Guest Post / Post

Guest Chick: Margaret Mizushima

The Chicks are delighted to welcome the fabulous Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries! 


Going to the Dogs

When I married my veterinarian husband thirty-seven years ago, little did I know that my life would soon be filled with dogs of all kinds, but mostly big ones of the working dog variety. The dogs that have joined our family over the years have included Australian shepherds, border collies, Labradors of various shapes and colors, German shorthair pointers, a Rottweiler, and several mixed breeds. We usually have four dogs at a time, and our furniture, floors, and clothing are often fuzzy with dog hair.

Having dogs in my life began when I was born, but in my parents’ home it was one dog at a time, two at the most. I grew up on a cattle ranch without other kids my age, and I spent hours observing dog behavior and their interactions. I learned about play posing (down in front and up in the rear with front legs stretched forward and an open-eyed grin), warning (bristled hackles on the neck with an upright, stiff-legged stance and a quivering upper lip to show glimpses of bared teeth), and the intense stare of a border collie as she herds sheep, cattle, or children, whichever the case may be.

When I decided to write a mystery series, it seemed only natural to include a veterinarian as a protagonist. I knew the vet’s life—I’d lived it for decades. But I was driven to write a police procedural, which led me to create a tough, female K-9 officer named Deputy Mattie Cobb and—of course—her German shepherd partner, Robo. The veterinarian, Cole Walker, became Mattie’s love interest and together they solve crimes in their small fictional town in the Colorado Rockies.

Robo grew rapidly into one of the main protagonists. I was lucky enough to have several K-9 handlers offer to let me shadow and watch them train. I attended police dog trials and competitions to observe police dog behaviors and skills, which gave me ideas for Robo’s skillset and for how he could be used to help solve crimes. When it came to describing Robo’s body language and facial expressions, all those years of dog watching paid off.

The Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries are police procedurals with heart and a focus on family and social issues, crossing over to cozy readers who love dog stories. But Gentle Reader beware! There is a smattering of bad language in the books—cops gotta cuss—and a small amount of violence on the page. I do promise my readers one thing, however—Robo will never die while on my watch! No repeats of Old Yeller for me!

Roger Caras once said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Although there are folks who’ve had bad experiences with dogs or are just not “dog people,” I think dog-lovers would agree with Caras. I know one thing for certain: dogs will always be a part of my husband’s life, and so they’ll always be a part of mine. Putting up with dog hair in our home isn’t too bad…as long as we’ve got a good lint roller and vacuum handy.

Please tell us about your animal companions, dear readers!


Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries.

Active within the writing community, Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was elected the 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

She can be found on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, on Twitter @margmizu, on Instagram at margmizu, and on her website at www.margaretmizushima.com.

24 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Margaret Mizushima

  1. Shadowing K9 handlers? How cool. Sounds like such a fun read. Thanks for the post.

    I find that guinea pigs make the perfect cuddly companions. Set one on your lap and it’ll coo and purr… until it pees.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Etta,
      Thanks for your comment! We’ve not had a guinea pig as a pet, even when our kids were small. We did, however, babysit the class guinea pig over Christmas break for one of our daughter’s teachers though. It was fun, and she had such nice, soft fur. And yes, that lack of housebreaking does interfere sometimes!
      Take care,
      Margaret

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Welcome to the Chicks today, Margaret, and thanks so much for joining us! I adore Robo and the books you’ve penned about him and Mattie and Cole.

    As for me, my real-life canine partner is Ziggy (short for Sieglinde, of opera fame), a Jack Russell mix who’s obsessed with chasing squirrels and geckos. And my protagonist, Sally, has a Heinz 57 brown love of of pooch named Buster, who adores lounging on her sofa and hunting for fallen food on the kitchen floor.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Leslie,
      Thanks for your warm welcome and for reading the Timber Creek K-9 books! Yes, I love seeing your photos of Ziggy on Facebook, and I love reading about Sally and Buster, too. Looking forward to reading Murder from Scratch soon! Just need to finish this tricky thing called a first draft of my current WIP and open up some reading time. Something to look forward to!
      All best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mark,
      Yes, allergies are another reason we might not be able to have dogs and cats around! And reading gives us a way to experience so many things from the comfort of our fur-free homes. Thanks for stopping by the blog and for leaving a comment. Much appreciated!
      Best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome, Margaret! I can definitely relate to living with fur on the furniture, but in my case it’s cat fur. I’ve never had a dog, although I like them just fine. They always seemed like a lot more responsibility than cats.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Marla,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, we’ve had cats in our home throughout the years, and you are so right. They are easier to take care of than dogs. My last cat was half Rag Doll, and she had long hair with a very soft, downy undercoat that matted whenever you just looked at her. She needed help keeping it lovely, so it was eighteen years of grooming for me. But I miss her so very much now, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.

      Take care and have a great day!
      Best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Great post, Margaret! So many moms would love to have a dog who can herd children—LOL! Our good friends have a border collie named Charlie, who’s the smartest dog I’ve ever met.
    Thanks for hanging out with the Chicks today!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Vickie,
      Many thanks for having me as a guest! My husband’s name is Charlie, and so many of his clients share his name–such a popular dog name! Yes, those border collies are smart. In many agility competitions, they separate them out and make them compete only amongst themselves. 🙂
      Best wishes,
      Margaret

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Anne,
      Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment! Much appreciated! I hope you enjoy Mattie and Robo’s next episode.
      All best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret, the Timber Creek K-9 mysteries have been officially added to my list! So happy to hear that Robo is forever. I am still recovering from Ol’ Yeller (not to mention those dog movies that look so adorable and funny in the TV trailers but you know what’s going to happen at the end). I have a Golden named Farley who has made a few virtual appearances on this blog. He is…Marley with an “F.” Please share what brand vac you use at your house–and thanks for visiting Chicks!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for your comment, and I’d love to see pictures of Farley. I’ll look for them. I hope you enjoy the Timber Creek K-9 series, and thanks for your interest in the books. Oh…and my vac is an Oreck. 🙂
      All best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Jana, those kitties enrich our lives so much! Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment!
      Best wishes,
      Margaret

      Like

  6. Welcome, Margaret, and thanks so much for being here!

    Although we’re currently petless after we lost our beloved cat (at age 17!), I’m a devoted animal lover–and truth be told–dog person. I grew up with a wonderful pair of Kerry Blue Terriers named Ivan and Tasha, and later had a fun-loving poodle mix who tolerated adolescent me. Your series sounds wonderful and is on my list! Wishing you continued success!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kathleen,
      It’s lovely to be a guest here! And thank you for your comment…sounds like some wonderful pets you’ve had to share your life with! I appreciate your interest in the books.
      All best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks so much for visiting us, Margaret! Love your books and of course Robo!

    We have a sweet and quirky springer spaniel named Lucy (after Lucy Maud Montgomery) aka Queen of Everything.

    Lila Maclean is an experienced cat sitter, in the books. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Peggy, thanks so much! It’s been a pleasure to be a guest on the Chicks blog, and so terrific to connect again with you here! Thank you for your comment.
      All best,
      Margaret

      Liked by 2 people

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