Animals: Virginie Blanchette-Doucet and Kiwi, a crossbred dog
Kiwi is a 6 year old brindle dog. There are husky, boxer, German shepherd and labrador in his genes. Kiwi is mixed in both body and mind.
1. What made you adopt Kiwi?
When we bought the house and the land, the first thing my boyfriend wanted was a dog. For me, having a dog is part of family life. It is a way of life and a beautiful life learning for children.
2. Why did you choose this name?
We went to New Zealand and loved the place. It is therefore in tribute to our trip, a beautiful reminder. It is also an easy name for children to pronounce. Delphine, my daughter, quickly called it “Kéwi”.
3. Are you more “chat” or “dog”, and why?
When I lived with my parents, we had several Labradors. I dreamed of having cats, but my brother was allergic. After leaving home, my first animal was a cat, Noche (night in Spanish). This life companion who followed me in my studies and who was there while writing my first novel died recently.
4. How to describe Kiwi's personality in a few sentences?
She has the anxious side of the husky. She is easily worried and remains glued to her masters. She is very discreet, but she follows us all the time, like a little shadow. She has separation anxiety. It flips when you drive off and leave it behind. She needs to be slowly acclimatized to new things for everything to work. With Delphine, who is four years old, Kiwi has exemplary patience. He is a good family dog.
5. Tell us a funny fact about Kiwi.
When she wags her tail and she's really happy, she wags her tail like a “windmill”, big circles! If you talk to it as a baby while scratching it, it's sure that the tail flapping goes to the next level (laughs).
6. Tell us about the time when…
Whenever, to make “landing” my daughter from a night terror, we brought Kiwi to calm her down. As if by touching her dog's fur (and smelling its scent, her face in it!) she was getting back in touch with reality! Magic!
7. Tell us about one of her bad tricks.
She once ate the remote control and left only the two batteries. Fortunately, because it is toxic.
8. Tell us about something she loves?
She loves to eat ice cubes. If we use it in the fridge, she waits to be given it as if it were the dream snack. Snow Dog!
9. What is her favorite activity?
She and I often go for walks. I use a canicross harness and she pulls. It creates a great connection between us. These walks in the woods with her benefit my approach to literary creation. It allows me either to clear my head or to structure myself to continue my novel.
10. Where is her favorite place?
She sits on the cushion of the window bench and she has a view of the street. She follows the action outside. The neighbors wave to him!
11. How can your animal be a source of inspiration for you?
In my imagination and in my books, there are always animals: lots of cows and chickens! It gives dimension to the place. And there is always a dog. The dog reveals the character in another way.
12. Like master, like animal
I am much less worried and anxious than Kiwi and more outgoing than her. She is the yin of my yang.
About Virginie Blanchette-Doucet
- A novelist, she has just published her second novel , Les champs penchés.
- With her first novel, 117 Nord, she was a finalist for the Governor General's Award in 2017, and for the France-Quebec Prize.