Thursday, August 28, 2014

Amy Kirk & Jasmine and Coco

Who is in the photo at right?

This is a photo of Jasmine, my tweeny Dachshund, and Coco (a Chug).

None of us are spring chickens, Jasmine is going on 9 and Coco is 11. I'm not telling my age; we are all ladies.

The human in the photo is me, Amy Kirk. I am foremost a Mom and wife...I also run a small teaching farm named Novellas Farm.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No excuse, we always take a breather at the end of the day when chores are done, helps to refresh us for the evening.

What's brewing?

I'm enjoying a plain old fashioned cup of coffee. Ruta Maya, organic, fair trade...prepared in a French press. Sweetened with raw sugar and laced with my cows' sweet raw milk topped with cinnamon. Yummm!!

No, the girls are not allowed coffee.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Just the pleasure of each others company.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

My daughter named Jasmine, after the flower and the Princess from Aladdin. Coco got her name because my son who had verbal Apraxia could pronounce it...fits her pretty well.

Aliases are Jazzy Jazz, and Coco Girl.

How were you and Coco and Jasmine united?

We acquired Jasmine, my sister knew someone who claimed to be allergic and was looking to rehome her. She offered Jasmine to us, (I had another Dachshund named Pork Chop in my earlier life)... so we got her!

Coco came home in a cardboard box; my husband got her as a puppy for the kids.

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

Cats and squirrels... mainly squirrels.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

Jasmine loves a good bone, Coco not so much -- she mainly likes to be loved.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other!

What is each dog's best quality?

Cocos' best quality is her courage. Jasmine's would have to be her cheerful disposition.

If Coco and Jasmine could change one thing about you, what would it be?

A looser hand with the food...

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Coco would be voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Jasmine would be voiced by Elle Fanning.

If Coco and Jasmine could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I'm assuming I get 2 since there are 2 dogs. I would ask Coco how the whole dog year thing works.

I would ask Jasmine what she intends to do with the squirrel if she catches it.

Visit the Novellas Farm website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 25, 2014

Keith Michael & Millie

Who is in the photo at right?

The tall one smiling is Keith Michael, and the short one smiling is Millie. The tall one is sitting in deference to the short one's Pembroke Welsh Corgi stature. The tall one is an eclectic person: dance production manager/ballet choreographer/birder/photographer/writer/NYC nature walk guide. The short one is simply Millie. (Photo by Maggie Berkvist.)

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's morning. We've just been out for our wake-up walk to our "backyard": Hudson River Park. Millie's doing a final edit on my new book Take Me to the River: A Birder's Year in the West Village. (Millie suggests, "More paragraph breaks please, so that there are more opportunities for treats. And more photographs of Me.")

What's brewing?

Even though early morning, it's already summer-steamy outside and a tall iced glass of Peet's Coffee French Roast is just right.

Any treats for you or Millie on this occasion?

Millie considers any occasion a treat-deserving one—getting her leash on, getting her leash off, barking, stopping barking, sitting by my side, sitting in her "place"—she's an equal-opportunity treat-seeker. Happy Hips Duck Breast is her favorite, though she'll accept Zuke's Mini-Naturals when an arbitrary (to her) slimming-down is imposed on her.

How did Millie get her name? Any nicknames?

Millie arrived as Millie, and after getting to know her, she did, indeed, seem Thoroughly Modern. Her name also stayed within our theme of an earlier grand dame corgi, Gracie, honoring the wit and comic genius of the brilliant Gracie Allen. Millie's most prevalent alter-egos are: Milton, for less than girlish days; Fluffy, for when she's sprinkled with tufts from shedding (we could knit a new corgi twice a year from her castoffs); and Gracie, for when our hard-wiring takes over.

How were you and Millie united?

Millie was a rescue corgi who came with "issues." David and I had hoped that with her "settling in" many of those quirks would resolve themselves. Four years later, after regular training, and oodles of affection and tolerance, her feisty impulses are curbed but far from cured. She's still a quirky dog: unshakably possessive of food, white-eyed at most touching, and fearful of nearly anything that is outside of her routine. Sigh. Still, her cuteness is winning.

You're an avid birder: is Millie more of a help or hindrance in that endeavor?

On our walks in the neighborhood (my West Village Bird List is up to a back-patting 99 species!), since I'm looking up for the birds, and she's looking down for a snack from the street, there's not much conflict. Though if I stop too long, the pull of her leash on my binocular- or camera-holding hand can be challenging, or if I stop too long talking to someone who has just crossed the street gushing, "Hey, are you the guy that writes those birding articles in WestView? It's the first thing I read when I get the paper. And is this Millie?" then conversation-drowning barking ensues. Still, she is my writing muse; the hook of my monthly articles is reporting on the avian sightings around the blocks I walk with Millie—while she gets to be her crabby treat-seeking self.

Where is Millie's favorite outdoor destination?

Definitely to walk along the piers of the Hudson River at sunset.

Who is Millie's best pet-pal?

See the "Cat, postman, squirrel…?" answer below.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Fetch to her is a foreign language. The intellectual pursuit of helping with choreography is more her m├ętier.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

The exterminator in the apartment means that she has to leave until he's finished—though if they meet outside, then they're best friends. Any dog from the building passing by her door is akin to dropping the gauntlet—though outside, these same canines can be met with guarded curiosity (or not). And going to the vet! Yikes.

What is Millie's best quality?

Contrary to her corgi breeding as a herding dog, she actually likes a very quiet life with a dependable routine, and her inscrutability is a charmed blend of mystery and, luckily, hilarity. Oh, and did I mention that she was cute?

If Millie could change one thing about New Yorkers, what would it be?

"Please, throw more chicken bones into the street!"

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Millie could speak, which actor should do her voice?

Debbie Reynolds, of course.

If Millie could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

What was your life like before I met you (please answer in no less than Henry Jamesian detail)?

Visit Keith Michael's website for more information about his books, photographs or New York City WILD! Nature Walks.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rachel & Macy

Who is in the photo at right?

Hello! I'm Rachel, a creative blogger at Like a Saturday, and this is Macy -- our 5 year old mini-schnauzer.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I'm working on my blog schedule and events for the remainder of the year with my trusty assistant (read: master snuggler) by my side.

What's brewing?

I brewed French Market Coffee & Chicory in the French press. It is now in my favorite mug with just a bit of cream and hazelnut syrup.

Any treats for you or Macy on this occasion?

Macy loves her veggies. She's been chomping on a kale stalk.

How did Macy get her name? Any nicknames?

Macy came to us already named. She has a whole variety of nicknames, depending on the occasion. She usually only gets the full name treatment when she gets in trouble for barking at the air.

How were you and your dog united?

A former coworker was having to find new homes for her pets, including Macy, due to a family member's health issues. We adopted her when she was just over a year old.

Who is Macy's best pet-pal?

Once you cross the threshold, you are a friend. My parents have two mini-schnauzers as well, Sam and Tucker. Macy is about 1/3 of their size, but she's the boss lady. She loves play time with the boys. The jury is still out on her new German Shorthaired Pointer puppy cousin, Milo.

Where is Macy's favorite outdoor destination?

We have a fabulous new dog park in our community. There are so many new friends and so much sniffing to be had.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Tennis ball, giant squeaky Loofa dog, and a tiny stuffed duck.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

...neighbors, children, air. Schnauzers love to bark at anything and anyone who passes by.

What is Macy's best quality?

Macy is a love bug. She's very friendly and always ready for a cuddle-fest with whoever will join in.

If Macy could change one thing about you, what would it be?

She would have me stay home all day. Snuggled up in bed until 10, snuggled up on the couch till 5, a trip to the dog park, and then back to the couch until it's time for bed.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Macy could speak, which actor should do her voice?

Hmm...maybe Zooey Deschanel?

If Macy could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

What in the world is going on in that cute little head of hers.

Visit Rachel's Like a Saturday blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 18, 2014

Raven Patterson & Charlie

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Raven Patterson, a University of Tennessee graduate (Go Vols!). I’m a part-time assistant manager for The Orvis Company and beauty and lifestyle blogger at Heels and Harmony.

Charlie is a male 7-9 year old Yorkie.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Charlie and I have coffee together every morning. It’s a nice routine.

What's brewing?

Starbucks Blonde Roast via the Keurig.

Any treats for you or Charlie on this occasion?

Charlie is enjoying a bacon and cheese biscuit treat from Three Dogs Bakery in Asheville, North Carolina.

How were you and Charlie united?

Charlie was brought into my husband’s office by a co-worker who found him wandering through her neighborhood. He was a stray, and she couldn’t take him in, so we did!

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Charlie got his name via a Facebook poll from our friends and family, although he rarely gets called Charlie. He is also fondly known as Baby Charlie (my favorite), Chuck Sandwich, Chuck Taylor, Chuck Berry, and Charlie Brown Boots.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Charlie likes to play with our cat, Rosie. Although, for her, it’s more of a toleration.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Charlie is missing his front teeth from not being taken care of for so long, so he prefers soft plush toys that feel good on his gums.

Where is Charlie's favorite outdoor destination?

Charlie’s new favorite outdoor destination is downtown Asheville. It’s very dog friendly. He especially enjoys watching the street performers.

Who is Charlie's best pet-pal?

Charlie is very friendly with everyone he meets, especially the ladies.

He’s a real sweetheart, but he follows me like a shadow everywhere.

What is Charlie's best quality?

Charlie is very loyal and protective. Like I said, he literally follows me everywhere. If I leave the room just to grab something, he’s right there with me.

If Charlie could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Since Charlie was a stray, I’d ask him about his past and where he came from.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Charlie could speak, who should voice him?

I love this question! I imagine Charlie having a quirky little voice since he’s so tiny. I think Billy Crystal would be a great candidate to voice Charlie.

Visit the Heels and Harmony blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brooke Gaynes & Oliver

Who is in the photo at right?

Hello! My name is Brooke Gaynes, and when I'm not working in human genetic research, I write for different outdoor women's blogs.

Oliver is my 5 year old border collie, and helps me research the different topics I write about. He comes mountain biking, climbing, hiking, and trail running (and sometimes even skiing) with me on a daily basis.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today is a holiday in Utah, where we celebrate the Mormon pioneers that settled in the Salt Lake Valley.

Ollie and I talked my husband into a fun afternoon of hiking, climbing, and swimming in alpine lakes.

What's brewing?

Today we have fruit punch flavored Gatorade on our hike!

Any treats for you or Oliver on this occasion?

I'm enjoying some pistachio chewy bites, and Ollie is helping himself to some peanut butter and ritz (a special treat for hikes only).

How did your dog get his name? Any nicknames?

Since I love Charles Dickens, I named Ollie after Oliver Twist when we adopted him. He was a skinny, scraggly orphan when we adopted him, but had lots of energy and big smiles from day one!

How were you and Oliver united?

I was looking to adopt a dog, and had visited several shelters in my area. Although I had seen many adorable dogs, the moment I met Oliver it was love at first sight. The connection was strong and immediate. I adopted him on the spot, and called my husband to tell him the news on the drive home.

Who is Oliver's best pet-pal?

Ollie loves mountain biking dates with my friend Hannah, and her German shortair, Milo.

Where is Oliver's favorite outdoor destination?

Although Oliver loves any outdoor destination, his favorite ones involve open trails and large bodies of water! Notch lake, in the Uintas is our favorite!

Do you and Oliver ever run into interesting critters on your runs and hikes?

All the time! Oliver curiously studies tarantulas, and has made friends with a few coyotes on the trail.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Anything that gets thrown! He has a favorite stuffed fox that he carries around the house and uses as a pillow.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Anything that runs! Ollie will chase it!

What is Oliver's best quality?

Oliver's best quality is his love for his family.

On our bike rides, Oliver occupies himself between constantly running between his mama and his pop to make sure we are both okay (I am usually several hundred feet behind John).

Ollie likes to follow his mom everywhere, and is very sensitive to her feelings.

If Oliver could change one thing about Salt Lakers, what would it be?

Oliver loves living in a dog friendly city like Salt Lake City!

He would like to see more watering spots at the dry trail heads though!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Oliver could speak, which actor should do his voice?

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter.

If Oliver could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

I'd ask Oliver what the secret is to always being so happy, so forgiving, and so patient.

Follow Brooke Gaynes on Instagram, Twitter, and the Outdoor Women's Alliance.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jillian Kronberg & Riley and Roscoe

Who is in the photo at right?

That is me, Jillian Kronberg, and my 7-year old Chihuahua, Riley, doing what he loves best. Snuggling. His brother Roscoe, a one year old German Shepherd, is usually on the bed too, but he's a foot-of-the-bed kinda guy.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We are editing a blog post on my new blog, Broke Mommy, Chic Mommy. My boys enjoy a morning nap underneath the kitchen table.

What's brewing?

Mango Green Tea from a local tea shop called Green Leaf & Pebble.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Nope. Just nappies.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Riley was the only name my fiance and I could come to an agreement on.

Roscoe was named by my 5-year old daughter.

How were you and your dogs united?

Riley was a surprise Christmas present early in my and my fiance's relationship.

Roscoe is for Chloe to play with (since Riley is kind of a crabby old guy now).

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

For Roscoe, all of the above, anything that breathes or may blow in the wind is fair game for getting barked at.

Riley just hates the doorbell.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Roscoe loves his tennis balls. If he's outside, one is probably in his mouth.

Riley will beat up the occasional stinky sock.

Where do your dogs most like to head to for outings?

Grandma's house with the big backyard is a favorite, as is long walks at the local park.

Riley is happy to just ride shotgun in the stroller with Chloe.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other. And of course, their human sister, Chloe. At dinner time it's me.

What is each dog's best quality?

Riley is a great snuggler and lap warmer. If there is a blanket, pillow, or pile of laundry, Riley will warm it for you.

Roscoe is an excellent watch dog. He is very protective of all of us but one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I know.

If your dogs could change one thing about Virginians, what would it be?

Make the beach dog-friendly the entire year, not just after tourist season.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Roscoe would be Finn and Riley would be Jake from Adventure Time. They are that goofy.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I would ask Roscoe why is it so hard to walk calmly to the car, get in and ride quietly to our destination. Not every "bye-bye" has to be a circus. Geez.

I would ask Riley how he really feels about Roscoe.

Visit the Broke Mommy, Chic Mommy blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Savannah Miller & Lucy, Rufus, and Emma

Who is in the photo at right?

This is a photo of me, Savannah Miller, and my dog Lucy! I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 amazing little boys and the owner of The Simply Me blog. Lucy is a female black lab. She is 8 years old I got her in the summer of 2006 right after I graduated high school.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

My hubby and boys went to a Reading Phillies game so I had some alone time. I decided to talk Lucy for a walk and picnic.

What's brewing?

Seattle's Best Frozen coffee. It was hot outside when we had our coffee date I wanted something to cool down.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Oreos for me and Beneful bake delights for Lucy.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Growing up I loved the show I Love Lucy. That is how Lucy got her name. Emma my beagle was named by my hubby and Rufus my puggle was named after the bear my hubby gave me for our first V-Day. My kids like playing with the bear so they decided to call their puppy Rufus. They do have some Aliases:

Lucy - Luey, LuLu Bell, Delilah and pretty girl.

Emma - Emma-Jemma.

Rufus - Rufeo.

How were you and your dogs united?

My younger brother came home with a black lab puppy and said our neighbor was given them away for free. I had just rescued Rocky from a shelter (passed away in 2012) and he needed a lot of work; he was abused, so I wasn't ready for another dog just yet. I did want to see the puppies though. My hubby and I (at the time just boyfriend and girlfriend) went to see them and this hyper little runt would not leave us alone. She jumped all over my hubby ran back and forth to get our attention. At the time her ears were to big for her body; she was adorable and just stole our hearts. I knew she had to come home with me!! The saying is true: dogs choose us. The best part was she was perfect for Rocky -- they were best friends and did everything together. She taught him to trust and love again.

My hubby got Emma from his dad. And after Rocky passed away my kiddos were heartbroken. It took us several months, but we decided that Rocky wouldn’t want us heartbroken, that he would want us to love another pup and give them a good home. So we got Rufus: he was the last pup left in his litter.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

Squirrels -- my pups go nuts whenever one gets to close to the porch.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky toy.

Where do your dogs most like to head to for outings?

Lucy likes to swim so I take her to the lake and my dad's pool. Emma gets to hunt with my hubby, and Rufus spends his days playing fetch with my kids.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

My kids -- Lucy and Rufus adore them. Emma is happy as long as they leave her alone. And we do have a cat named Jekyll; they let her hang out with them, but only when she promises not to bat at their wagging tails or try to catch their tongues when they are panting.

What is each dog's best quality?

Lucy is loyal and makes everyone feel unconditionally loved.

Rufus is always happy and can make anyone laugh.

And Emma is the best behaved and the least hyper.

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Maybe that I always oversleep! They come into my room and poke me with their cold noses enough to let me know they want me up.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Emma is easiest she would be Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. She is always kinda sluggish and never in a rush. Eeyore’s voice would be perfect for her.

Lucy is silly and a bit hyper so I would pick Lisa Kudrow; she reminds me of Phoebe on Friends sometimes. Silly and lovable and always sounds happy when she talks.

And finally Rufus: as much as I love him I swear there isn't much going on in his head. When my hubby and I watch Game of Thrones I always say Hordor reminds me of Rufus. My kids disagree though: I asked them who should do his voice and they said Olaf from Frozen.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I would make sure to ask if they are happy and feel loved.

Visit The Simply Me blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ellen Cooney & Andy, Skip, and Maxine

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Ellen Cooney, a novelist. My dogs are Andy, golden retriever, 8; Skip, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, 7, and Maxine, chocolate lab/wire haired terrier, almost 2.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I’m happy about the publication of my novel about an animal sanctuary for rescued dogs, where a young woman enters a program to become a dog trainer and discovers that the dogs aren’t the only ones with a chance for healing and a better future. It’s called The Mountaintop School For Dogs And Other Second Chances, out this month with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

What's brewing?

A big take-out latte from an indie coffee shop about a 20-minute drive each way is a once a week treat—it’s pretty rural around here. If I’m out and about in another town, farther off, there’s a Starbucks with a drive-up window: latte for me, and for the dogs, bowls of whipped cream squirted on ice cubes. They love sticking their heads out the car window, like they’re placing the order themselves.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

In the photo [below right] of my three, they are sitting so nicely! They’re about to get cookies I made for them with oatmeal, peanut butter, apples, and rice. The other photo is of them [photo left] with the baking dish after the cookies came out. I only use this baking dish for their treats, so it’s very special.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Andy is for the boy doll in the first book I ever loved as a child: The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Skip is for a human Skip, a wonderful man who’s the husband of the woman who arranged for Andy to be my dog. Maxine is for a beloved cat named Max who died a long time ago, but he was quite an unforgettable character. They are also known as Honey Bear (Andy); Little Guy (Skip) and Sweetie Girl (Maxine).

How were you and your dogs united?

Andy came to me from a breeder who had wanted him to be a show dog; he’s descended from a long line of champions—but he turned out too big for that world and yay for me! Skip is from a golden retriever rescue group in Tennessee, and Maxine is from a rescue group in Louisiana. Both of these groups arrange adoptions and transport to homes in the northeast.

How do your dogs help--or hinder--your writing?

Andy loves to have me read aloud to him! He swipes me with his paw if he feels I read too little for that day. Skip and Maxine both hang out in my room while I’m writing, even though I keep telling them I would rather be alone. Sometimes I’m very annoyed when I forget they’re with me and they suddenly start barking at who knows what they see out the window. I make them leave but of course they just sit outside the door like their hearts are broken.

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?

All my three were deep, important inspirations for Mountaintop. There’s a golden in the novel who’s based on Andy, although the fictional one is much older. Many things that happened with Skip as I was heavily involved with him as his trainer made their way into the novel. As for Maxine, the book was finished when I adopted her—but I know she’s going to turn up in the next one.

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

We live coastal Maine. My dogs and I beach-walk almost every day. Andy falls in love with every seal he spots, and he wants to swim way out to hang around with them. Maxine wants to catch ducks and sea gulls. Skip is totally a tennis ball guy; in fact he’s a genius at finding tennis balls, even if they’re buried in sand.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

They are best friends with each other, especially Andy and Maxine. Skip is more of a solitary kind of guy. But my dogs love meeting other dogs, except, at the moment, Maxine, who’s going through a phase of being fierce and thinking that strange animals are like dangerous aliens she needs to tangle with (we’re working on that).

What is each dog's best quality?

Andy: that golden retriever thing of being brilliant at showing affection. Skip: intuition. He’s incredible at sensing moods, and he’s always hyper-aware of what’s going on; he’s out guard dog, which he takes very seriously. Maxine: she’s complicated and very defensive, but she is often just so happy with everything! She lived all her previous life confined in a high-kill animal shelter and now she’s, “Oh my God, you filled the water bowl! You’re giving me a cookie! You’re loving me!”

If your dogs could change one thing about Mainers, what would it be?

They would like to change what Maine fishermen do with the contents of bait buckets. My dogs believe fisherman should offer their bait to them (and also any fish they’ve caught).

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Andy’s movie voice should be Matt Damon or maybe Robert Redford. Skip should be Sean Penn. For Maxine, Sigourney Weaver, absolutely.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I would have to ask a question that doesn’t include Andy, who wasn’t a rescued dog and didn’t have a traumatic past. I would ask Skip and Maxine if they have any bad memories that haven’t been wiped out yet and, if so, how can I help wipe them out?

Visit Ellen Cooney's website.

--Marshal Zeringue