleeps in the middle of the bed, under the covers.
Wendy Higgins & Rue
Human: Wendy Higgins, author of Sweet Temptation and the Sweet Evil series
Type of Doge: Miniature Pinscher
Doge Facts: We named her Rue after the Hunger Games character because like Rue in the book, our pup is sweet, tiny, loyal, smart, and spry. She also jumps like a crazy kanga-ROO! Last year Rue survived being hit by a car, and with months of diligent loving care, she made a miraculous complete recovery.
Corey Ann Haydu & Oscar
Human: Corey Ann Haydu, author of Making Pretty and Life by Committee
Type of doge: Havanese/Maltese mix
Doge Facts: I never had any pets at all before Oscar– my mother was allergic to fur– so getting him was a huge, exciting, scary step. But luckily Oscar is the world’s sweetest, friendliest dog. My nieces live in Ireland, and the three-year-old especially has always loved Oscar. When we are Skyping she’ll say a brief hello to me and then immediately ask to see Oscar. Even when she was just learning to speak, she’d call out “Osh-car! Osh-car!” as soon as she saw my face on the computer. I totally get it. Oscar looks like a stuffed animal.
Heather Demetrios & Shadow
Human: Heather Demetrios, author of Exquisite Captive and Blood Passage
Type of doge: German Shepherd / Boxer / Hound
Doge Facts: Nothing gets you what you want from your husband like a review that makes you cry.
Me: (sobbing) This review sucks. I want a dog! A dog would make me feel better.
Husband (who, by the way, has been badgered about getting said dog for a long time): Oh, fine. We’ll get you a dog. Here, drink this bourbon.
We got Shadow from the Sean Casey Animal Rescue Center in Brooklyn a week later. The floppy ears and the fact that he gives you his paw on command had us hooked. Also, as you can see, he likes to cut a rug now and again, so dance parties are pretty frequent in our house. Basically, he’s the cat’s pajamas, the dog’s paws, the…oh, you get it.
Carrie Mesrobian* & Pablo
Human: Carrie Mesrobian, author of Cut Both Ways
Type of doge: Catahoula Leopard Dog
Doge Facts: We adopted him from a rescue of puppies that were born during the 2008 Summer Olympics. They all had names of Gold Medalists from the USA team. Before we adopted Pablo, he was called “Phelps” which is hilarious, given that he has the shortest legs ever and obviously Michael Phelps is known for his outsized limbs. He bites his own claws. He’s very nervous. He would probably smoke cigarettes if he could. Things he is afraid of: the car, stairs, dishwashers and refrigerators, brooms, bathrooms, and our new front porch. Things he is not afraid of: storms, fireworks, bees. He is very weird but his fur is very soft and he is always up for accompanying you for some lazy time on the sofa so he’s a perfect match for all of us.
Ryan Graudin & Wolf Dog
Human: Ryan Graudin, author of All That Glows and All That Burns
Doge: Raiden (or Wolf Dog)
Type of doge: Alaskan Malamute / Wolf mix
Doge Facts: Raiden was technically supposed to be a birthday surprise. After moving into a house with a large yard, my wish for a puppy had reached a boiling point: “Pleasepleasepleaseplease,” was all my husband heard whenever the subject was broached. I accidentally discovered the surprise a few weeks before, when the husband left an email open on our mutual iPad about purchasing a puppy. I had to pretend I didn’t know that a ball of furry cuteness was coming my way for weeks, which is harder than it sounds. Raiden has been a faithful footwarmer/exercise coach ever since.
Jasmine Warga & Scout
Human: Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes
Type of doge: Labradoodle
Doge Facts: Scout was actually purchased a week after MY HEART sold. I’d always wanted a dog, but had been worried about affording one/having the time to take care of one, and so to celebrate selling MY HEART, I decided to take the plunge and get a puppy. While Scout’s appreciation of books may squarely fall into the realm of eating them, she was brought home because of publishing and is named after Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.
Sarah Prineas* & Athena & Fin
Human: Sarah Prineas, author of Ash & Bramble
Doge: Athena and Fin
Type of doge: Rottweiler & shepherd mix
Doge Facts: I live in rural Iowa, so every day my dogs and I go on long hikes around our 40 acres of land. For the dogs this means chasing (but rarely catching) rabbits, rolling in foul dead things, going up to their bellies in the muddy swamp, and collecting ticks. It’s pretty much the same for me, without the rolling in stuff.
*Human was unavailable for photographing.
Robin Constantine & Max
Human: Robin Constantine, author of The Secrets of Attraction and The Promise of Amazing
Type of doge: Jack Russel Terrier
Doge Facts: Max was a gift for my son but he’s really mine. (Don’t tell anyone else in my family!) He considers himself the middle child and even gets a stocking on Christmas. He’s very impatient, though, and usually sniffs out his gifts way before Christmas morning. He can tear out the squeaker in dog toy in less than a minute (I’ve timed him!) and when he gets his paws on a tennis ball, he can play for hours. He’s a great snuggler and champion napper too!
Alex Flinn & Timmy
Human: Alex Flinn, author of Mirrored and Beastly
Type of doge: Shih tzu, we think
Doge Facts: We got him at the pound two summers ago because my daughter wanted a dog she could carry around the house (We otherwise have had retrievers). He follows me around while she is at school, though. He doesn’t seem to realize he’s a little frou-frou lapdog. He hates baths and grooming (See photo) and mostly wants to run around with the labrador.
Julie Murphy & Dexter
Human: Julie Murphy, author of Dumplin’ and Side Effects May Vary
Type of doge: Pomeranian
Doge Facts: My husband (my big burly, manly husband!) fell in love with Pomeranians when we first started living together. As someone who always grew up with multiple cats and/or dogs, I was shocked to find out that the only pet he’d ever had was a rabbit. I had to remedy that immediately, so Dexter, who clocks in at a just five pounds, was an anniversary present from me to Ian. (Or from me to me!)
Becky Albertalli & Ollie
Human: Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Type of doge: Oreo-print mystery dog
Doge Facts: We adopted Ollie as an adult, and while we don’t know much about his background, we know he was mistreated and left in a shelter. He was rescued and placed with a foster family, and we fell in love with him at a PetSmart adoption event. We’ve never been able to pinpoint his age, but he’s definitely an old guy by now. He once ate an entire frozen chicken that was thawing on the counter (skin, bones, and all). He didn’t leave a trace, and he never got sick.
Mindee Arnett & Gambit & Halo
Human: Mindee Arnett, author of Avalon and Polaris
Doges: Gambit and Halo
Type of doge: Australian Shepherds
Doge Facts: Although they don’t look it, both of these boys are still puppies! They’re 12 weeks apart in age and we just brought them home in Oct of Nov. Needless to say we had our hands full at first, but it was totally worth it. They are the best of the buds, and of course, huge sci-fi fans!
Veronica Roth & Avi
Joshua McCune* & Boots
Human: Joshua McCune, author of Talker 25 and Invisible Monsters
Type of doge: Dachsund
Doge Facts: My wife’s the one who wanted a Dachshund. She thought they were cute. I was a big dog person; I thought little dogs were yappy, needy things. Turned out I was right. Seen those bumper stickers about barking less, wagging more? Boots never learned that former bit, but he sure was a professional wagger. And, man, was he needy. Always getting up next to me as I was writing, watching TV, sleeping… pretty much wherever I was, he was there… burrowing, squirming, pushing his way in… so needy.
Then, a little more than a month ago, Boots was killed in a car accident. I got there shortly after he’d been hit. He was snarling and snapping at anybody who came close – things he never did – because he was in so much pain. Ignoring the concerns of the people surrounding his tiny little body, I got down on my stomach, put my head beside his…. In those last moments before he lost his light, he looked at me. And even as I was crying, that rat-tail of his started wagging a storm.
Whenever I think of him now, I think of that tail, wagging through it all.
When I sign my books, I often encourage people to Drink the Wild Air. It’s based on a line from an Emerson poem: ‘Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.’ You want to see that in action every day, just watch a dog and his tail.
*Human was unavailable for photographing.
Lindsay Cummings & Hurley
Human: Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex and The Death Code
Type of doge: German Shepherd
Doge Facts: Hurley is the best dog ever—I got her off of Craigslist, when I was 18, and undergoing tons of surgeries during the worst of my Chronic Fatigue. Hurley was a tiny puppy full of energy, but she laid by my side for months while I recovered 🙂 The downside? She likes to eat books. Specifically, TFIOS and Mockingjay.
Show us your doge! Post a pic of you and your pup and your favorite book using the hashtag #DogsOfEpicReads to Instagram or Twitter and tag us so we can see!