R.O.A.R. Squad: Justine and her dog, Marcus

ROAR Squad: Justine and her dog (and the inspiration for her book), Marcus.

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)

Photo credit: www.jvanderleun.com

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! 

Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

8 Responses to “R.O.A.R. Squad: Justine and her dog, Marcus”

  1. I love the photo of Marcus at the window, and I love those blue Uggs, too. 😀

  2. My foster dogs will take a side order of birds with some whip cream and a cherry on top!! Marcus reminds me of one of my favorite foster dogs ever–Peggy Sue aka Addie http://www.facebook.com/ILbirddog?v=photos#!/album.php?aid=133773&id=101389461922&ref=pb from Kentucky. She came into the rescue about 8 years ago and sadly is no longer with us. She was a STITCH!!

    Looking forward to reading about your adventures Justine!!

  3. Justine says:

    Lisa, I’m dying here. Addie is Marcus’ identical twin, down to the expression on her face. And Katherine, banish the thought! The Uggs are grey!

  4. @Lisa- Those pups are gorgeous! (for everyone else, that is Lisa from Illinois Birddog Rescue)

    @Justine- So wonderful to have you part of the R.O.A.R. Squad! Rock those blue Uggs 😉

  5. Kari says:

    oooo I have that book on my to read list (and it was there before I read this post!!!!)

  6. Ashley says:

    The first photo made me giggle. It’s quite adorable.

    I’ve been dying to read Marcus of Umbria after all the blog buzz it’s been getting. Now even more so as Justine and Marcus are just the cutest and have completely stolen my heart.

  7. Sandy says:

    This is the cutest story, how neat. The whole name and gender thing is also hilarious. Gorgeous ladies 🙂 I love the Huntress pic

  8. Justine says:

    Thanks all y’all. I so hope you like the book! Marcus sends her regards.