Tuesday, July 6, 2021



Born a runt, Rascal is destined to be an underdog. Despite what looked like an unbreakable bond with the daughter of the family who bred her, Rascal’s devotion is discarded when she finds herself left roadside, with nothing but a few pieces of kibble to help her survive. Abandoned and alone, Rascal must learn to fend for herself and embark on a harsh and dangerous journey through the mountain wilderness of Southern California. Along the way, she encounters strangers who teach her about the good and bad of humans. But will she ever find a home that lasts? A Dog of Many Names is a courageous story of survival, seen through the eyes of an unforgettable dog, struggling between her greatest needs — to find her own strength, and to love and be loved.

Book Details

Title: A Dog of Many Names

Author: Douglas Green    

Genre: dog fiction

Publisher: Circuit Breaker Books (July 6, 2021)

Print length: 177 pages


A few of your favorite things:
my dog (duh!), my 1967 convertible Mustang, my record collection, my new book, and the chocolate in my kitchen!
Things you need to throw out: the scads and scads of old bills and papers I’ve saved because I’m not sure what I’ll get “in trouble” for not having saved for decades.

Things you need in order to write: peace and time.
Things that hamper your writing: lack of peace, lack of time!

Things you love about writing: everything, as long as my mind is clear.
Things you hate about writing: when I compare my writing to others’. I had a relative (first cousin twice removed) who released an acclaimed novel near the end of his years. When my mother phoned to congratulate him on the accomplishment, he responded, “Well it’s not Huckleberry Finn.”  I know that illness too well!

Easiest thing about being a writer: the physical act of writing.  Nothing to it - we learned it in kindergarten or so, and typing is even easier.  Alone we can write whatever we want, so no problem.  

Hardest thing about being a writer: getting it out there. And especially, the choices one has to make in doing so. The feature film I directed took a strenuous year to make. I then spent five years devoted to recuts, festivals, screenings, courting reviewers, etc.  Mostly fruitlessly.  (In comparison, I’m having a great time with this book – answering your questions is a hell of a lot more fun than cold-calling Miramax was!)

Things you love about where you live: Los Angeles. (I have to write about what it was like before the pandemic, the way we expect it to be again soon): the variety of people I interact with, the ability to get to great everything (from beach to skiing, from opera to tacos, from chiropractor to black box theater).
Things that make you want to move: the traffic that comes from that variety of people knowing how great things are here!

Favorite foods: sushi, chocolate, peaches, martinis.
Things that make you want to throw up: bad barbecue (I’m from Kansas City originally, so the bar is set high!)

Favorite music:
so much. Love early rock and roll, big band, grand opera, big fan of Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, the Ink Spots. Got weepy when I recently learned Tony Bennett has Alzheimers.  (It’s no accident that I named my last dog Shirelle and this one Aria!)
Music that make your ears bleed:
there’s no type of music I hate, but I do get bored of anything after a while.  So I’d like a decade of not hearing “Benny and the Jets,” “Piano Man,” or “Hotel California,” so I could enjoy them again!

Favorite beverage: I love many cocktails, but I have to go with European Drinking Chocolate – not cocoa, but the thick-as-molasses jolt of hot ecstasy (and yes it’s just as sexy as that sounds!)

Something that gives you a pickle face: a few years back I directed a play written by a friend, in which the characters shared a drink called a Kir Royale, made of champagne and Crème de Cassis. If you’ve never tried one – believe me, it was much more fun watching the characters drink them in the play!

Something you’re really good at: complimenting and encouraging dancers and athletes.

Something you’re really bad at: dancing and sports.

Something you wish you could do: dancing and sports!
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: accept failure at them so easily. (As my favorite comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, said recently – I might be paraphrasing – “Failure is not an option. In my case, it’s a lifestyle!”)

Things you’d walk a mile for: love primarily. Though I’d exchange the Camel quote for Bruce Springsteen’s “Baby I’d drive all night just to buy you some shoes,” or Bob Dylan’s “I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love,” or Rod Stewart’s “I'd walk a million miles across broken glass or a red hot Arabian desert if I could just have one night in your long brass bed!”
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: well, since you mention it, I stopped smoking about 15 years ago so the smell of cigarettes now nauseates me – including Camels!

Things to say to an author: your actual emotional reaction to their work, whatever it is.  Last week I met a woman who described reading The Teachings of Shirelle, saying at the first she just kept asking herself “Is he just going to talk about this dog and nothing else?” and then found herself falling in love with the dog, and then crying unstoppably.  I told her she was everything I’d written it for.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “It’s a nice book (play, movie, etc.) but next time you should do something with passion.  You know, like Oliver Stone.”

Things that make you happy: the laughter of children, my dog’s tail wagging circularly, rain.

Things that drive you crazy: drivers who stop at green lights, acclaim for bad writing, people choosing to believe ignorance is a virtue,

Proudest moment: The first public reading of my book The Teachings of Shirelle, to an audience of about eighty people – in a bookstore so we were surrounded by great authors as well!
Most embarrassing moment: oh the competition is fierce!  Of what I’m willing to admit – speeches I gave that didn’t work, romantic rejections, and showing up to work in torn or muddy clothes (I’m pretty clumsy).

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: as has been said for millennia, there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity. So the most daring but not stupid thing I’ve ever done? Probably a three-way-tie between putting-all-my-eggs-in-the-one-basket of making a feature film, changing careers when that didn’t work out, and pouring my heart into my first book and self-publishing it.

Something you chickened out from doing: some years back, I dated a woman who, for her 30th birthday, arranged for a skydiving party. I told her I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Joined with them afterwards, taking a lot of flack for my cowardice. A few weeks later, she tripped on a sidewalk, and the fall broke her leg in three places.  I supported her in every way I could, but felt – not vindicated, but pretty damned glad I’d made the choice I did!

The last thing you did for the first time: answer your questions.

Something you’ll never do again: not know or appreciate you!  Thanks for all this!


The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead.


Douglas Green is the author of the widely-acclaimed 2015 book The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead, and runs the advice website AskShirelle.com, based on the wisdom in the book, which he was taught by his ridiculous dog. Released from decades in the entertainment business for good behavior, he directed the film The Hiding Place, and now works as a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, specializing in children and teenagers.

Connect with Douglas:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram 

Buy the book:
Circuit Breaker Books  |  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble