Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Carol Ann Coward & Luckie

Who is in the photo at right?

Good Morning! I am Carol Ann Coward [screen name-NitWit1 (don't ask!)], former Texan now Arkansan, retired pharmacist and cancer survivor, now involved in public service as member of city council, organizer and participant in a community service known as TeleCare, member of the local police auxiliary, church activities and other works in which I feel called to serve.

Additionally I love fishing, photography and computing, especially networking, otherwise known as blogging, Facebook, etc.

My current favorite canine is Luckie, a female rescue of estimated 7.5 years, mixed breed with only identifiable markings-German Shepherd. Her favorite sport is chipmunk hunting, so she is dubbed the Great Chipmunk Hunter.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with Luckie every morning. I arise about 6:30 a.m. daily. First item on my agenda is making two pots of coffee, one brew and flavor for myself and one, for my husband.

Luckie knows it breakfast time and hurries to the kitchen impatiently following, no, nudging, me through my routine.

Her breakfast, 3/4th cup of Beneful, is the last item on my early morning route through the kitchen. After bolting down her kibbles she may join me at my lift chair, or rudely traipse back to bed with hubby, who arises later. I hear "I think I'll go back to bed" and she sways her sassy, curled tail on the way to the bedroom--talk about being used and manipulated--that's me!

What's brewing?

The coffee I routinely use is either of Folgers Breakfast Blend or Maxwell House Breakfast Blend, 4-5 pkts. Splenda and half cup of skim/fat-free milk. My coffee maker brews two cups in one mug. On the road I treat myself to convenience stores/quick stop brewed cappuccino (love English Toffee, and/or French Vanilla), or lattes in similar flavors.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Usually NO goodies for either of us! Obviously from above answers to my morning concoction of coffee/skim milk and Luckie's breakfast of Beneful, can see we both belong to Foodaholic Anonymous and are constantly contending with the Battle of the Bulge! Today I am adhering to my frugal Weight Watcher points--usually 1.5 -2 pts for breakfast.

Any treat for Luckie on this occasion?

I provided her a huge dog biscuit, certainly not on her diet regimen. What the heck, everybody deserves a break from diet regimens!

How were you and Luckie united?

My best friend, Linda, who works for an area newspaper, The Baxter Bulletin, called to tell us about a Humane Society photo submission of a smaller female dog, looking like a German Shepherd, wt., just 35 skinny pounds.

We had been dog-less about 3 years --three years I spent mourning the demise of our last pure bred German Shepherd, Gabby. I still have her picture on my computer desk.

Grieving aside, a replacement needed to be a somewhat smaller dog, because of my deteriorating knees and stability, which has since been remedied. The Humane Society of North Central Arkansas fees for adoption were better fitted for our wallet. We met the Humane Society's requirements for adoption.

We were united with Luckie at the Humane Society's private "reception" room. She was a pitiful, dull-coated, rib-showing skinny, cowed dog. Her journey to her "forever" home took a circuitous route through an area veterinarian's office as described below.

How did Luckie get her name?

Luckie's name at adoption was Altena, a totally alien name for us. My husband chose her name, saying "she is lucky we accepted her." This choice reflects her numerous problems which arose when the veterinarian performing her spay discovered her heartworm infestation--too long a story for this interview.

At the point of discovery we had the choice to return her to the shelter and almost certain euthanasia. Our indecision lasted three days with pleas by her vet we should accept her as he assured us he could cure her. With much trepidation we finally heeded his plea, 30 minutes before she was to be returned to the shelter.

We made the RIGHT choice! She has repaid us with unfettered affection and loyalty. As she regained her self-esteem, yes, I think dogs have self-esteem- she emerged as an entertaining, somewhat cocky, at times, demanding personality.

Does she have any aliases?

Chippy hunter, Meatloaf - There are stories behind each alias.

Cat, squirrel, paperboy...?

Chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and ground prey, much to my dismay. I think these smallish critters are sort of cute.

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

Squeaky, fuzzy toys from which she readily amputates any appendages and eventually demolishes the toy. She likes bones, but never chases a tennis ball which is too large for her mouth.

You're in Arkansas: Luckie meets a razorback. What happens?

WOW! That thing is over 300 pounds heavier than I am! That's nearly 10x bigger than me. It has two long horns protruding out of its mouth. Looks like frontal weaponry--maybe be an armored tank. I'm calling NitWit1's brother's Chihuahua, Chico to take care of this matter. I'm tucking tail and getting the heck outta here! I don't care if the Razorback is mascot of the University of Arkansas and its legions of fans yelling,“Woo Pig Sooie.”

Luckie met Chico when Nitwit1's Texas brother and wife visited us for a few days.

Where's Luckie's favorite place for an outing?

Riding with my husband while he runs errands. Riding with me frequently ends ends at the veterinarian [not her favorite place] for exams, shots or boarding.

Who is Luckie's best pet-pal?

Probably my husband. HA! HA! Seriously, she currently has no neighborhood pals. A rental home across the street had a male Chihuahua mix which ventured to Luckie's yard, crawled under the gate and visited, until his owners discovered him missing. They got along famously. However, if the visitor had amorous intentions, he was sadly out of luck in several areas.

What's Luckie's best quality?

She is somewhat laid back, well behaved when we have company, and so loving of people once she knows them--pretty good for a dog, alleged to have been abused by a male. She is reticent when meeting some males the first time but makes friends when she discovers they are non-confrontational.

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

Spend more time with her, and toss her toys. She loves to be petted, for as long as you will spend with her. I am too busy for her. When Luckie first entered our lives, she did not know what to do with a toy. Her transformation into a carefree pet was heart-warming.

What's Luckie's proudest moment?

Luckie's proudest moment should have been when she tried to alert us of vandals entering my husband's unlocked truck about 1 a.m. We sleepily ignored her warning bark. The next morning prescription drugs were missing, and his cab was ransacked.

Her most embarrassing?

Her most embarrassing moment is my entering her in a local Mardi Gras Barkus parade contest, appropriately attired in Mardi Gras colors. She is not a female inclined to wear clothing, only a collar!

Or maybe it is getting caught foraging and ransacking the house while her owners are both away church?

She has eaten and survived loaves of bread, diet Russell Stover candy, a frozen meatloaf off the kitchen counter, the ultimate disgrace: emptied the trash can of coffee grinds, slinging the wet grounds on the surrounding floor area, adjacent cabinets and walls.

LUCKILY, she escaped ill effects, such as intestinal obstruction, chocolate poisoning, and owner wrath. (Have you ever cleaned up wet coffee grinds, ceiling to floor, after returning home from ceiling to floor, after returning home from church? Enough to lose your religion!)

I shall have to seek forgiveness after this confession, or Luckie may resort to an unknown, devious act of revenge, followed by her "innocent" look. I feel another Texas-sized bribe coming out of the cupboard!

Learn more about Luckie's now-charmed life at Carol Ann Coward's blog, Coward's Corner with Luckie.

--Marshal Zeringue