UAlbany MagazineUniversity at Albany

Dennis Fried, M.A.’73

Of Dogs and “Doggerel”

By Carol Olechowski

ver wonder what your dog thinks of you and of humans, in general? Then read Small Dog, Big Life: Memoirs of a Furry Genius (Simon & Schuster, 2009) or one of the other works co-authored by Genevieve Highpoint La Reine – known simply by her first name, as befits royalty – and her amanuensis, Dennis Fried.

Since puppyhood, the 7-pound papillon has been “barktating” her observations about human intelligence and eccentricities to Fried, who dutifully translates them from “Doggerel” and readies them for publication. Only a “warped sense of humor” prepared Fried for his labor of love. The Catskill, N.Y., native earned degrees in physics from the University of Michigan and Florida State; graduated from UAlbany with a master’s in philosophy; and admits to having been “laughed out of numerous careers, including teaching, marketing and standup comedy.”

Fried loves dogs but initially resisted his wife Katrina’s pleas for a pet. “I finally asked her, ‘Why do you want a dog so badly?’ and she replied, ‘Because I need something to love.’” Faced with a choice between marriage counseling or getting a dog, “we got Genevieve.”

Genevieve’s most recent book, Small Dog, Big Life: Memoirs of a Furry Genius, followed More Memoirs of a Papillon: Diary of a Mad Dog (Eiffel Press, 2005). Her first, Memoirs of a Papillon: The Canine Guide to Living with Humans without Going Mad, also published by Eiffel, was purchased by Simon & Schuster and reprinted as Small Dog, Big Life. Genevieve dislikes Fried’s solo effort, A Tongue in the Sink: The Harrowing Adventures of a Baby Boomer Childhood (Eiffel Press, 2004). Why? “She claims that I plagiarized her sense of humor,” Fried explains.

At home in Sarasota, Fla., Genevieve, 12, indulges in her “favorite hobbies, eating and sleeping,” and grants the occasional interview. She’s “honored” to be included in UAlbany, “even though you’re wasting a lot of ink talking about Dennis.”

Visit Genevieve online at and on Facebook. E-mail Dennis Fried and his co-author at All of their books except Memoirs of a Papillon are available at and

The World Within Reach

Alan R. Stephenson, Ph.D., B.A.’55, M.A.’58, is the lead author of Broadcast Announcing Worktext, now in its third edition. Widely used to prepare undergraduate students for performance careers in mass media and such related fields as public relations, the book provides broad guidance for the performance elements, such as inflection, rate, emphasis and vocal variation.