Who is in the photo at right?
I'm Lauren, a medical social worker and pet lifestyle photographer. Next to me is the love of my life: Claire, a lab/whippet mix and therapy dog extraordinaire. To put it simply, we are the very best of friends.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Currently, I'm at my favorite cafe (The Well in Green Hills, Nashville TN). Unfortunately, Claire has been pretty sick for the past week, so she's at home resting up instead of spending this morning running errands around town with me. I'm hoping that she'll be feeling well enough when I get home to go for a walk, but we shall see!
I'm drinking a hot cranberry apple cider which is amazing. But the girl sitting across from me is drinking an iced cocoa cream freeze with whipped cream... so I think I'll be grabbing one of those before I leave!
Any treats for you or Claire on this occasion?
I'm snacking on a vegan oatmeal apricot muffin. Poor Claire can't keep anything down lately with whatever bug she's caught, so no treats for her until she's all better! But usually, her special Saturday snack is a raw frozen marrow bone. It brings her hours of happiness - she's easy to please!
How did Claire get her name? Any nicknames?
Claire already had her name when I adopted her as a puppy, and it fits her perfectly! I couldn't dream of changing it once I got to know her personality!
As for nicknames, she responds to "Baby" just as quickly as she responds to "Claire." Her full name is Claire Baby Butterworth because the top of her head always smells like maple syrup.
How were you and Claire united?
I did not grow up with pets, but I'd always wanted a dog. A week after I moved to Nashville in 2009, I decided that it was time. I went to the Nashville Humane Society to ask some general questions about adopting a dog, and then Claire found me and chose me. For the whole sweet story, read about it here.
Who are Claire's best pet-pals?
Claire is funny when it comes to other dogs. She goes to day care (or "school" as we call it) three days per week and has a ton of friends there. We recently stopped going to the dog park because it started becoming a source of stress for Claire, so we now have to schedule play dates with her very best friends, Tucker (golden/aussie/setter), Chase (a golden/dingo), and Rylee (husky/shepherd). Her friend Asya (beagle/hound) moved away last year, and I hope they can be reunited soon!
Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?
Claire loves her stuffies - though after a few months of snuggling with them, she rips them to shreds. As she gets older, I find that she enjoys tennis balls more and more.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
Squirrels and rabbits. The girl's got quite a prey drive! She has both a fascination and fear of cats.
What is Claire's best quality?
Oh there are just so many! She is so sweet but she has a mischievous side too. She is hilarious and makes me laugh all the time. She loves to explore. She hates when people are sad; whenever someone is crying, she stops whatever she's doing and goes right over to them to give them some love and make them smile.
If Claire could change one thing about Tennesseans, what would it be?
She would probably want them to get better about obeying leash laws. Claire is a little reactive when she's on a leash, so when off-leash dogs run right up to her and get in her face, she gets really spooked. On the other hand, perhaps she'd want everyone to let their dogs off-leash so that she could be off-leash too!
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Claire could speak, which actor should do her voice?
Rachel McAdams. Because she is awesome. Only the best for Claire!
If Claire could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
"Do you know how much I love you?" I ask her that all the time, so it would be nice to finally get an answer to go along with that tail-wag!
For more about Claire's adventures, visit the Life with Claire blog, on Twitter at @LaurenFerzoco, or on Facebook!