Have you ever wondered what would happen if you trained your dog to keep a diary? A charming chien narrates The Diary of Jinky: Dog of a Hollywood Wife, and a literary star is born. Author Carole Raphaelle Davis happens to also be the charismatic actress who brought Amalita Amalfi to life on Sex in the City. She and her husband Kevin Rooney adopted Jinky from Chihuahua Rescue (www.chihuahuarescue.com). With all the love Jinky brought into their lives, Carole wanted to give voice to poor pooches in dire circumstances.
The book is more fun than a barrel of rawhide bones. Jinky delivers a K-9's point-of-view on Hollywood, New York City, France and other cosmopolitan favorites. He's got a leg up on any gossip columnist you'd care to name. Aware that his bite has potential to be worse than his bark, he anguishes over the possibility that he could have to sink his teeth into Kim Basinger. When a Chinese Crested comes to visit, Jinky says: "He looks like a cross between Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol." An accompanying photo shows how right he is. While on the Riviera, he ruminates his past on death row in a shelter: "Right now, I could wag my tail so hard it would knock the whole world over." You'll wish you had a tail you could wag while reading this book. Davis aimed to write a story that would be hip, heartwarming, entertaining and on message about saving dogs in danger; she hit the bull's-eye.
I caught up with her as she had just wrapped an episode of TV's Scrubs and was preparing for a little sojourn in Nice. Read what she has to say about her animal companions' high jinks.
How did JINKY get his name?
What is your best guess as to Jinky's heritage?
In narrating the book, Jinky says "These Hollywood people never stop plugging, pushing, and clawing to appear on TV." Is that also true of Hollywood dogs? Has Jinky been on TV?
What are Jinky's favorite foods?
He likes anything that has a good sauce on it. He'll eat a raw onion [Ed. note - Not that we'd ever recommend such a thing! Remember, folks, onions are not recommended for our canine buddies.] if you drown it in sauce. He loves going to restaurants and in the book, he talks about the 'stupid laws in America' that prevent him from enjoying restaurant food. In Nice, France, where we live half the year, he gets to go to all the restaurants and the waiters bring him delicious bowls of tasty people food. He just doesn't get why he's not allowed in the restaurants here. He doesn't spread any of the airborne diseases, like TB or horrible flu viruses like people do! And his feet don't bring in any different dirt than people's shoes do.
Dog love is very much a part of Euro-culture. You go into any world class museum and look at the grand masters of European paintings of the 19th, 18th 17th, all the way to 14th century and you'll find adorable dogs on couches, on beds, on tables, all curled up on the silken robes of the royal laps of Europe. Every lady had a lap dog and every gentleman had a big hound. They all slept in bed with their people. I grew up in France and Italy and the dogs and cats were used like hot water bottles. When you're in a 300 year old stone house with no central heating, believe me, you need a dog. It's better than a husband—it's warmer and it's faithful.
In the book, Jinky mocks humans for using umbrellas. Does this mean he would never wear a raincoat?
What animal rights matters most weigh on Jinky?
As for exotic birds that get separated from their families in the Amazon; Jinky thinks it's mean to keep birds in cages. What kind of fun is it to sit in a jail cell that's only as big as your wings can reach, when you could be soaring in the sky and pooping on the heads of people that would put you in a cage?
But the thing that really makes Jinky mad is the plight of those like him. He was beaten up, abandoned, and homeless at the pound, with hours to live. There are millions of dogs killed in the shelter system, many of them puppy mill dogs bred for pet shops. They get dumped at the pound and no one comes to get them out. They die waiting for a loving home. This is a fixable problem. We can fix it today. So he thinks people should adopt until the shelters are empty. Jinky wants people to make the ethical choice.
How have Jinky's relations with Finley been since the book's publication?
Yes, he's tried it, and he doesn't like it. You know the scene in Big where Tom Hanks spits out caviar? That's how Jinky is. My best friend in Paris had an Iranian boyfriend who used to bring her pounds of Beluga. He'd load up the fridge and we'd stuff ourselves but Jinky would spit it out like it was poison. I think he thinks it's awful that they have all those fish abortions in Iran. I like to imagine what he thinks, politically.
On the other hand, Jinky absolutely loves truffles. We were in the Vaucluse region of France last summer, where they have the best truffles. It was so satisfying to watch Jinky enjoy truffles after he had been beaten up and dumped like garbage at the pound by jerks. There he was, eating truffles at the table at Crillon-le-Brave in Provence! We wish we knew who the jerks that dumped Jinky are, so we could send them postcards, just to show them he has a better life than they do!
Not that Jinky has forgotten where he came from. Every time we visit a shelter, he flips out. He knows what it is. He can smell the fear.
Jinky develops a taste for fine beverages in the course of the book. What would be his current wine picks?
Luckily, there are lots of great, dog-loving people on the face of the earth. The more we get the message out, the closer we come to our goal of a no-kill world.