Who is in the photo at right?
I am Johnny Ortez-Tibbels: Dachshund photographer, writer, breed advocate and champion.
My two dogs are Rufus, my regal red smooth male miniature dachshund, 8 years old.
Emily Sue, my black and tan smooth female miniature dachshund, 10 months.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We’re big advocates of getting out with your dog; therefore, we forewent the coffee date and instead went for a hike at Fryman Canyon in Studio City, CA: a favorite of ours. We try to hike 3-5 times a week for the last 3 years. Keeping dachshunds trim is important for their backs.
Nice refreshing, clean and cool water: perfect for pre and post-hike hydration.
How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?
Rufus was named in honor of my favorite vocalist / poet lyricist at the time: Rufus Wainwright. Rufus also means “red-hair” so it was very fitting for our red doxie.
Emily Sue, often called Emmy, was named after one of our favorite actress: Emily Blunt. Sue is a family name.
How were you and your dogs united?
Rufus was carefully selected from a breeder in California and is my first dog as an adult. I got him at 10 weeks old.
Emily Sue is a rescue. Her litter was surrendered one day after she was born, and I got her at 8 weeks old.
Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?
My dachshunds are extremely fortunate to have many friends. As a moderator of a local meetup group, LA Doxies, play dates are plentiful. However, their favorite pal is probably Milo – a red dapple smooth doxie.
Squirrel, postman, cat....?
Rufus is not a fan of squirrels, the postman or cats; he is a very stereotypical dog in that respect. With many mature trees in our backyard families of squirrels seemingly taunt Rufus and his mates daily. Nonetheless, Rufus continues to be vigilant and loyally guards our yard from any potential invasion.
Emily remains indifferent at this point to the squirrels, but loves surveying the yard for sticks despite my protest.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
Both Rufus and Emily love their squeaky stuffed toys. Rufus is skilled at disemboweling his toys in record time whereas Emily is a little gentler with hers.
What is each dog's best quality?
Rufus’ best quality is his versatility; ability to adapt to an array of environments. Rufus has traveled the country and is comfortable almost anywhere: an outdoor café, the beach, the lake, the desert, on an airplane, in a car or just on my lap at home.
Emily's best quality is her sweet and feisty personality.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
If Rufus could change one thing about me, he would probably want me to be less worrisome about his back. Back problems are prevalent in the dachshund community and is a constant in my mind.
Emily would probably ask that I give her a little more kibble and treats, which would probably be a common request among our chow hounds.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actor should do their voices?
Rufus would have a standard American dialect and probably be played by an actor like Bradley Cooper or John Hamm.
Emily would be played by Anna Faris or Tina Fey.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
If Rufus could only answer one question in English, I would ask if he has enjoyed his life. I’ve worked very hard since day one to ensure he has had a very full and comfortable life offering regular mental and physical stimulation and lots of four-legged companionship. Early training established a bond and gave us a vocabulary to communicate. Although I’m confident of what his answer would be, it would be extremely validating to hear it from his lips.
I would ask the same from Emily. Is she happy?; I just want my dogs to be healthy and happy.
To see more of Rufus, Emily and their friends please visit Rufus on the Web or follow the Dachshund Outreach Giving & Socialization (D.O.G.S) Facebook page.