Friday, November 19, 2010

Noelle King & Asa and Booker

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Noelle King, and I'm a medical assistant and part-time baker. My fur kids are Asa and Booker. Asa is an eight-year-old female English Pointer/American Staffordshire Terrier mix. Booker is a two-year-old male yellow Labrador Retriever.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's a quiet Saturday morning at home, and there's no need to rush off to work!

What's brewing?

Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice coffee, with some milk, sugar, and cinnamon.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

A Bojangle's cinnamon biscuit.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Asa and Booker have me trained well, so they always get their breakfast first. They finished eating awhile ago, so now they are staring me down as I eat my breakfast, hoping for some crumbs to drop on the floor.

How were you and your dogs united?

My husband and I had always wanted a dog. As soon as we got married and had settled in our home, we started looking around at various local rescue groups and also on Since we were not experienced with raising a dog, we were searching for an older, medium-sized dog that was already house trained and that knew basic commands. We first found Asa on Petfinder. She was a year-and-a-half old and was being fostered by a local rescue group after being removed from an abusive home in which she was left to starve. My husband and I went to meet her and were drawn in by her beautiful gold eyes. She was a sweet girl, but very tentative and nervous. She was frightened of cars, loud noises, tall name it! We left from that first meeting feeling a connection with Asa, but we weren't sure if we were the right people for Asa since we didn't know much about working with an abused dog. My husband and I thought about it for several days and did some research. Then we arranged a second meeting with Asa. By then, we were completely smitten and knew we couldn't leave without bringing her home with us. That was May 2004.

Several years later, my husband and I decided that a companion would be good for Asa, so we talked about adopting an easy going, male dog. We were thinking a Labrador or Golden Retriever. A few days before Christmas in 2008, we had driven to Walmart to pick up some last minute items. In the parking lot, we noticed a man with a beautiful yellow Labrador and a laundry basket filled with 5 Labrador puppies. The man was trying to find homes for the accidental litter of puppies. We spoke with the man for awhile and then looked at all the puppies. One of the puppies was determined to climb out of the basket into my arms. I picked that little guy up, told him his name was Booker, and the rest is history!

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Asa's foster mom named her. She had been at a grocery store one day, and the cashier's name was Asa (pronounced /'ay-sah/). She liked the name so much she decided to use it. We decided to keep Asa's name when we adopted her. It's a pretty name and also unique. Asa does have a few nicknames, too -- "Pickle," "Baby," and "Asa Basa".

We had already picked out Booker's name before we brought him home. It comes from Booker T. Washington. He also goes by "Booker Man," "Booky," "Mr. B," and "Goober".

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Being part English Pointer, Asa routinely points at (and then chases) squirrels and rabbits. Ironically, she's not very interested in birds!

Booker loves chasing birds and squirrels.

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

Asa enjoys chewing on bones.

Booker loves a good tennis ball or anything with a squeaker in it.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

Asa and Booker like hanging out in our backyard. One of their favorite things to do is sun themselves on the deck.

Away from home, they love going hiking on trails and sniffing everything. Booker loves swimming, too, so if there's water, that's an added bonus!

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Asa and Booker are definitely best buds.

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

They would love for me to work at home so I could be with them more. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I was a bit more laid back, too.

What is each dog's proudest moment?

Asa's proudest moment would be when she cornered a large, hissing opossum in our front yard one evening. She was positively beaming and could not fathom why my husband and I were trying to get her away and into the house!

Booker's proudest moment would be when he finally graduated from sleeping in the laundry room to sleeping in our bedroom. (When he had tried sleeping in our bedroom in the past, he would always get up around 3:00am and try to play with Asa, who was not amused!)

Their most embarrassing moments?

Asa's most embarrassing moment also centers around "the hunt." She chased a squirrel up a tree and then sat at the base of the tree in case the squirrel had the nerve to come back down. Well, the squirrel picked up a pecan and dropped it on her head!

Booker's most embarrassing moment would be when he tried to come inside from the deck and walked right into the patio screen door. He didn't realize the screen was there!

Visit the
They Call Me The Booker Man blog to learn more about Asa and Booker.

--Marshal Zeringue