Friday, July 9, 2010

Raquel Wood & Myron

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Raquel Wood, co-owner with my husband Terry of 'Hotrods by TJ's' - a car customizing shop in Sydney. Myron is a 4-year-old male boxer cross border collie and is our shop mascot as well as our baby.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Myron often has a gig at the local library so we popped in for a refreshment on the way!

What's brewing?

Extra frothy pupuchino thanks, hold the choc sprinkles - chocolate isn't good for dogs!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Scones with jam and cream, thanks.

Any treat for Myron on this occasion?

Myron and I share.

How were you and Myron united?

My 5-year-old dog passed away with cancer and my neighbour knew I was grieving badly. She had heard about some pups born to a dumped dog that were all going to the pound so she encouraged me to go and take a look and see if I'd like to rescue one. When I saw Myron I chose him because he appeared cross-eyed and I figured he would be the least likely to find a home.

How did Myron get his name? Does he have any aliases?

My husband was given a second-hand hotrod jacket from America that still had the old name patch on it. I always loved it and said to Terry if ever we got another dog we would call him after that patch - Myron.

I understand that you've written a book called The Magic of Myron and are looking for a publisher. Perhaps a publisher or editor is reading this Q&A: would you share a brief synopsis of the manuscript?

The Magic of Myron is an encouraging story of a pup who, despite a rough start, overcomes life's adversities by sharing his happy journey with others. Though he is blind, environmentally allergic and has epilepsy, he melts the hearts of all he meets and sends the message that no matter what problem you may have to contend with, there is always something you can do for yourself and someone else.

Where is Myron's favorite outdoor destination?

Myron loves our local park. He knows every square inch of it and enjoys playing there off leash. He also enjoys the beach and loves swimming and chasing the seagulls (sometimes in the wrong direction).

Who is Myron's best pet-pal?

Robbee Chi Hammond, a chihuahua also from Sydney is Myron's best mate on Facebook, but he also has plenty of interspecies relationships like with an American disabled cat named Tiny Timmy and a hamster named Howard Worndel, also from America.

Is Myron more of a larrikin or a wowser? (Or is that the kind of silly question that an American might ask about an Australian dog and therefore doesn't deserve an answer?)

Myron is definitely a larrikin! He makes every one he meets laugh. He is cheeky and smart, funny and naughty all at once! Myron has a hobby of getting his picture taken with celebrities. He then shares the photos with folks he meets in his volunteer community service work. When meeting celebrities he seems to know I expect him to be on his best behaviour so he is determined to show off and be extra rambunctious for these occasions. The celebrities usually think he's gorgeous and laugh along with him. Lucky for me he's cute and can get away with it!

We then enlarge the photos and post them back to the celebrities to be autographed to Myron, but very often they are mailed back with cute comments and encouraging words about him, even if he was a little overbearing and obnoxious. John Paul Young - iconic Aussie singer (world wide hit - "Love is in the air") wrote back in a letter that Myron reminded him of a teddy who had lost his buttons. He added he was a delight and well behaved, which from my point of view on this occasion he definitely was not! Myron has also met American based author Lee Child and legendary American car customizer Gene Winfield who encouraged Myron to 'keep watching the house' on his autographed photo.

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

Since Myron has reached celebrity status in Australia you could probably compare me to a pageant Mom! When we leave the house Myron has to look his best - bathed, brushed and primped to the max. Matching collar and leash and the expectation of perfect public performance. Myron would much rather me let him be a scruffy dog, though he doesn't mind a brush.

What is Myron's best quality?

He doesn't let life's unexpected disappointments get him down. If he wants to accomplish something he is always willing to find a way, even if it's unconventional. He can play fetch with a tennis ball or a Frisbee and he is self taught! He showed us what to do! He began dropping the ball at our feet and then ran away a few paces, spun around and barked for us to throw it at him. He has progressed to playing fetch much like a sighted dog now. If he loses track I yell out to him either HOT or COLD depending how far away he is from the ball and he finds it like that!

What is the most amusing thing Myron does? The most frustrating?

Myron does an impersonation of a frog on command. He used to like to lay stretched out flat on the cold tiles on a hot day. When I would see him like this I would call him a frog. Eventually when he heard the word frog he would automatically flatten out into the position. Now when someone asks him "where's the frog?" he slams himself down on the floor with his rear legs stretched out behind him flat on the ground.

The most frustrating thing about Myron is you can't turn him off! He always wants to play. He is obsessed with his tennis balls and is constantly at you to throw it, whether you are hanging the washing on the line, watching TV or even in the bathroom!! He doesn't have good day/night concept and is ready to play even while we are trying to sleep. He doesn't understand it's dark outside because he finds the ball just fine!

Visit Myron's blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue