Monday, July 25, 2016

Katie Rodante & Hamphrey

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi there! I'm Katie Rodante, and I work full-time as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. I write blog posts and web copy for my clients, and I write fiction and blog posts for myself. I'm working on my first novel, which I hope to have published this fall.

Hamphrey is a two-year-old morkie (maltese/yorkie mix). He's a super friendly little bundle of joy and endless energy.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Hamphrey and I spent the 4th of July weekend at a lake house in Texas, where we had our morning coffee with a pretty view. Since it was a holiday weekend, we had plenty of time to lounge around so this coffee date took place a little later in the morning than usual--we needed our rest after running around outside so much the previous day.

What's brewing?

I'm a simple coffee kind of girl and I like to try different blends. I love a strong brew, and I'll either drink it black or with a splash of milk. Usually, I brew the Dunkin Donuts dark blend.

Any treats for you or Hamphrey on this occasion?

Of course! I'm fine with just coffee, but Hamphrey is a bit of a spoiled boy and so he gets a treat too! He loves bacon flavor beggin' strips, so he enjoyed one of those.

How were you and Hamphrey united?

My husband and I found Hamphrey online and immediately headed out to adopt him after contacting the owner. He comes from a small litter (just him and his sister) and was considered the runt. He was only shy in our house for a few minutes before he was able to settle in just fine. He's been with us for two years now.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Hamphrey is named after a hamster neighbor that shows up in the Nintendo 3DS game Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I ended up naming him after this character because it was my favorite in the game, and because it's such an unusual and fun name.

For short, we usually call him Hammy or Hammy Lammy.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Rabbit, which is close enough to squirrel. Our neighborhood actually has plenty of roaming rabbits, which always catch his interest. He doesn't try to catch them, just stares from a distance with curiosity.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball. Hamphrey is awesome at playing fetch, and he has plenty of smaller sized Nerf balls around the house that are perfect for him. They actually started out with squeakers in them, but Hamphrey has ripped out the majority of those. It's hard to tell if he likes squeakers or not since he's always tearing them out of his new toys.

Where is Hamphrey's favorite outdoor destination?

There's a large nature preserve just a town over from where we live, and that's a fun place for Hamphrey. It has both paved and natural nature trails, and Hamphrey seems to enjoy being a bit of an explorer. He likes to lead the way, and direct us wherever he wants to go.

Who is Hamphrey's best pet-pal?

Hamphrey has a buddy named Dante who is a miniature poodle. While Dante is a lot older and has much less energy than Hamphrey, they both love to spend time together.

What is Hamphrey's best quality?

His sense of humor. Hamphrey isn't a dog who takes anything too seriously, and his playful manner is infectious. Anybody who meets him is immediately in love, and he's so friendly and playful that he has absolutely no problem making new friends.

If Hamphrey could change one thing about Texans, what would it be?

Not about Texans in general, but if anybody passes Hamphrey when he's out on a walk or in a pet store without saying hello, he seems to actually get sad. Hamphrey loves to be the center of attention.

If Hamphrey could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

I'd ask Hamphrey to explain how us human folk can better communicate with him. If he can't learn our language, maybe we can learn his.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Hamphrey could speak, who should voice him?

This is untimely considering his age now, but Jonathan Taylor Thomas. His voice for Simba from The Lion King is how I always imagine Hamphrey would speak.

What advice would Hamphrey give if asked?

Don't bother getting bored, just make a game out of everything in life. You'll always be amused and entertained.

Visit Katie Rodante's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Janelle Fitzpatrick & Harper and Thor

Who is in the photo at right?

Harper (Boxer, girl, almost 3) and Thor (Rhodesian Ridgeback, boy, almost 3).

Janelle Fitzpatrick, creator of The Stair Barrier and owner of Better Options Company.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Working on the back porch with a little help from my 4 legged babies…who don’t quite fit on the couch.

What's brewing?

Starbucks vanilla coffee with vanilla creamer frothed!

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Harper has been very sick the last few weeks and pretty much refuses to eat anything but fresh roast beef….so breakfast for her was roast beef and medicine. Thor got the leftovers.

How were you and your dogs united?

My husband and I actually met while he was walking our old ridgeback (Harley) when she was just a puppy. It is a solid and true way to pick up the chicks! We got a boxer (Olivia) a year later. Olivia died way too young and Harley was set in her ways—she was used to being first kid and when we had our children, she just never attached to them the way they wanted. About 6 months after Harley passed (my kids had been asking for years, every letter to Santa, birthday wish, etc. for a puppy), my husband and I decided to surprise our children with a puppy for each of them. It was one of the best days ever! We said we were going to the apple orchard to pick apples, but we got lost and stopped at a house for directions (with GPS, my kids weren’t buying it…but nevertheless it was all I had) and I walked out with Harper. They were absolutely freaking out. Then I said, “Now we are going to pick apples” and then we drove to get Thor and there were Ridgeback puppies running everywhere—the kids were on to me at this point. Harper and Thor were actually born on the same day, 20 minutes apart. My husband and I had already met both of them prior. Thor was the biggest, calmest (at the time) lover—he just kept coming over for attention. Harper—just that face, it was love at first sight.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Harper is named after Bryce Harper (my son’s favorite baseball player) and Thor is after…the almighty Thor/Chris Hemsworth movie, because he was so big. The funny thing is Thor is the biggest baby ever. He literally cries all day about everything; it is exhausting, but funny. He is a huge wimp; Harper is half his size and just rules his world. She rules all of us. It is her world and we just live in it. Harper is called Slumpy and Slumpster, because with her sad eyes she looks sad and it is just fun to say.

Do your dogs have a role at The Stair Barrier headquarters?

When I worked out of my house, I would say Harper was head of HR and Thor was my IT guy. We are currently looking for more space and something closer to my house. I am hoping to be able to bring at least one to work daily.

What is each dog's best quality?

Thor is just a huge lover and very protective of the family. He is the biggest baby except when he thinks someone is being hurt. Harper is so smart and feisty, such a huge personality.

If your dogs could change one thing about about you, what would it be?

That I worked less and was home more. Luckily my husband works from home and takes such great care of them.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

Thor—why do you cry all the time? Harper—Do you really think you are the boss around here? I don’t know the answer to Thor, but Harper would say Yes!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, who should voice them?

So funny….we talk for our dogs all the time in the craziest voices. I am not a naturally funny person, but my kids crack up when I talk for the dogs (which I do daily). Thor—would be Scooby Doo or Owen Wilson (I think he did the voice for Marmaduke). Harper, would be Martin Lawrence as Big Momma (in Big Momma’s House).

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Thor would say to “eat more beef” and Harper would say, “work less, play more.”

Visit The Stair Barrier website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 18, 2016

Harris Bloom & River

Who is in the photo at right?

Hey, my name is Harris Bloom. I run my own animal rescue, Stewie to the Rescue. I'm also a comedian, wedding officiant, actor, writer, accountant, and husband/father!

Our dog is named River... Not sure how old, or her breed, as I found her in Riverside Park about five years ago. I'm guessing she's about eight or nine now, and I think she's a cockapoo. I am sure she's a she.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I drink six/seven cups of coffee a day. It's actually rare when I'm not drinking coffee with River in tow.

What's brewing?

I'm vegan, and my favorite is Califia brand, either their Mocha or XX Espresso.

Any treats for you or River on this occasion?

I'm having Ben & Jerry's (non-dairy) Coffee, Caramel Fudge ... River will get her treats right after we go for our walk.

How were you and River united?

While walking my dog at the time, Kilo, (who has since passed), I found her in a carrying case. She was really matted and thin. I probably shouldn't have, but I took her home, got her vetted, and we decided to keep her!

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

We named her River since I found her by Riverside Park... It kinda fits as since she had back surgery, she semi-incontinent... ack!

Please tells us about Stewie to the Rescue.

I founded Stewie to the Rescue about six years ago. Stewie specializes in helping lower income individuals and families pay for medical care for their pets. As I'm sure you know, vet costs in NYC are crazy and a lot of people just can't afford it. Given how people consider their pets family, I's say that we help keep families together.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

All of the above. Any sound she hears, she's on guard. She's a 13 pound guard dog.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

She'll chase a ball once in a while. She's not as good at bringing it back.

Where is River's favorite outdoor destination?

To get back home.

Who is River's best pet-pal?

It was Kilo, our pit-mix who passed away. In fact, Kilo was the only dog that River liked or likes to play with...

What is River's best quality?

She's all bark and no bite - With two- and five-year-old kids in the apartment, she's had plenty of reasons to strike out and yet never has. She's a sweet pup.

If River could change one thing about New Yorkers, what would it be?

She'd make sure they all carry dried beef treats.

If River could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Is there a God?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which River could speak, who should voice her?

Meryl Streep, if she's available - We need someone who can voice a nuanced character, with a sufficient amount of gravitas.

What advice would River give if asked?

No matter what life throws at you, just keep barking.

Learn more about Stewie to the Rescue, Harris Bloom the comedian and wedding officiant, and watch a video in which NY1's New Yorker of the Week Bloom discusses animal rescue.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brenda Addison & Porkchop

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Brenda! I design unique one of a kind art jewelry, and this cutie is my Old English Bulldoggie, Porkchop. He is 6 years old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

With us, every day is a good occasion to go get our favorite coffee. We love going to McDonald’s. They make awesome iced coffees. And they always have a treat for Pork.

What's brewing?

This is a hard question. If I brew coffee at home I make Maxwell House. As I said above, I love McDonald’s Sugar Free vanilla iced coffee.

Any treats for you or Porkchop on this occasion?

Pork loves their plain cheeseburgers, and the Ice water is awesome. Porkchop tries to put his whole face in the cup.

How were you and Porkchop united?

My first Bulldog “Artie,” who was rescued from a shelter, passed away. A lady that I designed a website for just got two girl bulldog puppies and she told me that the lady that had them was keeping the male for breeding purposes. She has three boys and just had a baby. She decided it was too much to have three children and take care of a puppy. Seeing that, face my husband thought Porkchop would help with my grieving.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Porkchop had that name when we got him and it fits him. Aliases. Porkie, Pork, chopper, Boo...

Does Porkchop do more to help or hinder your creative work?

Well, depends on how you look at it; the snoozing can hinder you if you let it.

Cat, postman, squirrel?

Porkchop love everyone and every thing. When we go to the vet he thinks it's a meet and greet and they’re all there to love on him.

It would take too much energy to chase it, so, no--I will just watch it.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick?

Loves his squeaky toy, loves to play fetch, and to have a bone to chew on.

Who is Porkchop's best pet-pal?

Trixie is Porkie's best friend.

Trixie is my other bulldoggie. She is 5 years old and a Princess. She walks like she has high heels on.

Trixie and Porkchop are one year and a month apart in age.

[photo right: the day Trixie joined the household]

What is Porkchop's best quality?

Loving everyone; he thinks people are great.

If Porkchop could change one thing about Ohioans, what would it be?

Have more treats at the drive-thru windows.

If Porkchop could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

What’re you thinking about when you stare out in space?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Porkchop could speak, who should voice him?

Jason Statham -- love that voice.

What advice would Porkchop give if asked?

You can do it. So go for it -- I’m here with you all the way.

Visit the Vintage Prim Jewelry blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 11, 2016

Cathy Ratcliffe & Kilo, Buddy, and Roxy

Who is in the photo at right?

This is me and Kilo. My name is Cathy. I run ILoveMyChi.com which is a website about Chihuahuas. Kilo is a 10-year-old female Chihuahua who I rescued when my neighbors moved and abandoned her. I also have 2 large dogs; Buddy, a German-Shepherd mix, and Roxy, a Border Collie.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Just a day at the beach. We live in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and although Virginia Beach is closed to dogs this time of year, there are other nearby beaches that the locals go to that are dog friendly.

What's brewing?

Just bottled water for me on this trip but at home I drink iced coffee every morning with cream, 2 Splendas and a few squirts of sugar free peppermint syrup.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Nope.

How were you and your dogs united?

Roxy and Kilo were rescues from neighbors. I already explained Kilo's abandonment. Roxy was adopted from a shelter as a puppy by a neighbor who had her a few days and decided he didn't want to deal with training a puppy so he gave her to my teen son. Buddy came to us as a puppy from a family friend.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Roxy and Kilo already had their names when we got them. Buddy was named by my daughter. We also call him Buds and call Roxy Rox sometimes. I call Kilo KiKi, too, sometimes.

[photo left: Buddy and Roxy]

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Squirrel. We have bird feeders in our backyard that the squirrels like to raid. All I have to say is "squirrel" and all 3 dogs run out through the doggy door to chase them away.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Kilo had a stuffed toucan that she had as a puppy and loved it for many years. It finally wore out and fell apart. Buddy loves balls and squeaky toys and sticks too. Roxy doesn't really care for toys.

Do your dogs have a special pet-pal?

Buddy and Roxy are bonded to each other. Kilo gets a long with them both but doesn't really pal around with them. She only wants to be with me.

What is each dog's best quality?

Roxy is sweet and easy going. Buddy is very obedient. Kilo is extremely loyal to me and she's very smart.

If your dogs could change one thing about about you, what would it be?

Buddy would want me to chase him around the yard more. Kilo would just want me to hold her 24/7. I don't think Roxy would want to change anything. Maybe more "scratchies" from me.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

Are you happy?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, who should voice them?

The guy who does the voice of Patrick, the starfish on Spongebob Squarepants, should be the voice of Buddy. The voice of Kilo would be played by the lady that does Chloe in Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Drew Barrymore should do the voice of Roxy.

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Love us and play with us every chance you get because we aren't here on this earth with you long.

Visit the I Love My Chi website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lisa Fleetwood & Charlie, Rosie, and Barney

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Lisa Fleetwood and I’m an author and blogger from Sydney, Australia. I have three dachshunds. The black one is a male called Charlie and he is 6. His sister, Coco, died a few years ago and he was so lonely that we soon welcomed Rosie, the smaller dachshund on the left, and Barney, the bigger dachshund with the longer nose on the right. Mayhem then occurred! Charlie did not know what hit him with two puppies running around. They are both 2-1/2 now.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today is a beautiful winters day in Australia today. Bright, sunny and ridiculously warm for winter at 26 degrees Celsius (78 in fahrentheit) so it is just too nice to be inside. We have a large yard and the dogs love being outside and sniffing around. Unfortunately while my son was taking pictures of me with the dogs I sat in dog poo, so that was fun...

What's brewing?

White chocolate latte!

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

A rawhide chew for each. As you’ll see from the pictures they are actually sitting still for a change. It is very hard to get a nice picture of all three of them!

How were you and your dogs united?

Charlie (and Coco, his sister) came to us in 2010 after our two previous dachshunds died in their old age. We fell in love with them straight away. Even though both my husband and I had owned dachshunds our whole lives, I now realise that it was then that our true obsession with dachshunds began.

In my book Destination Dachshund, I discuss the tragic loss of Coco, and how hard it was to come to terms with her death. Made even more difficult that it happened just days before a long planned 3-month overseas holiday. We were devastated and instead of excitement about the holiday there was a lot a tears. In the end we left Charlie with our very good friends and departed on our holiday, still grieving.

On our return we welcomed Rosie and Barney into our lives – it was so hard to lose Coco, but these beautiful puppies certainly helped us come to terms with it.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

We just loved the name Charlie, although in truth I wanted to go with Pancho, as there had been 3 dachshunds named Pancho already in our extended family and I thought we were due for a Pancho IV. But the rest of the family did not agree, haha! So we went with Charlie. And we chose Coco because we loved the name too!

Again with Rosie we liked the name, but with Barney – one of our favourite characters on TV is Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, and from the looks of this little cheeky dog we thought Barney would suit him and it does. He is a rascal! But so loveable!

What is each dog's best quality?

Charlie is such a good ‘big brother’ to the puppies it is so cute to watch. But also he is the most well behaved dog we have ever owned. He is calm and happy and loves cuddles.

Rosie is a ‘Mummy’s girl’ and follows me everywhere – she is so cute and she has such a tiny face! So lovely to hear her excited whine every time we return from an outing.

Barney is the funniest dog I have ever met. We literally laugh at his crazy antics so many times every day. He has the biggest personality, the loudest bark, but is so vulnerable and a little anxious as well. We can’t help but love him, and Rosie and Charlie so much.

Your travel memoir is titled Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds. "Sixty?!" Please tell us about your book.

Destination Dachshund was inspired by a travel blog I wrote during the “trip-of-a-lifetime” my family was lucky enough to share with three grandparents a few years ago. As a writer, blogger, dog lover and keen traveler, writing a memoir combining all of these elements seemed like a natural thing to do.

It offers a unique twist on the travel memoir with an often hilarious global dachshund-spotting competition at the heart of my family’s journey – accompanied by my quite well-behaved in-laws – through Turkey, Russia, the Baltics, Europe and the USA. Just days before we left, Coco was bitten by a red belly black snake and died. It was so heartbreaking.

We are all crazy about dachshunds yet little did we know that our competitive search of the loveable sausage dog in each of the 15 countries we visited would leave such an indelible mark on all seven of us. We spotted sixty on the trip and it really helped with our grief over Coco.

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?

All of the above! Barney is the only one who can play fetch successfully, and loves to play fetch with a tennis ball. All three love toys and it is so hilarious to watch the play by play between them when they all want the same toy. This is when the true hierarchy of the three dogs is revealed. Charlie is the King and if he has a toy he guards it and it is so funny funny trying to watch Rosie and Barney attempt to get it off him!

Postman, cat, rabbit...?

Cat, postman, gardener, any visitor, snakes, lizards, birds, possums, turtles…. The list goes on.

If your dogs could change one thing about Sydneysiders, what would it be?

They would bring them more food.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

For Barney and Rosie: why do you bark at people constantly, people that we have welcomed into our home many, many, many times before?

For Charlie: Why do you roll in bird poo?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, who should voice them?

Well, I think Barney should be voiced by Neil Patrick Harris since we named him after one of his characters. He has the cheeky demeanor for Barney. He would nail it.

Charlie should be voiced by Tom Hanks because he is just my favourite actor, and would play Charlie so well. Rosie by Ginnifer Goodwin as she is just so cute, like Rosie.

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Feed me every time I bark, it’s not that hard, Mum!

And the ball, when it goes under the lounge, don’t leave me hanging – get it out straight away - please for the love of dachshunds, get it out straight away!

Now, we need to have a discussion about the doorbell. When someone presses it, please allow craziness and barking to consume all three of us for a full five minutes with no interruption.

I love you, all the time, don’t ever leave.

Visit Lisa Fleetwood's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 4, 2016

Eliza & Teddy and D'Art

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Eliza. In my spare time I write a blog called Forest Poodles, inspired by my two Standard Poodles – Teddy and D’Art. We live in the forest, so the title seemed fitting.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

The poodles and I are enjoying the summer weather outside in our garden. We try to get outside a few times a day. A cup of coffee in hand makes it even better!

What's brewing?

Decaf organic coffee made in a French press, served with cream and honey from my own beehives.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

The poodles just ate breakfast and coffee isn't really their beverage of choice. They like cream though and would drink it by the bowl full if I let them!

How were you and your dogs united?

Teddy was adopted from a local last-chance shelter that accepts dogs from other overcrowded, high-euthanasia rate shelters. We adopted him at age 4, he is now 8. D'Art was also adopted. He came to us as a senior, at one month shy of his 9th birthday. He is now 12. It is hard to remember life before adopting these guys. They are family.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Seeing as both Teddy and D'Art joined the family as adults, it didn’t seem fair on them to change their names. Teddy is commonly referred to as Teddy Bear, and although D'Art's full name is D'Artagnan, he mostly goes by D'Art.

What is each dog's best quality?

Teddy is nature lover. He has no prey drive and is happiest in the peace and quiet of the forest. I love this about him, as it matches my own personality nicely. D'Art is a happy go-lucky guy. He loves just about everyone he meets. I recently took him to meet my mum off a ferry and he gave everyone who came out before her an excited tail wag and smile.

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?

Teddy - tennis ball. He lives for playing ball!

D'Art - stuffy. He is very gentle with his stuffed toys and they last forever!

Postman, cat, squirrel...?

Teddy – Postman.

D'Art - Bunny.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

The poodles are lucky to have a few friends. They know two other standard poodles, as well as a family of four Australian Shepherd/Catahoula/Blue Heeler mixes. They play nicely with, and enjoy the company of, other large dogs.

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Teddy would probably like it if I had more time and energy. That way we could go for a bike ride everyday!

D'Art would probably like it if I quit my job and spent all day snuggling with him.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I would ask Teddy about what kind of animals he can smell in the woods. I know he knows better than I do what’s out there!

I would ask D'Art if he has any aches and pains that I don't know of (he's getting a bit stiff and sore as he ages).

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, who should voice them?

D'Art would be voiced by someone with a slow, deep, calm voice like Morgan Freeman. Teddy might be best voiced by someone with a bit more animation, like Tom Hanks. Of course, someone else would have to play me, as next to that lineup I wouldn't stand a chance!

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Teddy would probably remind everyone to be still and observe the nature around you. He may also say, be kind to others and always play with a ball!

D'Art would probably advise that dogs do indeed like hugs, (at least dogs like him do) and to make sure you give and get some everyday!

Visit the Forest Poodles blog.

--Marshal Zeringue