Who is in the photo at right?
That's me, Brendan Jones, author of The Alaskan Laundry, behind the camera, with Haley the baby, Rachel the mom, and Colorado.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine? And what's brewing?
Coffee (and tea) with the dog most often happens as our family make the 1/2-mile walk in from our home, a WWII tugboat tied up on the docks in Sitka, Alaska, to the parking lot, or into town.
Colorado, the husky-lab-shepherd mix I wrote into my novel The Alaskan Laundry (I once tried to write him into a housing application in San Francisco as a 35-pound corgie-mix, unsuccessfully) waits patiently on the stern deck as I make Deadman's Reach drip coffee, an Alaska specialty, and Rachel's Irish Breakfast tea. In the winter it helps to run hot water in the mug and let it steep as the kettle heats, to make sure the chill of the mug doesn't cool our morning drinks.
Meanwhile Colorado amuses himself on deck woofing with Earl the harbor sea lion as we get the baby in the Ergo, or into her car seat. When Rachel still needs to get her things Cal keeps an eye on Haley.
What's a regular day on the docks like for Coffee with Colorado?
As Rachel and I walk with the baby, we take sips (Rachel drinks Irish breakfast tea) where we can get them.
Colorado is supposed to be on leash whenever he's on the docks - and it's generally in his best interest, considering the pit-bulls on a couple fishing boats, and a haughty Airedale who patrols the dock like a righteous British Naval Officer. But it also makes it difficult for him to get in all his smells and inspections, like the purple starfish stuck to the poles, the trails left by mink slinking beneath the bullrails, and it also crimps his favorite game of breaking up the unkindnesses of ravens, scattering the black birds.
He also gets annoyed with the leash when an otter sticks up his head, although he doesn't bark at the otters, who seem to demand more respect than Earl the sea lion.
The warm liquids are magic, especially in the winter, the liquid warming the chest and making a buffer against the wind. But by the time we reach the ramp either we're done drinking from our mugs, or the liquid has become cold. We toss the dregs into the ocean and go about our day.
Visit Brendan Jones's website and blog.
Learn more about The Alaskan Laundry.
Writers Read: Brendan Jones.
My Book, The Movie: The Alaskan Laundry.