Monday, February 8, 2016

Sarah Messina & Stella

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi! My name is Sarah Messina. I am a freelance artist and designer. My dog’s name is Stella; she is a 10-year-old mini dapple Dachshund.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I work from home a lot and Stella and I start a lot of our mornings with some freshly brewed coffee, she totally loves the smell.

What's brewing?

Freshly ground, New England Coffee, Blueberry Cobbler Medium Roasted. I usually take my coffee black, if made at home, or if it’s a wonderful flavored blend from a cafe. But today I added a splash of Baileys Irish Crème. It’s a rare once in awhile treat.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I love making a toasted English muffin with peanut butter on it and letting the peanut butter melt a little before I dig in.

How were you and Stella united?

Every since my childhood dog Hasbro, a Cockapoo, passed away, I begged my parents for a Dachshund. I just love the breed; I think they are so adorable. So in 2005 my parents caved, said yes, and I began my search for a Doxie on the Internet. I came across a breeder in Texas. I first picked out one of Stella's brothers, an all black and tan Doxie. But then the breeder sent me a photo of Stella and I was immediately in love. We paid the breeder, drove to the Philadelphia International Airport (I am from South Jersey and was living at home at the time), and picked her up. She was so tiny I could not even see her in the crate at first. I fell in love even more (if that was even possible) then I did when I saw her photo for the first time. She has been a constant in my life ever since.

Any treats for Stella on this occasion?

Since I am having peanut butter Stella is have a tablespoon of it as well.

How did Stella get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

I was so excited about getting Stella that I got a baby name book out of the library, and I also searched baby names on the Internet. I kept coming back to the name Stella. It means star. I asked my father, who at the time was in his last few months of life battling brain cancer, if he liked the name and he said that he did, and told me go for it. So, I did. And yes, she has many, many, nicknames... Bean, Beanie, Nu Nu, Noosh, Chi Chi, Nee Nee, Bim, Bimie, Binki... She is so amazingly cute these names just come out of my mouth when I talk to her. Also one of my best friends, Devin and I have a special dog language for our fur babies, and they totally understand it.

Does Stella help or hinder your art and design?

She truly helps. No matter where I am working she is either nestled behind me in my chair, or next to me in her bed. It is a true comfort having her with me; it relaxes me and makes me feel happy. I will admit though, she can get a little needy with my attention sometimes and that does distract me, but honestly I would not want it any other way.

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?

Oh, squeaky toy for sure!

Postman, cat, squirrel...?

Definitely squirrel first. Her body goes straight, her tail sticks out and she lifts her one paw off the ground as if in full hunter mode. Stella is a protector, so she will bark at a passer-by here and there.

Where is Stella's favorite place for an outing?

Honestly anywhere with me. All I have to say is ‘Want to go bye-byes with Mom?’ and she can’t wait to leave.

What is Stella's most endearing quality?

She knows when I am crying, comes over and licks my tears.

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

That I would be home 24/7 with her curled up on the couch, and never leave.

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

I love this question! I will admit though I asked my brother, Jason Messina, for his thoughts, and he said Judi Dench. And I 100% completely agree.

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

Have you loved your life so far?

What advice would Stella give if asked?

Be grateful for all you have, life is good. Oh, and if you have a long back like me, be careful of your leaps off the couch.

Visit Sarah Messina's website and Instagram page.

--Marshal Zeringue

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