Pet tax

Hey there, I am Phoebe. Thanks for having me. It’s not every day that I get to share my side of the story – usually, it’s all wag this, fetch that.

First off, let me introduce myself. I’ve been partnering with Ella Braeme since early 2018. She calls me her companion, but let’s be real – I’m the CCO (Chief Canine Officer). My job? Overseeing Ella’s health by

  • Leading her on essential daily walks (a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do)
  • Conducting regular well-being sniffs and tail wags
  • Providing top-notch emotional support (and the occasional drool)
  • Ensuring she shares the cheese (she’s allergic, but bless her, sometimes she forgets)
  • Offering to clean her ear canals. Well, she’s still opposed to me doing that, but I swear my tongue would be just the right tool for it. If only she’d let me.

1) So, your human writes books. Are they (a) full of praise and hyped up lies about dogs; or (b) do they contain interesting stories?
If A, interview is over. If B, you may continue.

Whaaat? They are full of honest praise of dogs – straight from the heart. Those are the most interesting stories anyhow, aren’t they?

2) If writers are supposed to be so smart, why does your writer have a dog instead of a cat when it’s common knowledge cats are better? Does that mean your writer isn’t very smart?

She finds my treat jar every time. In the dog world, that’s Einstein-level genius.

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of an animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

I’m a one-dog show; no other dogs allowed. Except my dimwit brother from across the street. He’s annoying but kinda cute. Still, I could live without his treat-stealing antics.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

Before Ella, I was with someone else – big mistake. They left me alone! Said it was important to go working. Outrageous!

Now, I’m either cozied up at home with Ella or tagging along on her adventures. Except for grocery shopping. She could use a CCO there too, but does she listen? Humans…

5) As a dog, you’re probably not devious or fascinating, but on the off chance you do have feline traits, what are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments?

Oh, it’s all about brute force. That heated floor mat under her desk? Mine. I give her the ol’ foot nudge, and bam, it’s Phoebe time. And the puppy eyes – works every time. My brother once tried peeing in Ella’s bed for attention. That did not go well.

6) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career (besides the absence of a cat to properly rule the house)?

Sometimes, she gets lost in her writing, thanks to some muse. Never seen her, but if I do, she’ll have a stern talking to from yours truly.

7) We’ve established your human doesn’t write stories full of hyped up lies about dogs. Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?

Sadly, Ella’s books are mostly about humans. Why, I’ll never know. Even worse, she likes cats. I mean – why? There’s this book with TWO of them. I guess that’s why it’s no good, and she doesn’t even charge for it. People can read it for free: It’s about a cat owner who has a second job as a police officer. Just the cats got lucky, and he is on sick leave because of his legs. He’s at home all day long – for many weeks. Some pets have all the luck. And there is that woman who comes to see him every day. She brings groceries and such. They fall in love, which is something that happens in all of Ella’s books. With different people, but still.

8) Since you are a dog, I suppose you can tell us about the dogs in your human’s books, too, and why dogs show up in the books so often.

A story without a dog is like a bone without marrow – lacking. In the last book, there is a man who I thought was unfriendly, but then he saved a puppy from the cold, wrapped him in his very own shirt. That made the woman’s eyes pop out, and she fell in love. Humans are easy.

9) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?

One should think so, but nope. They hug and chat, totally ignoring their butts. Ella says, butt sniffing is rude, but how can it be other than polite to show interest in others?

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

The next book will be part of an anthology. That’s when many authors don’t have enough ideas to fill a book, so they get together and each writes a little bit until the book is full. In Ella’s story, there is an old Bernese mountain dog. Focus is on the humans, though. But then there is a dog trainer, and she’s great. She always has treats with her. And she falls in love with that mountain man, just he is a rock star. But he doesn’t want that dog trainer to find out. Apparently, rock stars are like cats and nobody likes them. Or something like that.

We will not get a cat. No way. But since you were so nice to let me talk to you, I’ll ask Ella to have some cats in the book after this one. She just finished the first chapter, and I bet there is room to squeeze a cat in. Cats aren’t as big as Bernese mountain dogs, after all. Thank God for that.


Ella always says I love anything beach. Don’t be fooled—that’s only half the truth. There is one thing I hate about beaches: the water. No, that’s not funny. At all.