Monday, November 29, 2010

Rachel Aaron & Lettie

Who is in the photo at right?

Myself, Rachel Aaron, and my dear little dog of very little brain, Lettie. (Aliases include Lettie Biscuit, Pumpkin Princess, and Letterbox Edition). I am a the author of The Spirit Thief, book one in The Legend of Eli Monpress, a humorous/adventurous fantasy series about a charming wizard thief. Lettie is a little sausage roll of a dachshund/pit bull mix who spends her time eating lizards, being lazy, and distracting me from writing with bursts of extreme cuteness.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

When the weather is lovely, Lettie and I will sit on the porch in the mornings. I drink coffee, watch the trees, and check my email. Lettie chases the garden lizards and generally disturbs the morning tranquility.

What's brewing?

On special occasions like fine fall mornings, I drink a medium roast from the local Thousand Faces Coffee Company. Fresh ground in the grinder and then french pressed, it's mild, smooth, and utterly delicious. I like to drink it black with just a little sugar to bring out the flavor.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Sometimes, if I look exceptionally overworked and pitiful, I can trick my husband into cooking me scones. He thinks he's helping my writing career, but really it's all an act so I can get scones! Both Lettie and I ruthlessly abuse my husband's generous and helpful nature. It is a bond we share.

Any treat for Lettie on this occasion?

Depends on if she's fast enough to catch a lizard! None from me, to her great sadness. But too many treats make Lettie Biscuit into a Lettie Loaf.

How were you and Lettie united?

Lettie was a rescue dog from Athens Canine Rescue here in GA. She spent the first year of her life as a stray, which was probably where she acquired her taste for lizards. She was rescued by a family who took her to the vet and got her spayed and up to date on vaccinations only to then have their landlord tell them they couldn't keep a dog on the property. They surrendered Lettie to the tragically overcrowded Animal Control office in Athens hoping she would be adopted. But because there was no room in the inn and she was an owner surrender, Lettie was scheduled to be euthanized that same day. Fortunately for all involved, her future foster mother had come by the shelter on an unrelated errand that day. She stopped by to look at the adoptable dogs, saw Lettie, and couldn't stand to think of such a sweet, adorable dog being killed. She took her home that day and put her into the Athens Canine Rescue network where I found her a few weeks later. We'd actually just decided to get a dog, and Lettie was the first we looked at. We didn't have to look twice! She's been with us ever since, and is now a fat, happy little goofball.

Has Lettie had any influence on your writing?

I would say she's had a much greater influence on my not writing. Not writing is the worst part of being an author. I'm talking about those times when you have a deadline and you've been writing for hours, but somehow you only have 200 words to show for it and your novel's a mess and you're a failure at everything and why are you even trying. You know, those days. When those days happen, I flop on the couch and hug my dog. Nothing can be that horrible when you're hugging your dog.

How did Lettie get her name? Any aliases?

The Athens Canine Rescue people named Lettie Lettie. We thought it was too cute and fit her perfectly, so we kept it. However (as seen in the first paragraph), she has many other names, including Lettiebell, Lettie Pumpkin, Pumpkin Muffin, Lettie Poochums, Letterbox, Letterbox Edition, House Weighs and Means Committee Letters and Numbers Division. Etc., etc.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Yes please, with a side of lizards, grasshoppers, and bees. (How my dog can chase and try to eat a bee I will never understand).

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

Lettie is an adorable dog, but she's not very bright. That's fine, we bought her to be loyal and loving, not bright. However, she doesn't seem to get fetch or the idea of toys. You throw the ball and she will stare at you like “What? Why did you throw it away? Well, if you don't want it, I don't want it.” Or, if you get her really excited, she'll run to where the ball landed and stare at it, then at you, as if to say “Here! I found your ball! It's right here! Now you know! Can we do something more interesting?”

Hmmm... perhaps she is smarter than we give her credit for.

Where is Lettie's favorite place for an outing?

The dog park! She can not wait to go and run with the other dogs, even though almost all the dogs are twice her size. She will run with the best of them until she is a horrible, filthy mess of dog. Sadly, this means going to her favorite place inevitably ends with going to her least favorite place – the bath.

Who are Lettie's best pet-pals?

Lettie loves to bully our friend Zack's pug/chihuahua mix Charlie. Charlie, however, does not like to be bullied by a dog who's twice his height and three times his weight, so the love is pretty one sided.

What is Lettie's best quality?

Her endless, unquestioning, unflagging love. This dog still loves me when I'm giving her a bath. That's some serious devotion right there.

What is Lettie's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Lettie has no embarrassing moments. You need dignity to feel embarrassed. But her proudest moment by far happened a few days ago. My infant son has just reached the point where he can eat crackers unassisted without choking to death. So I had given him a cracker to keep him happy while I did the dishes. I'm standing in the kitchen with my back to him, washing the dishes and describing the process in lurid detail (my son has a pretty low bar for what he considers fun), turning back to check on him every twenty seconds or so. Now, Nate is sitting in his chair, which is low to the ground, and Lettie is sitting right beside him. He's watching me, I'm watching the dishes, and Lettie is watching the cracker in my son's hand.

You can guess where this is going.

I put a glass in the washer and turn around just in time to see Lettie look around suspiciously, lean in, and snatch the cracker right out of my son's hand. It's gone in one bite. My son didn't cry, he just stared at the dog with this look of utter betrayal. Like, “You stole my cracker. Why would you do that?” And Lettie's just sitting there, licking her chops like “Hell yes I stole that cracker.” And meanwhile I'm laughing so hard I can barely discipline her.

Lettie is the worst older sister ever.

Rachel Aaron's website and blog.

the first two chapters of The Spirit Thief, Book 1 in the Legend of Eli Monpress. Book 2, The Spirit Rebellion, is out now from Orbit books, and Book 3, The Spirit Eater, launches December 1st.

The Page 69 Test: The Spirit Thief.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 26, 2010

Veronica Schiller & Thomas

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Veronica Schiller: I am about to launch a line of puppy treats, we are in the final stages of the packaging, so it is very exciting. I used to be a jewelry designer, but randomly now I am a pet lover and dog treat chef!

My puppy’s name is Thomas, he is a gorgeous male King Charles Cavalier, he’s almost 2 years old. January 12 is his birthday, only a day before mine!

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Thomas and I do pretty much everything together, he’s a very spoiled pup, so I do not miss a chance to take him with me wherever I go.

We usually stop by the farmer’s market on Tuesday’s in downtown Houston and we grab a cup of coffee and something to munch on.

What's brewing?

I like caramel anything!!! Cappuccino would be my first choice, but I also like chilled coffee and affogato, which means "drowned" in Italian. It is a coffee-based beverage it is usually a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso and a shot of Godiva white chocolate liquor! Yum!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Biscotti! My favorite kind of dessert, specially Almond flavored ones!

Any treat for Thomas on this occasion?

Hmmmm yea! I always give him a little piece of whatever puppy proof cracker or cake I am having.

I avoid chocolate of course, but he pretty much eats everything and anything I eat… as I told you before he’s very spoiled!

But when he is not eating what I am having, I have with me some GRUFFINS, which are the treats I am making… there are 100% natural fruity dog treats made with human grade ingredients only! So far we have only 1 flavor, banana -- it was our most popular one when we were in the testing stage.

How were you and Thomas united?

It was actually a sad story. I used to own Thomas' half brother: 2 years ago, one weekend we were at a farm in College Station, TX, and while he was running around with the other dogs his little legs got trapped in an old cattle guard. At the same time someone was driving in a huge truck on the road, and could not see him and Fredrick was run over. That same night my husband made our breeders drive all the way to the farm and deliver Thomas for me. Since then he never leaves my side!

How did Thomas get his name? Any aliases?

Actually my husband and I were not sure what we wanted to call this new puppy, and all of a sudden we both thought of Thomas… don’t know why we thought of Thomas, but it kind of sounded right… we like to call him Tom Tom, and Mr. T, or Tomacho….

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Pigeons or any kind of birds! Impossible to take him to the beach -- he goes nuts for seagulls!

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

Empty water bottle, his favorite toy ever!

Where is Thomas's favorite place for an outing?

The nicest couch in the house of course, right over the very expensive decorative pillows….

Who are Thomas's best pet-pals?

Clifford, his half brother, they are BFFs. It’s s cute when they are together… they don’t stop playing!

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

Hmmmmm, I don’t know… Maybe he would prefer if we could sleep for 12 hours instead of six….

He can sleep all day if it left up to him…

What is Thomas's proudest moment?

He actually takes his toys to his toy box when he is done playing with them.

Most embarrassing?

He peed on my bed after I gave him a bath for last year’s Christmas party; we had like 20 people over and he just went in front of everyone!

Learn more about Veronica and Thomas at the Tiny Little Dog website, Tiny Little Dog Blog, and their Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Amy Siegel & Ray, Flirt, and Bodhi

Who is in the photo at right and below?

That would be me, Amy Siegel, recently retired from a long career in Information Technology with Australian Shepherds, Ray who is 13, Flirt, 7 and Bodhi, 4.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's an every morning thing with me an the herd. There's no getting going without it.

What's brewing?

Trader Joe's Decaf French Roast prepared with a vacuum brewer.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Just breakfast.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Usually they have eaten their breakfast, so to keep them out of my breakfast, they all get a rawhide chew flip to gnaw on and brush their teeth.

How were you and your dogs united?

I found Ray through the local newspaper. Flirt and Bodhi are 1/2 siblings from a wonderful breeder of working Aussies in Lawrence KS.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Ray is named after an old friend who is a chef. Their mutual love of food just made it a name made for my dog. He is often called PIG because he will eat anything. Flirt was named before I even got her. I wanted a dog with a lot of spirit who loves to play and loves everyone. I thought if I named her that, she would be that. And I was right. Her nickname is Flirty McSquirty because of her tendency to squirt off course when we are running an agility course. Bodhi was named for his zen like demeanor. His alias is Dopey.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Anything that moves down our road. Ray is widely known for his success at killing chickens and groundhogs. Flirt and Bodhi are his peanut gallery, cheering him on from the sidelines.

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

A semi deflated soccer ball is the favorite. Hours of chasing, playing keep away.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

Round Valley Reservoir in Lebanon, NJ. Hiking and more importantly swimming. Flirt took her 1st dip in the water at 3 months (in the dead of winter) and hasn't come out yet. She loves to swim and will just swim out to visit people in their boats.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Flirt's best pal is a BC named Jus who lives in Michigan now. She misses him a lot.

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

They would like me to sleep a little less and feed them more.

What is each dog's proudest moment? Their most embarrassing?

I think my proudest moment with Ray was when he finished his PIII Agility title. He had a early onset of arthritis and I didn't know how much agility he would be able to do, but he loved it so much and kept wanting to play. Eventually he retired at 8 years old has led a life of leisure since. The most embarrassing: The chicken killing. Oh my. He just scared the darn thing to death.

Flirt's proudest moment was achieving her Agility Dog Champion title. She's a talented dog but we just couldn't seem to get through a Standard Agility course without one glitch or another. It took us 3+ years to get our 1st Master Standard leg and another year to get the 5 we needed for her Champion title. She had all the other requirements in the bag long before. I don't think Flirt has ever embarrassed me. Likely I have been more of an embarrassment to her.

Bodhi is just too mellow to engender either pride or embarrassment. But he keeps my blood pressure low and assures that I will never be cold at night.

Visit Flirts Dog Agility Blog and the Bodhi Blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jack and Anna Peckitt & Quozzi

Who is in the photo at right?

That's Jack Peckitt, one of Yorkshire friendly faces; he breeds and trains gundogs in North Yorkshire, England and lends his dogs out to his wife Anna's bed and breakfast guests at Carr House Farm, Ampleforth in North Yorkshire.

Quozzi, born on April 1st 2008, is a working lemon and white cocker spaniel bitch.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We stop for coffee when we're out for the day picking game up between drives on a shooting day.

What's brewing?

Doewe Egbert's coffee with milk in a flask.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Anna's homemade cake.

Any treat for Quozzi on this occasion?

Quozzi's treat is a sausage roll.

How were you and Quozzi united?

She was born to Molly, one of my working cocker spaniels who rejected her as she was born 12 hours later than the rest of the litter. For a week we tried to suckle her to her mother, then she was brought into the house, put in a box on top of the Aga, and Anna hand-reared her. For the first 8 weeks of her life she was fed first with a pipette, then a syringe, before she started to eat on her own and was fed every 2 hours day and night.

How did Quozzi get her name? Any aliases?

Quozzi got her name from Quasimodo, the hunch back of Notre Dame, as she fell off the top of the Aga and dislocated her shoulder and got a concussion at 3 weeks old after she climbed out of the box which was in a washing basket with a cake cooling wire over the top and held in place by a book that weighed 16 ozs and she only weighed 12ozs. She looked quite deformed for a while. She also had pneumonia twice and the vet never thought she would live.

I see on your website that you train "gundogs" -- primarily labradors and spaniels. What are the principal merits of each breed? Would the kind of gundog one chooses depend on the kind of hunting involved?

Labradors are more for carrying larger birds like pheasants, and are more able on the moors for finding the grouse as they have longer legs to go through the heather. Labradors are seen more as peg dogs. They sniff the air to pick the scents.

little cocker spaniels are good hunting dogs for going into rough cover and will pick up birds but find partridges easier to carry than pheasants. They like to be fussed over and also make ideal pets.

You are in Yorkshire--are there any terriers around, or have all the Yorkies moved away?

We do not have terriers: they are not any good at been told what to do -- quite untrainable.

As for Yorkies, I am sure one of our Labradors could eat one whole.

Where is Quozzi's favorite place for an outing?

Quozzi's favourite outing is probably going out for a day working with the other dogs on the shooting field.

Who are Quozzi's best pet-pals?

She really loves Jack and Anna as she thinks she is half human; for ages she didn't mix with the other dogs as in her early orphan life she lived in the house. Then we got Bess, a Labrador, to keep her company. Quozzi's kennel is next to Hamish who is also a Labrador and they get on. She is fearless and is the boss of all of the 28 dogs even though most of them are a lot bigger then her.

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

She would come and live in the house if she had the chance as she did when she was young . I would let her but Anna doesn't like dogs in the house.

What is Quozzi's proudest moment?

Her proudest moment was probably when she found her first bird and brought it back to me on a shoot before the other dogs could get it.

Visit the Carr House Farm website and bed & breakfast blog, and the Cuckavalda Gundogs website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jan & George

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Jan and this is our dog George, I’m married to Howard and have one son called Simon. We live in the county of Shropshire in the UK; I work in a local Technology Collage as a General Assistant / technician.

George is just coming up to his first Birthday, he’s a Welsh Terrier.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

A chance to catch up with a friend (she’s taken the photos for me ... thanks, Bridget) and to take George for a walk, which after we all need a drink.

What's brewing?

I had to ask what brand it was. I have never heard of it before--Café Bureau. It tasted fine... it was a latte. But I am more of a tea drinker.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

A Shrewsbury Biscuit. George was lucky he got some, too.

Any treat for George on this occasion?

I always have homemade liver cake with me, which he will do anything for.

How were you and George united?

We have had two dogs before George, both rescues; we decided that this time we would have a dog from a puppy.

I grew up with a Lakeland terrier, plus my husband always liked Airedales, so we decided on a Welsh terrier being on the smaller size.

On the 23rd January this year we picked up George at 8 weeks old.

How did George get his name?

I don’t know, it just came to me. I had George for a male dog or it would have been Molly if we had a bitch. We told the breeder what he would be called, so she had his kennel club name as “George the Lad.”

I did do Frankie’s Name Game, where you had to say how you got the name. I had some fun doing this post; like I said I don’t know, but I think the way the post ends is pretty close to the truth.

Our local supermarket is Asda’s (it is part of the Wal-Mart group) and their clothing range is called George; nearly all my clothes are from there. With George on every label!!! So I guess it was subliminal messages.

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

George loves a soft squeaky toy that we call rugby duck, he was given this by a fellow blogger Taffy, for guessing the right answer in a competition. He also loves Tennis balls.

George has a big birthday bash coming up: what's that going to entail?

We have three things going on, we started taking photos of him on steps, so Saturday Steps was born, each week I put a photo of him on steps. His birthday happens to fall on a Saturday so we have asked people to send in photos with their pets, or themselves on steps.

The second thing is where to go on his Birthday: there is a post with links to 5 different places--you just vote on the place you would like him to go. The one with the most votes is where we will go, taking plenty of photos to put up a post about it.

The third thing is the Birthday Bucket (a give away): anyone who leaves a comment between 1st-21st Nov will go into a bucket, which will be taken down to our two local pubs where the landlords will draw one ticket each.

For the full details pop by the George the Lad blog.

Where is George's favorite place for an outing?

I’d say the place we are at now, Attingham Park. It is owned by The National Trust-- it is dog friendly, and has many different walks to go on.

Who is George's best pet-pal?

We don’t have many friends that have dogs, but George does have a girlfriend that goes in the pub called Tuffy.

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

I’d like to think he wouldn’t want to change anything, but I guess more treats; I make him work for them.

What is George's proudest moment?

Raising £104 -$165 dollars for guild dogs for the blind, by doing a sponsored walk.

His most embarrassing?

When he thought he could walk on water!! Ended up a soggy doggie.

Visit the George the Lad blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 15, 2010

Priscilla Phang & Eva

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Priscilla Phang and the little girl next to me is Eva, a Shetland Sheepdog. I give private tutoring at home since I quit my teaching from a school a few years ago. Eva is turning one year old on 27th Novermber. My husband and I are going to take her to a park in the morning and have our lunch over there.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I enjoy having a cuppa coffee at home and it can be anytime of the day whenever I feel like having one. I grind the beans, brew the coffee and have a sip while Eva is running or lying under the table waiting for her treats. I like making my own coffee as I love the aroma of coffee that fills my house.

What's brewing?

It's Cable Car Brand from San Francisco Coffee. I like latte but due to the consideration of no sugar and low fat, I take black coffee. Lately I'm a bit obsessed with white coffee.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

One or two cookies, cream crackers or biscotti. I'll just get whatever in my cookie jar.

Any treat for Eva on this occasion?

Eva loves and enjoys foods. She isn't picky at all but I'm picky so she gets some really nice yummy salmon flakes and she loves Greenies.

How were you and Eva united?

Eva was unexpectedly born in our house after we adopted her mother, Hana, 3 weeks before.

I think that it makes her more precious to us than ever, especially after Hana passed away 3 months later.

How did Eva get her name? Any aliases?

Eva's first name was Rain because she was born in our garden, after the rain, while we were out. We decided it was too depressing a name, and our daughter decided to call her Eva (from the movie, Wall-E).

Other names for Eva include Eve, or just Puppy!!

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Cat, definitely. She enjoys jumping up and down barking at our poor neighbour's cats. The postman comes on a motorcycle, so yes, she loves any fast moving vehicle to give a good chase to!

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

Her favourite are actually stuffies. She has quite a collection of stuffed toys, donated from my daughter's wardrobe of toys and some from our blogging friends.

She seems to know that the stuffies are precious and she doesn't damage them in any way.

Where is Eva's favorite place for an outing?

Anywhere out of the house. To parks, restaurants, etc.

Who are Eva's best pet-pals?

When she was a puppy, we used to have an old rottweiler. Eva loved her to bits and would always try and get her to play. Unfortunately, our Laura was a bit too old for puppy nonsense and would not bother her. That didn't stop Eva from trying, though!

In puppy class, Eva met a golden retriever called Joey. They both excelled in their puppy obedience and weeks after not seeing each other, we met at a doggie event one day and they still recognized each other. Both pups were over the moon!

What is Eva's best quality?

Eva's temperament is perfect. She is not aggressive, never too stubborn, and just extremely sweet and cuddly.

What is Eva's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

I think the proudest moment was when Eva scored high marks in her Obedience Class. She's the star student in her class.

Her most embarrassing moment? Uh... I can't think of any at the moment.

Visit The Life of Eva the Sheltie blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheryl Richardson & her dogs

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Cheryl Richardson. I am a Senior Library Assistant at Middle Tennessee State University’s Walker Library.

My dogs are (left to right) Molly (F, 3 yrs.Doxie mix), Shiloh (F, 11 yrs. Jack Russell/Doxie mix), Fergie (F, 8 yrs. Red Heeler/Shepherd mix), Shingo (M, 3 years Doxie/Chihuahua mix), Indiana Bones (M, 3 yrs. Rat Terrier) and Cheryl.

We’ve since added: Trixie, “the spare dog” (F, 10 yrs. Pomeranian mix) whose family moved off and left her, Jack (M, 10 yrs. Rat Terrier), and Daisy (F, 14 yrs., Rat Terrier).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We just came in from a cool, morning walk! We are snuggling and having coffee to warm up.

What's brewing?

Chock Full O’ Nuts original blend, black.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Cranberry nut muffins.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

They get some left over hot dog pieces to share.

How were you and your dogs united?

I’ve volunteered since high school for the Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Association. Shiloh, Molly, and Shingo came from there.

Indiana was dumped in front of my house at 5 weeks old. Lots of folks know that I do rescue, so that happens a lot.

Trixie’s family were neighbors, and they moved away and left her.

Jack and Daisy were being fostered by a friend. I took them as fosters, and decided because of their age, we’d keep them.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Molly, Fergie, and Shiloh were all named by the shelter workers.

Jack , Daisy, and Trixie were named by their former families.

Shingo was named for a contestant on Ultimate Ninja Warrior named Shingo Yamamoto.

Indiana was named after one of my childhood favorites, Indiana Jones.

The have LOTS of aliases:

Molly – Mols, Molly Wolly

Fergie – Fergalina, Ferganatious, Fergaletta, Fergalicious

Shiloh – Shiloh Nubbins

Shingo – Shingo Dingo, Shingaloid Tumor

Indiana – Indy, Indiana Bananna, Slappy, Senor Slappy

Jack – Ratta Jack, Jackson, Jackson Herveaux, monkey

Daisy – The Grumpy Old Lady Dog

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

We all live with 9 cats, so they are much more interested in the squirrels.

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

Fergie loves stuffies and squeaky toys. We call them her woobies.

Indiana is obsessed with tennis balls!

Shingo just likes anything, including what he’s not supposed to have.

Molly and Jack like anything, but especially toys.

Shiloh and Daisy only likes things that include food!

Trixie loves tennis balls and squeaky toys.

Where are your dogs' favorite places for an outing?

To the neighborhood park or to a dog centric event.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Definitely me, my husband, the other dogs in the house, and Grandma, who lives next door (she’s the treat lady).

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

That I could be a stay-at-home dog mom with an unending supply of treats.

Learn more about the dogs at the Feisty Three blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kathleen Coy & Cloud

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Kathleen Coy and I'm an artist. Although dogs aren't the only thing I paint, they are probably my favorite subjects to paint. Dogs embody our finest characteristics (loyalty, honesty, unconditional love) and when I can convey these qualities in a painting, it's like a celebration of all that's right in the world. Cloud is a nine-year-old male Rat Terrier, and is my muse, joy, and best bud. Words cannot describe how much I adore him.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We're enjoying a beautiful, unseasonably warm November day, and having coffee after playing tag outside in the leaves.

What's brewing?

I buy Fair Trade, organic, freshly roasted African coffee beans from Whole Foods (todays is from Ethiopia.) Brewed in distilled water (our water is very hard) in a French Press, and served with organic half and half and Rapadura (organic dark brown cane sugar. It's amazing!) This combination beats any coffee I've ever had, hands down!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Usually not. This coffee is so good I like to savor it by itself, but today for a treat we're having sliced apples sauteed in butter with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, served warm with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top.

Any treat for Cloud on this occasion?

His very favorite treat is little pieces of dehydrated lamb lung by Solid Gold.

How were you and Cloud united?Nine years ago my husband and I bought a house. We had been talking about getting a Rat Terrier, and one day I went in our little neighborhood pet store for something, and they had a litter of the most adorable Rat Terrier puppies you can imagine. There was something very special to me about these pups, and when I came back with my family 20 minutes later, it seemed that a lot of people thought so - there were only two left! I'm a huge fan of dog rescue, but I believe things happen for a reason, and Cloud was meant to come live with us. I have no doubt about that.

How did Cloud get his name? Any aliases?

He got his name from the Final Fantasy video game character. No reason other than it's a great name. He has more nicknames than anyone should, upwards of twenty, and responds to all of them. A few are - Sprout, Trotter, Barker, Bud, and Ears.

What's the greatest challenge in creating your dog portraits?

I know that each portrait I paint is special. Every client who commissions a portrait loves their dog just as much as I love Cloud, and I want that bond to be reflected in their dogs portrait. I want them to feel that a part of their dog will be with them forever every time they look at their painting.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Cloud is obsessed with squirrels, and we have plenty. Keeping squirrels out of the yard seems to be his main goal in life, and he takes it very seriously. He's never caught one, but that doesn't stop him from trying every day!

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

Squeaky stuffed animal toy all the way. They usually last all of five minutes before he has them torn apart, de-stuffed, turned inside out, and the squeaker destroyed. Maybe he pretends it's a squirrel...

Where is Cloud's favorite place for an outing?

He loves to play in the back yard, but he really loves it when we go for a walk on the bike trail near our house.

Who are Cloud's best pet-pals?

He would say it's our 17-year-old cat, Boomer. He loves and fears her at the same time. Her favorite pastime includes bopping Cloud on the head when he gets too close.

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

Probably to stop getting up so early in the mornings. He would prefer we stay snuggled under the covers until at least mid-morning.

What is Cloud's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

His proudest moment is every time he saves the human race from the evil squirrel empire by chasing them out of the yard, which he does many, many times a day. Needless to say, he's proud a lot. The word embarrassed means nothing to Cloud. He has a huge ego and it would never occur to him to feel embarrassed about anything.

Visit Kathleen Coy's website, blog, and Facebook page. Check out a portrait of Cloud.

--Marshal Zeringue