The View’s Joy Behar Explains Why Her Latest Book Is An Homage To President Barack Obama

As one of the co-hosts of The View, Joy Behar is known for her acerbic wit and biting humor. But Joy is also an accomplished children’s author, having penned two books in honor of her beloved dog, Max. Joy spoke exclusively with Celebrity Parents Magazine about her new children’s book, Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes To The Dogs (Penguin: $16.99), President Barack Obama, and naturally, Joy’s Views.

Let’s talk about Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes To The Dogs.

This book is an homage to Barack Obama.

How so?

Max goes to obedience school, and finds that there’s trouble with the big and little dogs. He becomes a community organizer to unite them. He makes them an offer they can’t refuse! He teaches the big dogs that they need the little dogs to do things, like look out for cats, scratch them, etc. So, he’s pragmatic like Barack, and a community organizer like him. Now, that’s a stretch, Honey!

(laughing) The character Max is based on your own little Max. What was the real Max like?

My Max was a handful. He humped everyone’s leg. The book is more like a “The Way We Were”, remembering him in all his glory!

I saw the episode on The View when Max got married. That was funny.

Max was a Shih Tzu/Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix, and he married another Shih Tzu on The View. She died soon thereafter. I guess marriage did her in!

You have both dogs and a cat. Would you say you’re more of a dog or a cat person?

I’m definitely more of a dog person. With a dog, you can converse with them. There’s a whole relationship. I’ll put my dogs Gracie and Tallulah (who are King Charles/Papillion mixes) on the bed with me. I used to have basset hounds and when the heat didn’t come up, they were like blankets for me! It’s a rare cat that will sit with you; they’re more independent. I like that about them, though.

Is your cat, Benito Pussolini, standoffish?

He has a great, albeit unusual, relationship with my dogs. He’ll lick Tallulah, and she basks in it. I’m thinking about doing a book on Benito. He might start feeling left out. He would be a great sidekick to Max.

What lessons have your pets taught you?

You can be loyal but not be subservient. Like, if an animal doesn’t feel like being petted, they walk away. And that’s true for humans. If you don’t feel like being petted, just walk away!

(laughing) What was the most extravagant thing you’ve ever done for your pets?

We flew Gracie and Tallulah first class from Canada!

We just had a birthday party for our dog, Sam. We’re thinking about getting a second dog.

Yes, you should have two dogs. It’s easier to have two dogs than one. I would have eight if I could. I’m like the Octo-Mom with dogs! And you don’t have to tear your uterus apart!

 You’ve already written two books for adults: Joy Shtick: or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come With Attachments? and When You Need A Lift But Don’t Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin. What is the difference between writing the Max books which are geared towards children and writing books geared towards adults?

The children’s books are easier! You don’t have the onus on you to go into your deepest thoughts. For the Max books, I wanted them to be fun and to have a message.

What would you say is the message, besides being an homage to President Obama?

When the situation seems difficult, find a way to make it better. Max sees the problem and he tries to correct it in the most creative way that he can. I’m a lot like that myself. It’s a good lesson for children to learn.

Will you write a third Max book?

I think so. I’m also going to write another book for adults, which will be funny and have essays. People seem to want to know what I think about things. My Views, as it were. (laughs).

–Jennifer Parris

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