|Writer Judy Connor and The Brown Dog, Otis
Although her debut as an author is an intimate, first-person revelation and reflection about her divorce, her ex-husband and her precocious brown dog, Judy Connor insists that it is, in fact, a love story.
I have to admit it was hard to resist picking up and reading a book with reviews like, “This book is more fun that a box full of glue-huffing monkeys on St. Peter and Bourbon” (John Goodman) or “If you dog doesn’t like this book, he has no sense of humor”, (Roy Blount, Jr.). What sold me was, “Have you laughed at your ex husband today? If you just bought this book, stop on your way home and pick up a box of Depends—you’ll want to wear them while you read it—yeah, it’s that funny”, (Jill Connor Browne, The Sweet Potato Queens).
Prominently featured in Southern Fried Divorce is Otis (a.k.a. The Brown Dog), a former street dog lucky enough to have landed in the lap of luxury. After describing the day in which her ex-husband shows up, with Otis riding shotgun, to drive Connor to court for their divorce hearing, she writes, “That ex-husband had recently begun this goofy business of trying to smuggle the brown dog in everywhere he went…for instance, the Superdome. Man and dog also made an attempt to breach one of the Inaugural Balls for either the mayor or the governor.” For the record, we here at Urban Dog Magazine wholeheartedly embrace the concept sneaking dogs into wherever they can be snuck and we thank Judy Connor and Otis for spending some time with us to answer the Inner Dog Questionnaire.
What is his idea of perfect happiness?
Reclining across his favorite human while getting a belly scratch.
What is his favorite treat?
Rumaki—hold the water chestnuts. Also fried chicken from Frankie and Johnny’s.
If he could change one thing about himself what would it be?
He’d like his neck to be longer for better backbiting.
What is his most treasured possession?
He is completely non-materialistic. Due to deprived childhood, he doesn’t know what toys are.
What is his most endearing quality?
He is so very courteous. He never snatches a morsel from a hand and never begins eating before his host.
Assuming there is such a thing as reincarnation, what or who might he have been in a former life?
Many folks think that the brown dog is the reincarnation of that ex-husband. My jury is still out. However, if it’s true, somebody’s learned some big ole karmic lessons.
Is there anything that embarrasses him?
Tripping up on a slippery floor.
What is it that he dislikes most?
Swallowing a bitter pill. (This is not a metaphor)
What is his greatest fear?
Butt-tampering, if he is the tamperee. Even more than thunder.
What is his greatest accomplishment?
Finding the perfect home after living on the street. And his command of language: he understands many words, can say “wow” and can read lips.
What is his favorite place?
The brown bergiere chair and ottoman, upholstered in monkey motif and the most pricey furniture in the house, of course.
What does he really like in other dogs?
When they are behind a high chain link fence and he’s not, so he can grudge dump right under their noses.
Does he have a motto?
“Far Niente”. (It’s Italian, loosely: To do nothing is wonderful.)