Who is in the photo at right?
That would be me, Ace Mask, and my 4-year-old dog, Kane, a traditional Lassie-type rough collie.
My wife and I live in Brea, California with Kane and our Labrador Retriever, Hoover. The Lab isn’t with us this morning. He’s getting on in years and isn’t up to the trek for coffee.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Normally Kane fetches my paper from the driveway each morning, then joins me in my den for coffee at home.
Sundays are a little different. The paper is much larger and harder to retrieve, so as a reward, we walk down to our local Panera for coffee and a visit. We often see the same people and children enjoy spending time with Kane there.
This morning it’s Dark Roast for me and a mocha with lots of whip cream for Donna, my wife.
Any treats for you or Kane on this occasion?
For me it’s a chocolate pastry. Kane has treats waiting him at home.
How did Kane get his name? Any aliases?
Kane is a good name for a Scotsman in keeping with his heritage. His registered name is Stoneypoint Raising Kane. Stoneypoint is the kennel he came from and his middle name just seemed a good match. Because of his breed he is often greeted with “Hi Lassie!” by strangers. Of course, Lassie is supposed to be a female, but the part was always played by a male. A canine cross-dresser.
How were you and Kane united?
Kane came from a breeder in Acton, California who had been recommended by friends in the Southern California Collie Club. Donna was looking for a dog to compete in AKC Agility trials to replace our old, aging collie, who was named Tag. We lost Tag to complications of old age this last July.
Who are Kane's best pet-pals?
Kane’s best pal is Hoover, our Labrador Retriever. We will be getting a new collie puppy in the spring, who will probably give both dogs a run for their kibble.
As a therapy dog, where is Kane's favorite place to visit?
He loves them all. We visit about 8 different facilities each month, including senior assisted living and Alzheimer's patients, brain injured youths, library reading programs, hospital locked-facilities (where patients are under observation because of harm they may have caused to themselves or others) and Kaiser Hospitals, including their huge facility in Los Angeles, where we interact with children in Oncology and ICU. Since he is a collie, he does seem to have a preference for children.
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
All toys of all kinds. Including tug-of-war, fluffy squeaky toys and playing fetch with a ball.
As an agility dog, what is Kane's proudest achievement?
When he was five months old he woke up one morning with a strange illness that affected his motor skills and caused him to go into seizures. He spent several days hospitalized and although his affliction was never positively identified, one doctor thought it may have been a reaction to a rabies vaccination while the specialists thought it may have been a viral brain infection. We weren't sure if he would live or, if he did, if he would ever regain his motor skills. To our surprise, after many weeks, he bounced back. Our proudest moment may have been his first competition at the 2010 Collie Nationals, where he placed second and third in the Novice category. He now competes in the Excellent category. Considering his early health complications, that makes us very proud and happy.
If Kane could change one thing about Californians, what would it be?
Kane is a native Southern Californian, as am I, my, wife and our children and grandchildren. I don't think he would have any reason to want any of us to change.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Kane could speak, which actor should do his voice?
Me, of course. I’m a professional actor, and I can always use the work.
If Kane could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
Whatever did I do to deserve such a good friend as you?
Visit Kane's Facebook page.