Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Dog Dish with Maria Zannini

Today, Dakota and I welcome guests Tank and Iko who make their home with my friend and fellow author, Maria Zannini.

Maria and I have had several discussions about dogs -- in fact, her first comment on this blog was about dogs (yes, Maria, I remember the first time you commented). Remember, too -- Maria's giving away something to folks who comment on her blog posts, so check out the deets at the end.

So, without further ado, welcome her boys... Tank and Iko. Aren't they handsome?

Dakota: So, your human writes books. Does this mean she is home all day and easy to access?

Tank: Yes and no. She's home, but if it's nice out, she's usually outside digging in the dirt. Iko and I have offered to help many times, but she's never taken us up on it. Go figure.

Dakota: What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it's fun? Or is that Iko’s job? If so, what do you do to support your human and keep Iko away?

Tank: I try not to bother mom when she's working. But when it's meal time, I consider it my duty to remind her. She loses track of time so quickly! I use my super giant head and plop it on her lap, then I mesmerize her with my big brown eyes. Within 30 seconds, she'll give me a kiss and ask me if I'm hungry.

Of course, I'm HUNGRY. I'm always hungry! I didn't get to be 130 pounds on Lean Cuisine.

As for supporting mom, I do my best to keep Iko away. He's a terrible pest. I really don't know why she keeps that dog other than he's good at finding scorpions. :sigh: I guess he'll have to stay.

Dakota: What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human's writing career?

Tank: Neglect? From mom? Never! She cooks for me. I get to sleep on her bed. And when I have bad dreams, she's always there to give me a big hug.

I remember how it used to be for me. Running the roads, nothing to eat, no place to sleep. I'm a big boy and you wouldn't believe how many other dogs want to fight you just to prove a point. I'm a lover not a fighter. It's not easy being a Rottweiler, especially a giant Rottweiler. Talk about racial profiling! Mom promised me I'd never have to go back to the streets and I believe her. She keeps me safe.

But no life is complete without indignities. They did bring home that annoying little puppy. I haven't had a minute's peace since Iko arrived.

Iko: Hey, I'm not annoying. Well…not all the time.

Dakota: Tell me about the dogs in your human's fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?

Tank: Mom doesn't put a lot of dogs in her fiction, but there's a mongrel that's going to show up in a new novel that's still hush-hush. She loves it when there are dogs in the story, but she hardly ever writes them in her own books. She says they'd take over the story if she let them. Duh. What's wrong with that?

Dakota: What movies involving dogs does your human enjoy sharing with you? Books with dogs?

Tank:: :::Whistling. Looking off into the distance::: Oh, uh, yeah…about that. I'm not allowed to be in the room when mom is watching her favorite dog movies. They look so real. I just want to jump into the television screen and join them. It got a little messy one time and mom got mad.

But she raves about It's A Dog's Life (she says it’s the best dog movie, ever!). And she has an entire library dedicated to dogs. She has everything from Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day to A Dog's Life In Art and Literature by Iain Zaczek

Dakota: If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

Tank: I would love to change mom's internal clock. She gets up before the chickens and she insists I get up too. I'm a dog! We're allowed to sleep 20 hours a day.

Dakota: If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?

Tank: Dad steals leftovers from the fridge and I hardly EVER get any.

Dakota: What things does your human do that would mortify her if known?

Tank: Okay, you promise you won't tell, right? Cuz if this got out, she'd know it came from me. (sniffs Dakota) You're not wearing a wire, are you?

Mm…you've got chicken breath.

:Tank drooling:

Oh, yeah, your question. Okay, here goes. On rainy Sundays, she will sometimes stay in her pajamas ALL DAY. She won't even answer the door. She just lounges around and watches old movies.

Dakota: What does your human do that most annoys?

Tank: Me? Nuthin'. I'm shiny.

Iko: Psst. What about me?

Tank: What about you? You're a pain.

Iko: Mom puts me in the crate when she goes out. That's annoying.

Tank: Not to me. :grin:

Dakota: Did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it? If you could rename yourself, what would your name be?

Tank: I showed up with my name. The people who rescued me said I was so big, I looked like a tank. Mom and dad were determined to give me a new name, but one look and they said it fit me too well. I'm good with it.

Iko: I don't like my name.

Tank: What's wrong with 'Iko'?

Iko: Not that name. The other name mom calls me whenever I'm bad.

Tank: Ohhh, that name. We can't repeat that here. This is a family blog.

Tank: Thanks for having us over, Dakota. The dog cookies were delicious!

Iko: I especially liked the fringe on your mom's rug.

Tank: Iko! Not the rug! Now Marianne will never have us over again.

Iko: Oops.

Dakota: Don't worry. We'll blame it on the cat. Hope you guys will come over and play again sometime!

If you'd like to hear more about Tank and Iko, the chickens, or Maria's crazy life on the homestead, stop by her blog. She's always telling stories.


Maria Zannini's latest release is a science fiction romance called TRUE BELIEVERS.

Mix one cynical immortal and one true believer and throw them into the biggest alien-hunt the world has never known. Rachel Cruz is a Nephilim masquerading as an archeologist and she's stuck with an alien who believes she can lead him to his ancestral gods. Black Ops wants to find these gods too. They want them dead.

Follow Maria here:


Contest time! Every time you leave a comment, tweet or mention "Maria Zannini" anywhere with a link to my blog, your name goes in the hat for a chance to win a Texas sized prize. Go here for more information.


Maria Zannini said...

What a cool logo!

Thank you for having the boys over. I was told Dakota was a fabulous hostess.

This was fun!

PS I can't believe you remember my first comment. I can't even remember what I said last night. LOL.

Dru said...

This was a fun blog. Thanks for letting Dakota interview Tank and Iko, although we didn't hear much form Iko.

MomJane said...

I loved the day with the dogs. Thank you for sharing. I have a rescue dog too, but mine is only 7 pounds and is afraid of almost everything except me.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Iko was probably too busy gnawing on that rug. :grin:

He's still a little too flighty for interviews which is good because I'm sure he'll be a blabbermouth.

Maria Zannini said...

Mom-Jane: Yay for rescues! Is that the little Yorkie in your avatar?

And 7 pounds! I think Tank's shadow weighs more than that. :)

The older I get, the more I keep hoping I can convince my hubby to get a smaller dog next time. I don't think my knee can take another tackle.

Thanks for writing in!

Joanna St. James said...

your dogs are such darlings and poor Iko he cant help it if rugs are tasty, i'm so tempted to donate my shoes to him but I doubt the human would like that.

Joanne said...

Wait. Blame it on the cat? On the cat??? Huh. Kitty's got her claws out now ... Cats rule, and Maria, it sounds like your book rules too!

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: i'm so tempted to donate my shoes to him...

Are you insane! I finally got it through his thick head that shoes were not chew toys. So he switched to my socks. LOL!

Iko is not so much a slow learner as he is stubborn.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: Cats may rule, but dogs are always looking for a scapecat.

Thanks for the kind words and for coming over.

BTW, Tank loves kitties. Iko has yet to be tested, but so far he's been pulling a Will Rogers. He hasn't met anyone he hasn't liked yet.

Liz Fichera said...

Very. Cute!!

Lydia Kang said...

"No life is complete without indignities."
Ha ha!
Great post!

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: My dogs strive for cuteness.

Lydia: Thanks! Tank thought of that himself.

Lia Bal said...

Very cute. I can see my dog and Iko getting along. On the other hand, that would be a bad idea since my dog would teach Iko that shoes are not nearly as tasty as remote controls, cell phones, and lazy-boy recliners.

Anonymous said...

Hehe your dogs are great, Maria! Tank especially seems like a big cuddly sweet-heart.


Linda Leszczuk said...

I noticed Iko didn't mention the dreaded obedience school.

He makes me think of the t-shirt I saw once that had a very happy puppy on it and read: "Hi! My name's No No Bad Dog. What's yours?""

Meghan Schuessler said...

Too cute! Tank makes the perfect big brother! Now you just have to work on getting daddy to share the leftovers he sneaks from the fridge!

Brandy said...

Your Doggy interview brought a big smile to my face! Tank sounds like an absolute sweetie and Iko sounds like a bundle of energy!

Sherri said... that post! And Maria I really think you should write a book with dogs...let them take over.

One of the best dog books I've ever read (though horribly sad in spots) was Beautiful Joe, the Autobiography of a Dog by Marshall Saunders -- though it's likely out of print as the copyright in my copy says 1934.

Tori Lennox said...

How fun!!! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Lia: Cell phones? Oh, that dog would be in doggy jail for that one. LOL.

But Iko has already "generously" allowed me to buy new furniture and a new rug. I am going to wait until he's sure he doesn't like the taste of leather.

Maria Zannini said...

Lia (bookwyrme): Tank is a huge marshmallow--especially with women. He's a real lady's man.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: "Hi! My name's No No Bad Dog. What's yours?""

Oh, my God! I need a shirt like that for Iko. That is too true. LOL! Thanks for visiting me over here.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: Oh, I've seen dad sneak a piece of turkey to Tank on occasion. :wink: Tank has a very short term memory.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Brandy!

True on both counts. Despite Iko's mischief, they're both good boys and very sweet.

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri, I've never heard of that book. I will keep it on my list for future reference though. I love dog books.

Tori: Glad you could stop by!

jackie b central texas said...

I have to stop laughing long enough to type, love it love it love it!
What a beauty Dakota is Marianne and Maria Tank is a handsome devil with those bedroom eyes and that Iko is a total riot!

Hopefully the taste of leather has not appealed to the young rapscallion and since obviously Tank is the "good dog" of the pair his furniture eating days are way behind him!

jackie >_<

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie, we always call Tank the saint because he goes out of his way to be perfect. Iko, on the other hand goes in the opposite direction.