Please welcome Dorothy St. James.
Chasing after the Commander-in-Leash
One of the best things about researching life at the White House for my new book series—the White House Gardener Mysteries—has been learning about the presidential dogs. I’ve always been a dog nut. (And a cat nut, too.) So it was only a given that a presidential pooh would show up in my cozy mystery.
|Milo, the president’s naughty puppy in Flowerbed of State.|
Historically, the White House gardener has served as caretaker for the presidents’ pets. The current White House Horticulturalist, Dale Haney, has cared for every White House dog since King Timahoe, Richard Nixon's Irish setter. For the past 40 years, when the First Family was out of town, Haney becomes the unofficial dog walker.
Bo Obama under a Japanese magnolia in the Rose Garden
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Barney Bush fielding questions in the Press Room
(Official White House Photo by Alex Cooney)
Dale Haney often personally washes off muddy paws using a hose on the north lawn. You can’t let a muddy puppy tromp through the state rooms ruining historically significant oriental rugs.
Using this research, I’ve breathed life into my fictional president’s new puppy. Milo quickly became one of my favorite characters and a talented scene-stealer.
I didn’t realize how realistic I had made the rambunctious Milo in Flowerbed of State until I volunteered to take in a few foster puppies from a local shelter. These two have exhausted me as I’ve chased after them to keep them from digging up, chewing, or rolling over my vegetable plants and flowers. Recently the pair of angels has turned their attentions to lopping off all the blooms on my blanket flowers.
|My two foster puppies (Onslow and Rosie) diving into my garden.|
Like Casey, I’m happy to do it. These little scamps can melt my heart with one soulful look.
What puppy antics have you tolerated? Do you have any suggestions on encouraging these two young puppies away from my vegetable garden?
Thank you Dorothy!
Dorothy St. James (wildlife biologist and paper pusher) is the author of the White House Gardener Mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series, FLOWERBED OF STATE, has been called “spunky” (Library Journal), “fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly), and “it quite simply blew me away” (Criminal Element).
Before you zip away to pet your own dog or pet, leave a comment or question for Dorothy.