Friday, July 9, 2010

Small naughty dogs: are they the gifts that keep on giving?

By Mary Jane Maffini

First, let me say how excited I am to be here at Cozy Chicks, a happening place. Many thanks to Heather Webber for inviting me to be a guest. Then let me confess right up front that I am wild about small naughty dogs: a pair of miniature dachshunds to be precise. Daisy and Lily bring fun and amusement and exercise into my life every day. Thanks, girls for getting me off the sofa or away from the computer on a regular basis.

Maybe I go on about them a bit too much. For one thing, I have inserted their fictional counterparts into my Charlotte Adams mysteries. Truffle and Sweet Marie are not as well-behaved as Daisy and Lily, but they are much more likely to get mixed up in murder. We choose to avoid that in real life, although Daisy did foil a burglar once. He fled in terror when he heard her huge (honest!) bark. She’s thirteen pounds but sounds like an enraged Rottweiler. Also Daisy and Lily are already Therapy Dogs, while Truffle and Sweet Marie are still trying to pass the test, because they are much naughtier and also fictional. Hey, mysteries need challenges and set-backs.

My friends have cottoned on to my wiener dog obsession and often my birthday and Christmas gifts reflect this. See the gifts in this post? Notice a pattern emerging? I love my friends and appreciate that several of them see the importance of these wicked little creatures. I think I am lucky with the many wonderful girlfriends in my life. Dogs are all about unconditional love and loyalty. Friends are about fun and support, and in the case of most of mine, creativity and sharing.

You can see the humor in all these doxie trinkets: the cookie cutter from Krista Davis, the ‘perfect wiener’ leash Christine brought from Australia, Mary’s garden dachshund, Sylvia’s salt and pepper shakers and Linda’s crystal dachshund and silver knife rests, to name just a few! Then there all the dachshund books. I treated myself to the clear blue dachshund paper shredder because I had been a good girl for once. But the best gift of all: My friends bring laughter and joy to my life. I think you can tell that just from the type of presents they choose. To pay it forward, I gave Charlotte Adams friends who would make her laugh and would be there for her no matter what (think guns, garbage dumpster, fires – that kind of thing). And they have lived up to that over four books! She’s lucky too.

What about you? Do you have pets that make you feel lucky? And do your friends bring laughter and joy to your life?


Mary Jane Maffini is a lapsed librarian, a former mystery bookstore owner, a previous president of Crime Writers of Canada and a lifelong lover of mysteries. In addition to the four Charlotte Adams books, she is the author of the Camilla MacPhee series, the Fiona Silk adventures and nearly two dozen short stories. She has won two Arthur Ellis awards for best mystery short story as well as the Crime Writers of Canada Derrick Murdoch award.

Mary Jane lives and plots in Ottawa, Ontario, along with her long-suffering husband and two princessy dachshunds. They’re all excited about Closet Confidential launching this week. She says she’s grateful for all the closet tips she gets from Charlotte Adams.

Visit her at and Facebook and get to meet her characters on their regular visit to

No spoiled pooches were harmed in the following silly trailer. Check it out.