Let’s take a quick break from all the painting updates!
A very warm welcome to the latest R.O.A.R. Squad member: Justine and her gorgeous pointer, Marcus! Justine recently published her book, Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl About Love and we are incredibly excited to have her part of the squad. Thank you guys and many congratulations on your book!
The Writer: Justine van der Leun (you can check out her website here)
The Inspiration: Marcus, a very petite English Pointer. Marcus is also female (Editors note: MARCUS is a female… bwahahaha!)
About Justine: I’m a writer—most recently of Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl About Love and something of a nomad, both of which contributed in one way to meeting Marcus, but in another way contributed merely to my inability to pay for my own gasoline. I cannot bake, sing, or wear high heels, and Marcus and I live, for the time being, in Brooklyn.
Meant To Be: I fell upon Marcus while I was living in a 200-person farming town in the Umbrian backcountry (that’s a long story… long enough for, say, a book). One evening, I decided to take a stroll. I was gazing out over these beautiful rolling hills when I saw a flash of white to my right. There was a little spotted dog looking at me hopefully. It was skinny, neglected, and scared, with, it turned out, an eye infection, an ear infection, and a raging case of worms. I knew the dog would be mine then and there. I called the dog Marcus, because it looked like a British fellow. Only later did I see that Marcus was a girl. But the name had stuck. Marcus doesn’t buy into gender stereotypes, so she’s fine with it.
Birds Maybe?: Marcus loves birds, birds, birds, more birds, topped with birds, with a side of bird, and a sprinkling of bird. Marcus is the most intense huntress I’ve ever seen. She can be chewing on a marrowbone, but if a bird flies by, she’ll drop it. If she sees a bird, she immediately rearranges herself into a hard point, paw up and tail horizontal like in the old English paintings. Then she begins to stalk the bird, like a cheetah stalks a gazelle. She’s never caught one, though. Now that we live in the city, she has also developed an affinity for the local squirrels.
A Special Mention: Although Marcus and Justine stumbled upon each other in Italy, Justine has a special place in her heart for the Illinois Birddog Rescue.
Where: Brooklyn, New York
Want to meet another author? Check out Edie and her dog, Frankie.
Join the R.O.A.R. Squad
Do you want to be join the R.O.A.R. Squad? Our goal is to make having a rescue animal THE coolest thing around. Ya game? Perfect! We’d love to have you!
- Read more on how to become a R.O.A.R. Squad member
- Check out ALL of the R.O.A.R. Squadians (Squaders? Squadites…? Whatever.)
Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!