Thursday, May 28, 2015

Brindley Faile & Monroe

Who is in the photo at right?

That would be me, Brindley, and my 4-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog (mutt), Monroe. I'm a graphic designer for a medical animation company in Kennesaw, Georgia.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I'm running the Atlanta Tough Mudder this Saturday so I decided to treat myself and Monroe since she's been helping me train!

What's brewing?

Starbucks Vanilla Latte and a Puppiccino (whip cream).

Any treats for you or Monroe on this occasion?

The coffee is plenty... I'll probably smell like it during hot yoga tonight.

How were you and Monroe united?

I adopted Miss Monroe when she was 1.5 ish years old from Homeward Trails in DC. I had never owned a dog before and had no idea what I was getting in to. A ruined carpet, purple panted duvet, entire bag of beaded jewelry devoured (and pooped out for the next 3 days), and a leg of a dresser later... well let's just say we've come a long way. I even lost a roommate mostly due to Monroe's monstrous behavior. She's much better behaved now that I've had her for 2 years.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

She was already "Monroe" when I adopted her and I liked it. I tell most people it's after "Marilyn Monroe" so they know she's a girl. My friends in Maryland called her "MonTroll" because she was always snatching their food when they weren't looking.

Would you say Monroe does more to help or hinder your creativity?

Hinder. She's proven herself anti-graphic design as she ate through all my computer cords and a wireless mouse in the first few months of adopting her.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Cats, though squirrels are a close second. My parent's cat was ill prepared for her obsession.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky toys = no mercy.

Who is Monroe's best pet-pal?

Remington, my sister's lab mutt. He probably doesn't feel the same since Monroe tries to hide all her toys from him and eat his food.

What is Monroe's best quality?

I'm sure you might be thinking "good heavens your dog is atrocious" but she has actually become a great companion. She was certainly a challenge when I first adopted her and I even entertained the idea of giving her away, but I'm glad I did not. She is always up for an adventure, very sweet and cuddly, and has been with me through moves, relationships, and career changes.

If Monroe could change one thing about Georgians, what would it be?

They'd all be female. She's always been nervous around men possibly because of her past owner. She loves ladies though.

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

What will convince you to stop terrorizing Ballzie, my parent's cat?

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

Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys cartoon.

What advice would Monroe give if asked?

Food is easy to steal if you're quick enough. Humans will confuse it for cute until the notice your pattern so mix up which humans you target.

Visit Brindley Faile's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 25, 2015

Michael Harwood & Reggie

Who is in the photo at right?

The good-looking one on the right is Reggie who is a four year old French Bulldog.

The other one is me – Michael Harwood, author of The Manservant (age unknown).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Reggie and I stop for coffee every morning at our local coffee shop – Small Batch Coffee Company. We live by the sea in Brighton on the south coast of England so our morning coffee ritual is really rather picturesque. We are both creatures of habit so Reggie is sat by the door waiting for me by 9.30 every morning. He’s quite a clock-watcher!

The other thing is that I can’t even think about writing without a strong coffee inside me. It’s also an excuse for Reggie to have a run around on the beach.

What's brewing?

Always a skinny ‘flat white’ for me. If I’ve been up late the night before writing I might stretch to two. Reggie has a bowl of water. The staff know us so well that Reggie has his very own bowl that they keep especially for him.

Any treats for you or Reggie on this occasion?

I’ll pass on the chocolate croissants if I can but Reggie can’t resist a biscuit. To be honest he would have a croissant too but I drawn the line at that.

How were you and Reggie united?

I rescued Reggie when he was 4 months old from a tiny one-bedroom apartment on the 11th floor of a tower block in a run down part of London. He wasn’t mistreated but it was no place for a dog to be living. The minute I saw him I knew I wasn’t going home without him and he hasn’t left my side since.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

We named him after Reggie Kray one half of the Kray twins, the notorious London gangsters of the 1960’s. We thought we might get another Frenchie and call him Ronnie after the other twin – We might still do it.

Does Reggie do more to help or hinder your writing?

If he’s curled up at my feet as I write I find his company quite soothing but if somebody comes to the door he barks his head off which is not quite so soothing. The writing day can sometimes descend into chaos in which case I throw in the towel and take him to the beach.

Has Reggie inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Not yet but I’m planning out a mystery series which is crying out for a canine character so I’d be amazed if it doesn’t turn out to be a French Bulldog.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Postman, every time!

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Reggie will take all of the above. Preferably together.

Who is Reggie's best pet-pal?

Another Frenchie called Lady Podge – they are going steady.

What is Reggie's best quality?

He is just so affectionate and funny

If Reggie could change one thing about Sussaxons, what would it be?

Not much I don’t think. People in Sussex are amongst the most dog friendly in the UK.

That said I think he would like to visit our local French restaurant who sadly frown on dogs in the restaurant itself – even French dogs.

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

Why do you hate the postman so much?

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

Gerard Depardieu.

What advice would Reggie give if asked?

Chase the postman.

Visit Michael Harwood's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ronni Ann Hall & Emma and Cobi

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Ronni Ann Hall and my biz is Designing Fairy. I’m a writer and and an artist who likes to make products and classes that teach with fun, like my fairy deck. I also write about being very sensitive and a dog mom. The pic is with my basset hound, Emma Lou Bangles, who is 9 years old and a bit of a princess. My other dog is Cobianna. She’s 4. Cobi is golden retriever/husky.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We are celebrating the launch of my new website and blog, Healingfairyalphabet.com. Emma doesn’t really care about the event unless it is food-related. (Shhhh….She’s a food stealer.)

What's brewing?

Decaf coffee for this fairy! But a little foam added on top is nice.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Both girls would love ice cream but instead get a piece of a blueberry muffin. Emma might steal the whole thing.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Emma Lou is also known as, Squooshy, Lasagna (new one resulting from food stealing) Mooshy, and Miss Thing. Cobi was recently dubbed “Kissalick” and I call her “Giant Puppy.” She has no idea she is large.

How were you and your dogs united?

Emma Lou was adopted at around 1 years old from the beautiful Sedona Animal Shelter. Cobi, who has been with me for two years, was being dropped off at the Golden Bone pet store and pet rescue and I just happened to be there with Emma Lou. Cobi was licking and kissing Emma like she knew her forever. We had just lost Sarah, my beagle, and Emma was lonely. When Cobi’s former person was filling out paperwork he mentioned her birthdate and it was the same as mine! I knew we were meant to be together. It was a bit of a rough beginning, as she thought she had to be a guard dog and in charge when she arrived, but she is a giant mush now.

Do your dogs contribute to your writing and art?

I draw them often in my illustrations. Emma has been seen in a tutu recently in one of my drawings. She doesn’t care for skirts. They both make it to my stories in one way or another, especially my little movies. I worry that Emma will have an attitude because she is famous now.

Cat, postman, squirrel....?

Definitely neighbor cat.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

Squeaky toy.

Where is your dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

Dog park of course!

Who is your dogs' best pet-pal?

Coralynn.

What is each dog's best quality?

Cobi is highly empathic and caring. She hates when anyone is upset and will kiss you until you feel better.

Emma is the best loyal companion. She is always by my side. We’ve been through a ton together.

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

Emma thinks I worry too much. Dang, I do.

Cobi thinks I should play more and get off my butt. I should.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Would be funny if Emma had a voice female version of James Earl Jones.

I think Cobi would definitely be voiced by Elmo. She has that constant sweet excitement thing going.

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

Why do you eat things that you shouldn’t eat off the floor? I probably should be asking something more like, “What is the purpose of life?”

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Again, Emma would tell me I need to let things go and stop worrying. Poor dog has been trying to teach me for eight years.

Cobi would just lick me.

Visit the Designing Fairy website, and the Healing Fairy Alphabet website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 18, 2015

Karli Wood & Lola

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Karli Wood and I'm a copywriter in Cincinnati. I'm also a rookie with the Cincinnati Rollergirls. I married my husband Brandon Barb in 2014. Oh, and I run the newly-pressed blog, The Beatkeeper.

My furkid is named Lola. Lola is a 3-year-old female Boxer who is turning 4 in August.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Sometimes I pick up an iced coffee or cold brew so I have a boost of energy to take Lola to the dog park or for a long walk.

What's brewing?

I almost always prefer cold coffee - it wakes me up more. I like my coffee black, or with a touch of milk. When I'm dead-tired, I do black with two shots of espresso (a Black Eye).

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Usually I'm on the run when I take my coffee, so at most, a breakfast sandwich.

How were you and Lola united?

I was raised in a home that was always dog-friendly. When my 10-year-old Boxer Logan passed away while I was a sophomore in college, I was devastated. When I was a senior in college, I was finally ready to take on another dog. My parents allowed me to find the dog that suited me, and helped me with the expenses of adopting her. Lola came from Bluegrass Boxer Rescue, based out of Northern Kentucky.

Any treats for Lola on this occasion?

Lola's a sensitive little nugget, so I have to be careful what I give her. Her favorite treats are Nature's Animals bones. They're those individually-wrapped ones at the cashwrap at Petsmart. She dug through the box while we there there one time, so I had to buy a bunch of them.

[photo left: Brandon & Lola]

How did Lola get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

Lola got her name from the Kinks song. She has many aliases: Diva. Perfect. Nugget. Boo boo. Brat. Lola-Bean.

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

Anything squeaky or rolly. She loves to pounce on squeaky toys and kick around tennis balls. She loves to squeak her toys whenever Brandon or I are on the phone.

Postman, cat, squirrel...?

She thinks everyone (and everything) is a friend. There's a one-eyed cat that lives nearby that she keeps trying to befriend, but he's not a huge fan of her. She thinks squirrels are the cutest things ever and gets bummed when they won't come closer to her.

You're a real music maven. Does Lola show any indication of sharing your tastes?

Sometimes she'll dance with Brandon and me in the kitchen, but since she's in her teenage years, we don't always agree on music. But I play Otis Redding whenever I'm cleaning, so I think she's partial to him.

Who is Lola's best pet-pal?

Lola has a few good fur-friends. She loves Emme (Cassie's pooch) and my mom's dog Wren.

Emme [with Lola, photo right] is a hound-mix, and Lola is super-willowy, so their proportion differences are hilarious.

Wren is a 100lb American Bulldog that Lola loves to mess with.

What is Lola's most endearing quality?

The fact that she seriously thinks she's a human. She gets so confused when she can't go somewhere with us, or if someone is nervous around her.

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

That I wouldn't embarrass her in front of her friends.

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

Christina Hendricks. Lola's super-sweet and demure, and I feel like that fits her personality.

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

You do know that it's my hand under the blanket that you're pouncing on when we play Blankie Monster, right?

What advice would Lola give if asked?

How to manipulate your humans.

Visit The Beatkeeper blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jennifer Caloyeras & Reba and Dingo

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Jennifer Caloyeras and I am a writer. These are my dogs, Reba and Dingo. Reba is twelve years old. She's a mutt involving some sort of Jack Russell Terrier. We adopted her from the South Central Pound in Los Angeles. Dingo is also a mutt. I'm guessing Australian Shepherd and Corgi (we like to joke she is part fox). She came to us from the Milo Foundation in Northern California.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We are celebrating my new young adult novel, Strays, which is about a girl with anger management issues who gets sentenced to a summer rehabilitating aggressive dogs.

What's brewing?

Well, it's the morning here so it's all about the coffee. Just coffee. Black.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

The dogs are licking frozen soup out of a Kong toy.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Reba used to have a brother named Willie, after Willie Nelson. So Reba was a natural fit. Dingo came with her name (the woman who cared for her was Australian). I told the kids they were welcome to change it and they looked at me like I was suggesting something criminal. So Dingo stuck. Sometimes I call her Didi in public.

How were you and your dogs united?

We adopted sweet Reba at 8 weeks old from the South Central pound. We were looking for a puppy 12 years ago. I chose the alpha (Willie) and my husband picked the runt (Reba). Dingo was a puppy at a summer camp in northern California. The boys got to know her as they cared for her on "puppy chore". Then we found out the dogs (rescues from the Milo Foundation) were all up for adoption.

How do your dogs help--or hinder--your work?

Well, since this particular book is about dogs and the human-dog bond, they were very inspirational! If I had to describe what a dog looked like while barking, for example, I'd just look over at my subjects! I need to take breaks when I write, so it's great to take them on walks and clear my head a bit.

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your books?

So our dog Willie (who is no longer with us) really inspired the three-legged pit bull, Roman, in my novel Strays. Willie (like Roman) had redirected aggression issues. If he couldn't attack the thing he wanted, he'd attack the person at the end of his leash. This was really a challenge as a pet owner.

As a longtime dog columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger and other papers, what's the craziest subject you've tackled?

I once did a column on DNA detectives for dog poop. Apparently there's an organization that will catalogue your neighbor's dog poop. If you send them a sample of who hasn't been cleaning up after their dogs, they can alert you to the culprit.

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

Birds! They love to play with (tease) our dogs! They swoop down low above their heads and then take off!

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

They love their human family most of all. They also enjoy interacting with my boys' guinea pigs. They're really very sweet with them. Dingo is still a puppy and loves any kind of stuffed animal...either a dog pet or my six year old's. She knows no difference. First she likes to remove the squeaker and then she eats the plushie's face off. Animal instinct?

What is each dog's best quality?

Reba is kind and patient. She has always been so gentle and caring with my kids. Dingo is spritely and silly. She makes such funny noises. She is very playful and loves to retrieve a ball.

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

They would make it so that dogs were allowed in more places! Restaurants here are easing their regulations regarding dogs (some even include dog menus!) but we'd love to be able hike on all trails!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Reba would be played by Helen Mirren for sure! Hm... it's a challenge to cast Dingo! I think I have to go back in time and snag Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) to really encapsulate all of her verve.

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

What do you dream about?

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Remember to seize the day (and potty outside!).

Visit Jennifer Caloyeras's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 11, 2015

Louisa Treger & Monty

Who is in the photo at right?

Louisa Treger, a writer, and her dog, Monty, a four-year-old male Cockapoo.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We have a standing coffee date every day. I don’t function without caffeine.

What's brewing?

When my debut novel, The Lodger, came out last October, my daughter bought me a Tassimo coffee machine to cure me of an expensive Starbucks habit. It worked – I am converted!

Any treats for you or Monty on this occasion?

We are both foodies, but we try to be good first thing in the morning. It doesn’t last beyond lunch time, when he sticks his face on my leg and gives me beseeching looks until I share whatever I’m eating with him!

How were you and Monty united?

I researched Cockapoo breeders on the internet and took a train to fetch him. I brought him home in a doggie bag; he was utterly disorientated, yet so cooperative and patient. By the time we got to the house, he owned me.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

My daughters named him after General Montgomery – he does rule the house! His aliases are The Monster, Monta, Poogie, The Schnapsta - these are just the less embarrassing ones.

Does Monty do more to help or hinder your writing?

Most of the time, Monty is the sweetest and least demanding of companions, snoozing on my feet while I write. He has become an important part of the writing process! That said, he has the occasional needy day, where he wants his tummy tickled and won’t let me type…

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your published work?

Not yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before a version of Monty appears in one of my books!

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Squirrel, squirrel, squirrel. Oh, and did I mention, he’s obsessed with chasing squirrels?

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball – he prefers other dogs’ balls, which has triggered a few embarrassing incidents in the park.

Who is Monty's best pet-pal?

Me. He follows me around the house and would sit on my lap all day, if he could.

What is Monty's best quality?

He is unconditionally loving. Now that my kids are teenagers, he is the only person who jumps four feet in the air when I come home…

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

More titbits from my plate!

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

What are you thinking?

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

Will Smith.

What advice would Monty give if asked?

There’s no need to put me in the kitchen at night. I am very happy sleeping on your bed!

Visit Louisa Treger's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lodger.

My Book, The Movie: The Lodger.


--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cassie & Emme

Who is in the photo at right?

Me, I’m Cassie. I have a boring 9-5 job during the week, but on weekends I grab my oxygen and adventure, and then blog about it. I have an autoimmune disorder that caused lung damage, so I get rather breathless sometimes, hence, the oxygen. My dog is Emme, a three-year-old lab/hound mix. You’d never know to look at her, but her mom was a 90-pound black lab/bloodhound mix. Obviously, Dad was something completely different.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today we’re having a home brew on the go because we’re on our way to a hiking trip in southern Indiana. I really have to watch my coffee cup because she will drink it if I don’t keep my guard up!

What's brewing?

I brew Folgers Colombian at home; I’m so not fancy with my coffee. I’m pickier about my creamer. Today, we’re having International Delight’s Cold Stone Creamery in sweet cream flavor.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Since we’re about to burn some calories, I feel less guilty about actually having a doughnut with my coffee, so I’m having a chocolate glazed. Emme will probably mooch a bite; she’s a notorious beggar.

How were you and Emme united?

I adopted Emme from Kyle Animal Shelter in Ohio. Her mom, Lexi, was picked up outside Lexington, Ky., by a kill shelter down there. They knew Lexi was about to give birth to at least nine puppies and they couldn’t handle that at the shelter. So instead of putting Lexi down, they found someone to take her. Kyle’s had two hours to come pick her up or they were putting her down.

The next day Lexi had not nine, but 12 puppies. Only one in the litter didn’t make it. Two weeks later, my then-roommate went to pick out a puppy. I went with her, not intending to get a dog until I was out of college. But then I saw Emme curled in a ball at the bottom of the puppy-pile and knew I had to bring her home. She still sleeps curled in a ball snuggled up to someone, and she still grumbles when you try to move her.

Any treats for Emme on this occasion?

Emme is having her current favorite: Duck jerky and cheese and peanut butter crackers. Plus a bite of whatever is on my plate. (Bad habits are hard to break.)

How did Emme get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

While I’m great at naming electronics and inanimate objects, I’m terrible at naming living things. I haven’t actually named either of my pets. My dad named the collie I had when I was a kid, and my best friend named Emme. I just thought it was a pretty name. But nicknames? That’s a whole other story. She has about eleventy billion, including but not limited to: Rabid Hound (because she likes to bark at everything), Flea Bag (because she got fleas when she was a puppy and too young for Frontline), Lazy Bones (because she is your stereotypical lazy hound), Betty (because that’s my Dad’s term of endearment), Emme Lou (not to be confused with Emmy Lou Harris), Cuddlebug (because she’s not happy unless she’s smushed up against someone), Muttblood (like “Mudblood,” when she’s bad) … and so many more. She basically gets called everything but her name.

Who is Emme's best pet-pal?

Emme’s best friend is, conveniently, my best friend’s boxer, Lola. They’re just days apart in age, but Lola is at least twice her size. They’re hysterical when they play together of their size difference, and because Emme is super-jealous of Lola’s long legs. Lola runs like a graceful deer and Emme tries frantically to keep pace.

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

Chewy bone, definitely. She loves squeaky toys – a little too much. They have been banned from most rooms of the house. Her favorite toys are the edible ones, or the ones that dispense treats with a good whack of the paw.

Postman, cat, squirrel...?

Postman, cat and squirrel. And neighbors, children, other dogs, deer, bison … you get the idea. She will take off after anything she gets a whiff of.

You're quite the traveler. Where is Emme's favorite destination of the places you two have visited?

Emme is such a hound dog and she loves following her nose. Her favorite thing to do – other than laying on the porch in the sun – is getting out in the woods and putting her sniffer to the ground. She took her first hiking trip when she was about six weeks old and was following trails and playing in creek beds in West Virginia. She loves trying to catch squirrels in Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana and barking at the bison in Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. I think she really believes she can bag a bison. I can’t convince her that at 40 pounds, they’re just a little out of her weight class. She’s scrappy though, so maybe I underestimate her?

What is Emme's most endearing quality?

Her most endearing quality can also be her most annoying quality, but I can’t help but love it. She has that whole sad, hound face down and turns it on when I’m busy and she wants a good ear-scratching. She lays her little head down and looks up with those big houndy eyes and gives a whimper. I can’t resist. When I lean down to pet her, I get the tiniest little nose touch on the tip of my nose in gratitude. If I ignore the whimper, I get a barely-felt, tiny little pinch of a bite on the back of my elbow followed by a tail thumping on the floor.

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

If she could change anything, she would take away any and all responsibility so she could command all of my time. Never-ending belly rubs!

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

Emme is a strong female, very vocal and never shy about speaking out. (I also suspect she has kind of a potty mouth.) I think a good voice for Emme would someone like Meryl Streep.

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

If I only have one question, I’d really have to make it good, because there are so many things I’d love for her to explain. But I think the burning question is this: “Why are you so anxious?” Everything seems to stress her out.

What advice would Emme give if asked?

Emme is a take-charge kind of girl. If she wants something – she takes it, whether that’s her bone or your sandwich. I think Emme’s advice would be to grab the world by the throat and wait for nothing to come to you.

Visit Cassie's Breathless Adventurer website.

--Marshal Zeringue