Who is in the photo at right?
I’m Paula Fraker and my husband and I own a small farm in Tennessee where we raise Suffolk sheep and Silkie chickens. Taking care of the farm and the animals is a full time job, especially during the summer, but I also have a small in-home embroidery business and sell handmade items online in my ETSY shoppe to keep busy during the winter months.
My dog, Lily, is an English Bulldog and she has lived with us since she was 10 weeks old. Lily turned 1 year old this past October and she is my little farm helper.
(Not really, but I let her think that.)
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I usually take Lily with me on my weekly trip to the farm store for feed if the weather is not too hot for her to ride in the car. Pets are welcome so she gets to go inside and see everyone, which is always a treat for her. Today is extra special- we’ve already made our stop at the farm store and now we’re both getting a treat at the coffee shop in town.
What's brewing? Any treats for you or Lily on this occasion?
A white chocolate mocha treat for me, and doggie carob cookies for Lily. Lily doesn’t take treats from strangers- she would rather have them give her attention and hugs so I have to put treats in her little travel bag and take them along wherever we go.
[Lily and Silkie chick, photo left]
How did Lily get her name? Any aliases?
Lily was named before we got her and was already answering to it at 10 weeks old, so we decided it would be best to keep it. Other nicknames for her are: Lily Belle, Pumpkin, and when she passes gas, Stinky Butt. (Which does quite frequently.)
How were you and Lily united?
Very much by accident…. I was looking up a friend on MySpace one day and came across a person of the same name who just happened to have a litter of bulldog puppies. She had pictures of the pups posted on her page, and I went gaga over the picture of Lily because she looked so much like a bulldog my family had when I was growing up named Samson. We weren’t even looking for a dog at the time, but I couldn’t get her little face out of my mind and as it turned out, the lady also lived in Tennessee, about a four hour drive from us. (Fate?) So the week before Christmas, we took a little trip and brought her home with us.
Does Lily have a favorite place to hang out on the farm?
Lily loves to hang out at the sheep barn; in fact, she goes with me on my morning feeding routine and has even been known to try to stick her head through the gate to get a closer look. (Thank goodness it won’t fit…)
She also likes to go to the chicken coop with me and is very good around the Silkies… it took a while for her to learn not to try and “play” with them by swatting at them with her paw, but now she is very protective of them thinks of them as her birds.
Who is Lily's best pet-pal?
That would be Tiny [photo left], our little wether (castrated male) sheep-- she will try to make him run up and down the fence and chase her, and he in turn will try to lick her nose. This game will go on forever until I break it up, even after both of them are completely out of breath.
Squirrel, postman, cat...?
I would have to say rabbits-- we see lots of them around here and she will try to chase them… but I really don’t think she wants to hurt them, just inspect them a little closer and find out why they run from her.
Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?
Lily has one of everything, but her favorite things are stuffed animals, one in particular we call Puppy [photo right].
Puppy has to go everywhere Lily goes- especially in the car- and when Puppy starts to smell, he gets thrown in the washing machine and she will wait in the laundry room and whimper until he comes out of the dryer.
What is Lily's best quality?
Her best quality would have to be her sweet nature… she is a little baby doll and so gentle around everything and everybody she meets. She is also very quick to learn so she was easy to potty train, but she is also very sensitive and sad if she thinks you’re upset with her.
If Lily could change one thing about those sheep, what would it be?
She would love to be able to get inside the barn with them so she could inspect them better, but for her safety and theirs, she has to be kept on the other side.
And I’m sure she wishes they weren’t so tall… she can’t inspect anything but their legs.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Lily could speak, which actor should do her voice?
Oh, boy-- that’s a tough one… sometimes I can just imagine her saying things to me in a Roseanne Barr kind of voice….
What is Lily's proudest moment?
I think up until now it would have to be when she finally learned she could jump up onto the couch… I don’t think she realized how strong her back legs were until then. But that’s created a problem of sorts- now we can’t keep her off the couch!
Visit The Fraker Farm blog.