Who is in the photo at right?
That’s me, Mark Rogers, and my friend Chompers the Corgi. I’m a pet photographer from San Francisco and Chompers is a client of mine from a few years back who’s now a good buddy. He’s a three-year old Pembroke Corgi with a pretty-much-constant grin on his face. My dog, Bizzy, is a little jealous he didn’t get to join us but he’s dealing with the cat back at home and couldn’t make it today.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
We’re celebrating the release of my new book — Chompers is on the cover — and figuring out our publicity plan. Chompers always thinks better on a full stomach.
I’m a straight-up coffee guy. No foamed milk or anything fancy-schmancy for me. Being a Corgi, I figured Chompers would be a tea-and-scone type but turns out he’s more into water and biscuits.
Any treats for you or Chompers on this occasion?
I got biscuits for both of us but Chompers ate mine when I went to get my coffee at the counter.
How did you and Chompers meet?
Chompers won a contest a couple of years ago— one of many, he’s pretty good at that — and the grand prize was a photo session with me. I remember going through the photos from that session and thinking two things: 1) This dog is going to be a star and 2) I’d love to have him on a book cover one day. Looks like both have panned out!
How did Chompers get his name? Any aliases?
His name is derived from a combination of his parents' last names. He also likes chomping down on his food. Then there’s the street cred (a corgi needs a tough name to balance out that big smile).
Please tell us about your new book.
It’s called Thanks for Picking Up My Poop: Everyday Gratitude from Dogs and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I’m almost 50 with my first book coming out and it has the word poop in the title. I’m so proud! It’s essentially a love letter-with photos-to all the great dogs I’ve worked with over the last ten years. I’m always so grateful to be able to do what I do and thought a book based on gratitude and humor was a great way to go.
Are you planning a sequel?
Definitely! I want to call it Thanks for Picking up My Poop #2, which is a little redundant but I still like it! For the next one I’d like to do something that really focuses on rescue animals. There’s a lot of them in this current book but animal welfare is big reason I do what I do and I’d love to see that front and center.
Does Chompers know any of the other dogs featured in the book?
Chompers pretty much knows everyone. He’s a connected guy.
You've got lots of great photos on your website and blog. Do you often do battle the Bay Area's famous fog when trying to get the right light?
I actually love working in fog. Keeps things cool and overcast skies are a photographer’s best friend for the most part. It makes the the light really soft and even so there’s no harsh shadows. That said, it can get too foggy and I’ve definitely had to postpone shoots because the Golden Gate Bridge disappeared for the afternoon.
Who is Chompers' best pet-pal?
Chompers' best pal is his nephew Linus. The two are truly two tri-colored peas in a pod. You know when you hang out with someone too much, you two start looking like each other? Thank goodness they have slightly different markings on their backs or we'd have a problem.
Where is Chompers favorite outdoor destination?
Anywhere with lots of space to run, or in corgi-speak, FRAP! Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, the outdoor patios of dog-friendly restaurants. Yes, definitely the outdoor patios.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
A ball is a must, especially a squeaky Kong ball! Chompers will play fetch until he collapses...at that point, give him a few minutes to recharge, then he'll be ready for more! Watching that bunny butt bouncing around is one of the cutest things in the world.
What is Chompers' best quality?
He adores people. Almost to the point where he prefers people to dogs. At the park, he may not always say hello to all the dogs there, but he'll make his rounds to greet all the dog owners!
If Chompers could change one thing about San Franciscans, what would it be?
To scale back the road-rage, especially during the morning commute. Sip your Philz coffee and relax, people!
If Chompers could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
Boxers or briefs?
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Chompers could speak, who should voice him?
Chompers' mom is lobbying for Morgan Freeman or Ty Burrell. I think I’d have to go with a Back To the Future era Michael J Fox or Bart Simpson.
What advice would Chompers give if asked?
If you're having a bad day, ask someone to give you a belly rub. And a treat. Works every time!
Visit Mark Rogers' website, and learn more about Thanks for Picking Up My Poop: Everyday Gratitude from Dogs.