Who is in the photo at right?
I am Flea Christenson, the all-natural, slightly crunchy blogger for Jones Natural Chews, maker of dog smiles (via all-natural chews). My babies are Flash and Patches, brother and sister (litter mates), both eleven years old and Australian shepherds whose German shepherd father dug under the fence.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I need an excuse for good coffee? My duck, Petey, needed a fresh cup, so we stopped in for his fix. He has a sweet tooth, and no artificial stuff, please.
Always brewing is a French Roast in the press, cream and sugar. Flash asks for half-caff, since he's an old man now. He mutters something about his prostate nearly every morning. Patches prefers Earl Grey, but I don't stock that, so she makes do.
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?
I'm strictly a coffee for breakfast girl, but Flash and Patches love a good pig ear or Jones Bandit's Bone with their java. The dogs insist that pork or beef and coffee are a great combo for starting the day. *shudder*
How did your dogs get their names? Any nicknames?
Flash and Patches came with their names. They were three years old when they came to us. According to their "birth" mama, Flash was a speedy puppy, and Patches - well, she's rather patchy looking. I call them puppy and other puppy, depending on who walks into the room first.
How were you and your dogs united?
Our first family dog, an Australian shepherd, died of cancer at twelve and a half. We mourned, then looked for two Aussies via rescue organizations. Flash and Patches have a long, sad story prior to finding us, but happy, sunny stories over the last eight years. We love the breed, love having two dogs instead of one, just love these two pups. We will definitely be rescuing our next pair of dogs.
Your menagerie includes ducks and chickens--how well do they get along with the dogs?
Oh my. Two years ago a well-meaning friend bought us a baby chick. It's morphed into a little farm in my backyard. The dogs had to be trained not to bite the chicks, which was a gradual business. Aussies are intelligent dogs and it didn't take them long to understand that the chickens were pets and off limits.
Ducks? Whole different ball game. I'm constantly refereeing fights between Flash and Jimmy, my white Aylesbury. Flash has managed to pin Jimmy to the ground, since Jimmy has a bad habit of biting Flash's posterior. It's a hate-hate relationship with the dogs and ducks, but the dogs are very careful not to harm any of our birds.
Where do your dogs most like to visit on an outing?
Outings are a toss-up between anywhere in the car (mostly picking up teenagers from school and work), and camping. Camping probably wins. Flash and Patches each bring their beds, and we always camp near water, since they love to fetch rocks and swim.
Squirrel, cat, postman...?
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
Patches loves the squeaky toy for about an hour, then is done. Flash will occasionally catch a soft Frisbee. Neither really plays with toys, which I attribute to having two dogs. They spend hours licking each other's ears and eyes. Which is really gross to listen to. They also love a good game of bitey face.
What is each dog's best quality?
Flash is incredibly loyal and protective of his mama (me). Almost to a neurotic level as he ages. But he's all bark and very little nip. Patches is protective of the entire family, patrolling the yard, keeping bunnies at bay.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
They would probably get me out for walks, off the couch, especially when they bark. Which means I would be a yo yo on a string.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Flash would be spoken by Clint Eastwood. It suits his personality and his old man-ness. My husband says he hears Richard Kind, Dr. Mark in Mad About You. Patches would be spoken by Mae West. Totally her attitude.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
Why do you bark at everything?!
Visit Flea Christenson's Jones Natural Chews blog.