Friday, July 23, 2010

Janel Gradowski & Cooper

Who is in the photo at right?

Me, Janel Gradowski, a beadwork designer and writer. I have had many beadwork patterns published in magazines and this past year I have been breaking into the short fiction market. You can read all about my beading, writing and many other things at my blog Janel’s Jumble. Cooper is my male, purebred Golden Retriever.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We are at our cabin in northeastern Michigan for a long weekend.

What's brewing?

Cafe Cubano, a coconut and raw sugar latte, from A Different Blend - my "local" coffee shop when we're staying at the cabin.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Homemade cinnamon rolls from the farmer's market.

Any treat for Cooper on this occasion?

A giant rawhide bone. Yum!

How were you and Cooper united?

Cooper came into the family when I saw an ad for Golden Retriever puppies in the newspaper. I got him the week before my birthday, so he was my present. He was a 5 lb., 6 week old furball. Now he is a 2 ½ year old, 90 lb. goofball.

I read on your blog about your beadwork and writing: does Cooper have any influence on your creative output?

He makes me laugh every day and keeping a positive attitude and sense of humor is important to me. He reminds me to lighten up and have some fun no matter how I feel about my writing. I have also modeled a dog or two in my short stories after him.

How did Cooper get his name? Does he have any aliases?

The kids and I had decided on Newton as a name for a puppy, before we got him. I was holding him right after we brought him home and I just felt Cooper was the name for him, sort of a women's intuition thing. He goes by many other names including Coop, Bubba, Pumpkin and Mookie.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Actually, birds. He loves to stalk robins in the yard, but he’s never caught one.

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

Frisbee on dry land. We go through about one a month from wear and tear. If he's in the water, his bright orange retriever training dummy is the toy of choice.

Where is Cooper's favorite outdoor destination?

Definitely the lake at the cabin. He has a weird attitude about bodies of water: If it has a sandy beach he wants to go swimming and will cry and pull on his leash until he reaches the water. If it doesn't have sand, like the pond in our back yard, he won't go in without a lot of encouragement and coaxing. At least I don’t have to deal with a wet dog every time he goes into the backyard!

Who is Cooper's best pet-pal?

Cooper is an only dog, but he has recently made friends with his "aunt" (my brother-in-law’s dog) Macy and Charlie, the neighbor at the cabin, both Golden Retrievers too.

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

I worry too much and about everything. He wishes I would just lighten up!

What is Cooper's best quality?

He loves people, unconditionally, and shows the love by giving lots of kisses.

What is the most amusing thing Cooper does? The most frustrating?

Cooper likes to "talk" in his own unique language. You should hear him when he's trying to convince my husband to let him sit on his lap! Despite several rounds of training classes Cooper still likes to pull when he walks on his leash. He's gotten better with age, but still hasn't abandoned that habit.

Visit Janel Gradowski's blog to learn more about her published work and to view many more photos of Cooper.

--Marshal Zeringue