From Publishers Weekly:
Jimmy, the canine star of Merrill’s second fun-loving doggie novel (after Walking in Circles Before Lying Down), is the Tony Robbins of the dog world and holds informal seminars with the neighborhood dogs to instruct them in the art of manipulating their human masters (the key, he intones, is nose down, eyes up). Jimmy’s poochly wisdom—spot-on and hilarious throughout—is made available courtesy of his owner, Gil, an unlucky in love handyman who learns how to communicate with dogs. This launches the novel’s plot, as Gil shoots down Jimmy’s idea that he is Gil’s biological son. Soon, Jimmy is intent on meeting his birth mother, who happens to belong to Gil’s now-remarried ex-wife. A series of setbacks beset the duo, and the tribulations provide lessons in life, love and finding happiness. The conversations with the wry, wise and lovable Jimmy (and his three other oddball dog pals) comprise the novel’s heart and comedic through-line—discourse ranges from business matters to why dogs pee so many times during walks. Markoe’s hilarious dialogue should be a must-read for dog lovers
I first read about Jimmy in Nose Down, Eyes Up (you know I love almost anything with a dog in it) and knew I had to talk to him sooner or later.
Here is 20 Questions with JIMMY
1. What breed(s) are you?
A Flatcoated Retriever. The Retriever that puts all others to shame. I don’t even stoop to retrieving, per se. I leave that crap to the lesser Retrievers.
2. Favorite place to sleep?
On top of whatever you are reading.
3. Favorite food?
Whatever you are eating.
4. Favorite toy?
Don’t have time for toys.
5. Favorite thing to chew?
Whatever you just threw in to the garbage.
6. Indoors or Outdoors?
Absolutely. Yes. By all means.
7. Are you embarrassed by dog outfits?
I’m not sure I understand the question. What are these things of which you speak?
8. Dog Trainers: Friend or Foe?
Friend. You may know my motto: “Everyone is always glad to see me.”
9. Hair cuts or the natural look?
Hair cuts in the summer, natural in the winter.
10. Do you like baths?
No. I don’t see the point.
11. Favorite place to watch your territory from?
In the center of whatever you are reading.
12. What cute thing do you do for a treat?
I wobble my lower jaw like a ventriloquist dummy. Everyone seems to love it. I’m not sure why.
13. What most do you like to bark at?
Sirens. I like to harmonize with sirens. I’m told it is magnificent .
14. Cats: Take them or leave them?
Yes. Exactly. Take them or leave them.
15. Would you chase a squirrel right now if you could?
No. I’m too comfortable.
16. If you catch something, what do you do with it?
I’m so glad you bring this up. And I am so relieved that you are also puzzled. Because that has been exactly my point all along! If you catch something, what do you do with it? If you find out, please let me know.
17. Does going to the vet upset you?
First you tell me something: Are you looking forward to getting a colonoscopy?
18. Do you prefer to walk or go for a car ride?
A walk. Then a car ride. Then another walk. Then another car ride. Like that. To me it is not just wrong to separate them, it is unnatural and against the law of God.
19. If you could do one thing right now, what would it be?
Take a walk in to the kitchen for a full meal. No. Wait. Take a walk in to the kitchen for four full meals.
20. What book would like to chew the cover off?
Any book that has been accidentally left in a bowl of stew.
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