Who is in the photo at right?
I'm Crystal, a Canadian expat in France here with my 6-year-old miniature pinscher/dachshund mix, Pinch. I'm currently a stay-at-home pet mom of 4, as well as a freelance writer for Dogster.com and its sister site, Catster.com.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I make a pot of coffee every morning after my walk with Pinch. I'm not picky, but it has to be filter coffee and not too strong! When I'm in Canada, I love stopping by Tim Horton's and Starbucks.
This week it's a Peruvian blend with a bit of vanilla sugar and a dash of milk.
Any treats for you or Pinch on this occasion?
He and my cats get a bit of flaked tuna on top of their kibbles every morning, and Pinch always gets a little cookie when we come in from our morning walk.
Right now, he's working his way through a bag of peanut butter treats I picked up during my last trip home to Canada.
Since you were last guests here on the blog you've relocated from the suburbs of Paris to a tiny town in the French Alps. Has that changed your pets' lives much?
We live in a much bigger apartment now, so they have more room to run around. It's also a lot quieter outside, and I'm at home more which Pinch really loves. Unfortunately, many of our neighbours in the building have dogs, and Pinch didn't make the best first impression when we moved in because he can be a bit aggressive towards unfamiliar people & pooches. We're working on it though! He's been, and is going back to a kennel run by a woman who specializes in working with dogs who have behavioural issues.
You've added a couple of striking Sphynx cats to the household. How's that going over with Pinch?
The sphynxes love to bully Pinch because he lets them! He is completely submissive to the cats, and I'd say that everyone gets along for the most part. They aren't exactly friends, but they certainly aren't enemies, either.
Skinny Mini, the older sphynx, loves to sneak up and swat Pinch on the head so she can steal his spot!
Has Pinch made any new canine pals in your town?
There is one much bigger dog in the building that Pinch will tolerate. We've been on a few hikes with Cooper, and it's very funny to see such a big dog alongside my little dog. Usually we just try to avoid other dogs outside so nobody starts barking or fighting. Everyone here thinks Pinch is adorable, but happy he's always kept on a leash!
Where is Pinch's favorite outdoor destination?
He loves to go anywhere that I can take off his leash so he can run free. Thankfully, there are many more places to do this here in the Alps than back in Paris. We took him on a 13km hike in the mountains a few months ago, and he had a great time exploring. Pinch has always loved grass, and will roll around in it the first chance he gets!
I enjoyed your article "Dog Ownership Is Killing Me -- And I Don't Mean Softly"; will you be doing more writing for Dogster?
I hope so! I've been working with them since February, and I've got a couple of articles up on the site already, as well as one on Catster.com about my sphynx cats. It's been great being able to combine my 2 passions in life -- writing & my pets!
If Pinch could change one thing about you, what would it be?
That I would never leave him alone, even for a minute, and also that I'd never put him in the bathtub again.
If Pinch could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
What can I do to make you more social and less anxious around other people and dogs?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Pinch and the cats could speak, who should voice them?
Well, even though he's French, I think Pinch would speak English, so I can see maybe Tobey Maguire? Noé, my big fluffy cat, would have the same voice as Garfield; Skinny Mini, the calico tabby sphynx has the fun, goofy personality of Jennifer Lawrence or Miley Cyrus, and I see Fly -- the dainty, yet mischievious sphynx -- with the voice of Kristen Bell.
Visit the Crystal Goes to Europe blog.
Read--Coffee with a Canine: Crystal & Pinch (July 2011).