Who is in the photo at right?
I'm Ro, Maggie is the 4 year old redhead girl on the left, Duke is the 3 year old brindle boy on the right. They're both Satos, which is slang for Puerto Rican street dog or mutt.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We have breakfast after our morning walk if I have time before heading to the office.
Earl Grey English breakfast tea with 1 sugar, the Mr. has his huge mug of Chase & Sanborne coffee brewed espresso strong.
Any treats for you or Maggie and Duke on this occasion?
I don't know if you'd call Special K cereal a treat, the Chocolaty Delight is pretty good. The dogs are huge fans of Cabot cheese; it's lactose free, which prevents the stinky dog effect.
How were you and your dogs united?
In April 2008 we went to Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA, as we had adopted 2 of our cats, from there the prior year. Maggie, then known as Patches, had been found in an abandoned house in Puerto Rico as a 3 month old puppy. Save A Sato, a group that has rescued almost 20,000 dogs and several hundred cats since it was founded, took care of her until she was healthy enough to come to Buddy Dog, one of their U.S. partner shelters. It was love at first sight for me, which was good, as she was a bit of a "project dog", as the Mr. says.
Maggie loves other dogs, so we went back to Buddy Dog in October 2009 to find her a friend. We were going to get a more "normal" dog, but Maggie wasn't interested in the dog we went to see. A volunteer said that they had another dog just like her, which was so not the plan, but she met Duke and they immediately clicked. Duke had fear aggression issues and had been transferred from another shelter, but he was great with Maggie, so we took him home that day. Getting Duke was the best thing we ever did for Maggie, she's so much happier since we brought him home.
How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?
Maggie is named after the shy daughter in Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," as she was painfully shy when we first adopted her. Her aliases are Tayta, Tate or FP, short for Fuzzy Princess, when she's being picky. It took months to find food she would eat on a regular basis, plus she has allergies.
Duke was his original name at the shelter, but we tend to call him Puppy or Pup-pup, as he still looks like a puppy when he runs. His aliases are the Boy, as in "do you have the Boy?", and Chunk-a-punk or Chunk-a-monk, as he is not picky and eats everything he can get. The Mr. calls him Marion Robert Morrison, John Wayne's real name, when Duke is being a brat.
We also refer to both dogs as the punks or crack dogs when they're trying to chase wildlife, like the skunk yesterday. My neighbors are probably wondering why I was screaming "NOT A KITTY!"
Do Maggie and Duke have a favorite place to go for an outing?
They love going to my parents' farm, where they can run around in the huge fenced garden. Duke likes to play with Griffin, their giant schnauzer and Maggie likes to beat them both up if they bother her too much.
Squirrel, postman, cat...?
Maggie is obsessed with squirrels and outdoor cats and tries to get them to run so she can chase them. Duke is also interested, but he is always on alert to protect the neighborhood from everyone, including some neighbors.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
All have been destroyed. Beef bones, rope toys and tennis balls are the only items that last more than 15 minutes. Duke ripped an extreme Kong apart in less than 10 minutes.
Who are your dogs' best non-canine pet-pals?
Maggie's non-canine best friend is Lebowski, aka The Dude, our big orange tiger cat. Duke's best cat buddy is Ozzy, our flame point Siamese from Buddy Dog.
What is each dog's best quality?
Both dogs wake up extremely happy and excited every single morning. I wish I had their energy! No matter what happened to them in the past, they take every day as a new adventure.
If Maggie and Duke could change one thing about you, what would it be?
The obvious favoritism showed the cats. The cats go wherever they want in the house, while the dogs are not allowed in the living room or on the couch unless we're home to prevent destruction. They're sharing Maggie's Kuranda bed in this photo [left]; they can't have normal stuffed dog beds or blankets as they unstuff and shred them.
If Maggie and Duke could speak in the movie about your life, who should do their voices?
Meg Ryan should do Maggie's voice and Ed Norton should do Duke's voice. They've both shown a great mix of vulnerability and strength in their various characters.
Visit the 2 Punk Dogs blog.