Who is in the photo at right?
My name is Pascal Inard, I’m an IT project manager and co-author of a book called Paw Steps to Happiness.
Bella is a Westie aged 2 and a half.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
It’s spring now in Australia and the days are getting warmer, so I have my breakfast with Bella outside; it’s a very pleasant start to the day. I listen to the birds singing in the garden and Bella watches them attentively, ready to chase any who dare to enter her territory – luckily she’s not fast enough to catch them.
I don’t drink coffee, so it’s hot soy milk.
Any goodies to go with the beverage?
Home made bread (baguette) with almond spread and honey, my favourite!
Any treat for Bella on this occasion?
Bella loves her liver treats, and I always give her some bread as well.
How were you and Bella united?
My wife and I both love dogs; we always had a dog when we were children. However, when we lived in France we were in an apartment and didn’t want to have a dog who would be inside all day. We moved to Australia 9 years ago and had to wait until we bought our house (with a well secured back yard) to get a dog.
We found a Westie breeder in country Victoria and went to get Bella with our 3 children -- what a happy day that was, and she has brought us so much happiness since then.
How did Bella get her name? Any aliases?
Her name was given by her breeder, and it fits her so well; in Spanish, the name Bella means Beautiful; it is a diminutive of Isabella (a Spanish variant of Elizabeth) which means Devoted to God and is also my wife’s name.
We love to find new names for her; currently it’s “little baby seal” and “little white cloud.”
You've got a new book: please tell us about it.
Dogs bring a lot of happiness to our lives, but I have found that they can also show us how to be happy, with their playfulness, unconditional love and carefree live-in-the-present attitude. My wife and I wrote a book Paw Steps to Happiness to illustrate this, with many photos of Bella and our other dog Ollie, but also of more than 60 of their dog and cat friends, many of whom we’ve known through Bella’s blog, and our favourite inspirational quotations.
When we started Bella’s blog, we found that it was bringing joy and happiness to many readers across the world, so we wanted to reach more people by publishing this book.
Cat, squirrel, postman...?
There are lots of possums in the trees in our garden which make Bella go crazy because she can’t climb up the trees to chase them.
Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
Her favourite toy is a stuffed Eeyore, she has eight of them!
Where is Bella's favorite place for an outing?
The local park; she loves running off leash and races anyone who is doing their jogging - she always wins.
Who are Bella's best pet-pals?
This year we added a little Papillon named Ollie to our family; it’s heart warming to see how well they get along. One minute they’re snuggling together, Bella using Ollie as a pillow, the next minute they are chasing each other in the garden – they sometimes get a bit rough but they never hurt each other.
If Bella could change one thing about you, what would it be?
Bella would love me to work from home every day. I usually work from home once a week, and when I get dressed in the morning and Bella sees that I’m not putting my business outfit, she says “woo-woo-woo” until I take her for a walk.
What is Bella's proudest moment?
Although she wasn’t there, we went to give a box of books to cheer up children at the Royal Melbourne Children’s hospital and they loved the funny and cute photos of Bella and her friends.
And her most embarrassing moment?
When our second daughter Anais did her work experience week at a doggie day care, Bella smelled all the dogs on Anais’ clothes and felt so jealous that she relieved herself on Anais’ bed!
Visit Bella the Westie's blog and read more about Paw Steps to Happiness.