Saturday, January 29, 2022

Rosiee Thor & Tess

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Tess, 13-year-old black lab/springer spaniel mix and snuggler extraordinaire. I'm her trusty human, Rosiee, semi-dependable source of food and walkies. I'm also an author and garden enthusiast.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We always start the day with a warm beverage for me and a warm snuggle for Tess before we get to work. Writing is a fairly focus-heavy job, so I always make sure Tess gets lots of attention during my morning routine before I sit down to write--and I get a little caffeine.

What's brewing?

I sadly had to give up coffee about a year ago for health reasons, so I start the day with black tea. Today's is spiced fig loose leaf.

Any treats for you or Tess on this occasion?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which Tess ate in record time. I'm snacking on a sliced pear and some rice crackers.

How were you and Tess united?

Tess used to be my partner's brother's dog, but when he expanded his family and started having kids, Tess didn't do well with the little ones. She really prefers to be the baby herself, so it wasn't a great environment for her. She's got some sensitivities with her ears and kiddos don't always respect boundaries, so we offered to take her instead, since we have a child free home. She's been the perfect dog for us and we love her more than we ever could have imagined.

How did your dog get her names? Any aliases?

Tess came to us with her name, but we've taken great joy in nicknaming her. Sometimes we call her Tessaroo, Tessaroni, Tessaroni and Cheese... you get the idea.

Does Tess do more to help or hinder your writing?

Tess is an old girl, so she naps for much of the day, which allows me to get lots of work done. She does get a little antsy if I don't take breaks, so we always take a walk at lunch, and sometimes I have to end my day early to play with her, but overall she's very good about letting me work.

Has Tess inspired you to create any fictional canines?

Not yet, but there's still lots of time and lots of books to go!

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Skunk, actually. We have a family of skunks living in our neighborhood and she looooves to chase them. We decidedly don't love the smell.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky toy! Tess knows her toys as her "babies" and loves to squeak and thrash them around. In her old age, she's gotten a little deaf though, so sometimes she picks a toy with a broken squeaker and she can't tell the difference.

Who is Tess's best pet-pal?

Definitely Prince the Pomeranian. Sometimes Tess gets to go to work with her other mom, and Prince, the mostly toothless pomeranian, is her old man buddy at the office. He can't eat his treats because of his toothless situation, so his mom collects cookies from drive throughs and gives them to Tess instead.

What is Tess's best quality?

How can I choose?! She's so good! I will say I'm partial to her little white toes--it makes her look like she's just pranced through some flour or something.

If Tess could change one thing about Oregonians, what would it be?

Definitely our cold winters. She gets a little arthritic and it's hard for her to go for long walks in the cold.

If Tess could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her? I would ask her if she knows how much we love her. It's a common occurrence in our house that we worry she doesn't know, so that would put our minds at ease for sure.

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

Maybe Maya Rudolph or Kate McKinnon... definitely someone from SNL!

What advice would Tess give if asked?

When in doubt, sit on the couch! Preferably next to her!

Visit Rosiee Thor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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