Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Donna Mollard & Julie and Charlie

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Donna Mollard and I own and run a bed and breakfast in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Julie is on the left, she is a 2 year old Chihuahua; Charlie, on the right, is a long haired mini-dachshund, he is 4.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It is critical for the three of us to get out and take walk everyday!

I took these photos [at left] after walking the dogs at Greenfield Community College, their favorite walking spot!

It is difficult to get a picture of them together so luckily I snapped this while they were waiting for their treat.

I keep the treats in the glove compartment. So this shot was easy!

What's brewing?

I always take my big cup of Pierce Brothers Fogbuster coffee (local roaster), and some raisin toast with us on our walk. They LOVE the toast, NOT the raisins.

How were you and your dogs united? How did they get their names?

Charlie is named after his dad, so that was easy. His name is perfect for him! In deciding on Julie, I found her in North Carolina when I was visiting my sisters and the kids.

We were ALL (9) in on naming her, (as usual!) We brought her home at 8 weeks, picked a few names waited a few days to see which one suited her and decided on Julie.

The kids definitely ruled.

Your B&B is dog-friendly. What's the largest pack you've had at one time?

We love dogs! We began taking dogs when Eddie’s Wheels, (they manufacture carts for disabled animals in Shelburne Falls), asked us for lodging for one of their clients being fitted for a cart.

We definitely wanted to be a part of that, then it just made sense to accept well behaved dogs. We have ever since, so it has been about 8 years now!

The most we had had at one time are three Chihuahua’s all about a pound each. The cutest trio we have ever had stay with us!

Cat, squirrel, duck...?

Horses! We live across the street from two neighbors that own horses. Charlie will start barking when they come out of the barn, this starts the barking chain, Julie starts howling like a little coyote.

This goes on every morning. You would think, by now, they would be used to it, but no, it does not work that way in dog world.

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

They both obsessed with toys, tennis balls are Charlie’s toy and always have been ever since I brought him home at 12 weeks. He sleeps with them and will bark without letting the ball go. Very cute!

Julie has a little pink dog that she loves and carries around with her like her baby.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

They both love walking along the river on the bikeway in Turners Falls. There is always a lot of activity, people, bikes, birds, ducks lots to try to play with.

They both will immediately run to the car when I tell them where we are going.

What's the most interesting wildlife encounter your dogs have had in the valley?

The closest they have been to wildlife is the gray squirrels that climb up and sit and eat out of the bird feeders stuck on my windows. These are positioned right in front of the elevated bed they both share.

I did not do this on purpose. This drives them both wild! The squirrels are so used to this by now that it does not phase them one bit. I think they like teasing them.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Both Julie and Charlie’s best friend is Josie, our friends Chihuahua. She is very cute a friendly. They all get along so well, but Julie has been know to have her jealous moments especially if Josie spends the night.

That can be a little tricky.

What's each dog's best quality?

The best thing about Julie and Charlie is that they are both have such big personalities and each so very loving. We have so much fun together, they make us and our guests laugh all day and bring so much joy into our house. My favorite of Charlie’s is when he lays down he sticks his back legs out so they look like little flippers, so cute! Julie’s ears go up and down as I am talking to her as if she is understanding everything I am asking her.

What's each dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

I would say for both of our dogs they share a proudest moment. We introduced Julie to Charlie when he was 2, we were nervous of course but tried not to let them know. Through a lot of work, and with fingers crossed they have both become best friends. We are so very proud of both of them for working through a big challenge!

The biggest embarrassment for Charlie was when he was sprayed by a skunk. Of course it was late at night when I received the call from my neighbor that he could hear him barking. I drove over three houses away and there he was nose to nose with a skunk. I called to him and this was the only time he came when called. He jumped into my arms and then I had to put him in the car. That was fun! 11:00 at night, we have a full house. I could not bring him in the house as I did not want to wake up everyone with the smell of skunk. I had to give him a bath in the backyard with the freezing cold water from the hose; now it was midnight. I was so thankful that for once I had tomato juice. At breakfast the next morning our guests remarked, “Did anyone smell that skunk last night? You know you are really in the country when you smell skunks.” They did not know exactly how close the “skunk” was.

Julie on the other hand is only 2, still too little to have had an embarrassing moment.

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--Marshal Zeringue