Writer and editor Edie Jarolim authored three travel guides and numerous travel articles before coming under the career-changing influence of a small alien creature: her first dog, Frankie. In an effort to understand him and his kind, she researched and wrote Am I Boring My Dog? And 99 Other Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew (Alpha/Penguin). She now blogs at http://willmydoghateme.com and is a regular contributor to Your Dog newsletter. Learn more about her non-canine pursuits -- but don’t tell Frankie -- at www.ediejarolim.com.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I’ve tried to come up with scenarios that involve nature, art, literature, and other humans but in the end I decided it’s wrong to lie about what makes you happy. So... my ideal scenario would be sitting on a comfortable couch, drinking a nice glass of wine or a beer with salty snacks and watching a great movie. My dog would be next to me, occasionally nudging me with his nose for attention, perhaps, but not trying to get at my salty snacks.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be and why? That’s a tough one. Although I like dogs better in this life, I’d have to say that because they’re more dependent on humans (which is always an iffy proposition), I’d want to be a cat. One without hairballs if at all possible.
What is your pets most treasured possession? His squeaky chile. It’s actually -- shhh -- a Dr. Noyes cat toy that’s been converted: I took the catnip out and put a squeaker in.
Your proudest achievement so far? Learning to take care of another creature and writing a book to help others achieve that goal. It sounds self-serving -- and, hey, I wouldn’t be sad if it inspired someone to buy Am I Boring My Dog -- but it’s like not wanting to lie about my idea of perfect happiness. I’m proud that I was able to meld sense and sensibility in my discovery of a deep love for animals (one in particular). And although I’d been a writer for a long time, I found my voice in my dog book and blog.
Who are your heroes in real life? Karyn Zoldan, who is a greyhound rescuer and indefatigable advocate for closing down the dog tracks, and Lizzie Mead, who not only rescues greyhounds but also other dogs as well as cats and, occasionally, children. Both Karyn and Lizzie live in Tucson and both make me feel like a slug for not doing as much as they do. I am nevertheless proud to know them -- and sometimes even party with them.
Editor's note: Go "Like" Edie and her Will My Dog Hate Me Facebook Page. It's a guilt free zone!