What are your passion/hobbies?
I’ve had lots of hobbies over the years, a little of everything since I was a kid. I was really big into photography for awhile; even had my own darkroom at one time. I love to cook (and of course eat!). I love aviation and space. Some of my earliest memories are of the early Gemini missions. I love computers and all sorts of gadgets. I like reading about history.
My true passions, the things that have never faltered, are my love of dogs and writing.
What is your favorite word?
I’m a writer, so it’s hard to say. There are so many cool words! That’s part of why I like to write; 26 letters and they can be combined in an almost infinite combination; from the shortest haiku, to 140-character tweets, to short stories, to novels and even entire libraries. (Maggie: what a philosophy!)
What is your least favorite word (other than the bad ones)?
Words are tools. They only have the power you give them. I don’t mind the traditional “dirty” words so much. The ones that really bother me are ones like torture, corruption, murder, you know, the ones we actually have power to change but for some reason don’t, or can’t.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Being around passionate people, people who love what they do, who do it for noble reasons. That’s why conferences like BlogPaws or BarkWorld are so inspirational.
What turns you off?
Corporate politics. No, make that pretty much any kind of politics.
What sound or noise do you love?
Bacon cooking for one; that one’s got some good smells associated with it too. The sound of a child laughing is a good one too!
What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of crickets chirping really bugs me for some reason.
What is your occupation?
I was a technical writer for nearly 30 years. I currently work in Product Compliance for a slot machine manufacturer. I still spend a lot of my time writing. Because of my background, I’m the one that gets stuck doing all of our internal department documentation.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’d like to have the luxury of being retired and be able to write something everyday. Not necessary the “great American novel,” but just something meaningful.
What is your favorite color?
Depends upon my mood. When I look in my closet, I find a lot of blacks and blues.
When I first started on Twitter on my own account, I used Smokey’s picture for my avatar. I was following a few celebrities and some of my favorite authors, but was surprised that people were following me. I couldn’t figure it out at first, but then realized that a lot of the people following me were also using dogs and cats for their avatars. That’s how I learned about anipals. @2PoodlesforMe, @Dogopolis and @DanaPixie were some of my first anipals. Now, between three accounts, I’ve got nearly a thousand anipals.
How did you decide to portray their personalities? E.g., are they aspects of your personality, quirky things your pet does.
They are a mix of the two. Smokey is 11, sort of the mature and wise one of the family. He’s really just an idealized version of me. I always say, I’m a better person when I tweet as my dog. Ody was a pup, so he’s easy. Just play up the innocent aspect, the “all things new/first time experience” thing. Smokey is also a bit shy and a little more even minded by nature. Ody’s excitable and very very food focused. So I do play up those aspects of their natural quirks.
How did your dogs get their names?
Smokey was actually named after his older brofur Teddy, a toy poodle prior to Smokey. Teddy was an apricot color, and looked like a little teddy bear when he was a puppy. So when Smokey came along, Dad stayed with the “bear” theme. Teddy Bear, Smokey Bear, etc. If Ody had been any shade of brown, his name probably would have been Yogi Bear.
The weekend I brought Ody home, @Super_Muffy got her sisfur Sofie. Originally Muffy said they were going to name the new puppy Penelope. I had just a show on History Channel about Odysseus whose wife’s name was Penelope. The named seemed to fit since Ody was a fearless and stubborn but smart little guy, sort of like Odysseus.
Lots of anipals suggested names for the new brofur, the most popular being Snowy after the dog in the TinTin comics. Our good friend is Snowy (@SnowyWestie) and we thought that would just be too confusing. Another suggestion was “Bandit,” like in the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” However, Bandit is the little dog from “Johnny Quest” and that dog had a black patch over one eye. Ody didn’t, so Bandit wasn’t chosen. Finally, I settled on Odysseus because it fit the best, becoming Ody for short.
Do you have an anipal shelter/rescue that is important to you?
Not particularly. They all are important to the individual animals in need of a forever home.
Any additional comments?
I’m truly honored to have so many anipal friends that genuinely share my interests in helping all pets find their forever homes.
all photos provided by and used by permission of Les