Monday, August 30, 2010

Adele Griffin & Edith

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Adele Griffin, a Young Adult writer living in Brooklyn with one husband, one daughter, and one crimefighting superdog, Edith, a seven-year-old shih-tzu.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Edith and I always take a very long walk in the morning. We are not morning people, and so the coffee that I grab at Tazza on Henry St. takes about as long to drink as it takes Edith to re-sniff out all the places she sniffed yesterday. We wake up together.

What's brewing?

Always the house roast with a little milk, unless it's the dead of summer, when I go with an iced.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Edith gets a lo-fat pupperoni, while I prefer a lemon poppyseed muffin.

Any treat for Edith on this occasion?

She is too crazy for cream cheese for me not to let her sample a little bit when I get it on a bagel. But she stays basically in the land of dog cuisine.

How were you and Edith united?

My husband got her for me for Christmas 2003.

How did Edith get her name? Any aliases?

I named her after my great-grandmother, who was also considered a beauty in her day. We call her Edie, Beedle, Bee, the Bee, the Great Beadle, Squeedly, Beedlix, Chach, Rach, and of course Chacharacha.

Does Edith have any influence on your writing?

She influences the mood of every space she is in because she brings us so much calm.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Squirrel. She used to semi-terrify the squirrels of the Upper East Side/Central Park, where we used to live, but a Brooklyn squirrel is a very different beast. So now Edith is a bit more squirrel-wary.

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

Coyote hand-puppet is her only worthy adversary.

Where is Edith's favorite place for an outing?

The beach all day long.

Who is Edith's best pet-pal?

A French bulldog named Elle. We are all a little bit in love with Elle.

What is Edith's best quality?

She can do the NY Times crossword in pen, no mistakes. And she is amazing with kids.

What is Edith's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

She really lorded it over us for a long time after Sean Connery stopped her on the street and patted her and told her that she was beautiful. But I was sort of mortified for Edith the day she hid from the sound of me frying an egg. It had some pop to it, but under the couch? Really? I felt like she was way overreacting.

Adele Griffin’s critically acclaimed novels include
The Other Shepards, Amandine and National Book Award Finalist Sons of Liberty. Her numerous awards and accolades include ALA Best Book for Young Adults,ALA Notable, CCBC Choice, IRA-CBC Children's Choice and Bank Street Book of the Year.

Griffin's latest book is
The Julian Game, a "riveting novel [which] explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge."

Adele Griffin’s website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 27, 2010

Matt Hewitt & Zilla

Who is in the photo at right?

That would be me, Matt Hewitt. I’m associate editor of Michigan Oil & Gas News, a trade publication based in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Zilla is a two and a half year old female Pomeranian. The photo was taken by my friend Danni Holt.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Drinking coffee while staying up at the Grandparent's cabin on Grape Island in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

What's brewing?

Flavored Biggby Coffee grounds, Michigan Cherry. Brewed by my fiancée Kate's grandma.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Bacon and Orzo Fruit Salad. Breakfast of champions!

Any treat for Zilla on this occasion?

Not today, but she claims all bacon crumbs that don't make it into my mouth.

How were you and Zilla united?

My fiancée and I bought her from a breeder. I was hesitant about getting a dog at first. I didn’t think I would enjoy the responsibility, especially when I was starting up my first career job. Zilla instantly grew on me and instantly weaseled her way into my heart.

How did Zilla get her name? Any aliases?

My fiancée and I were browsing the internet and noticed some photos of a Pomeranian shaved and dyed to look like the Mozilla Firefox internet browser logo. We named her Mozilla Firefox in spirit of the photos, because she looks like a little fox. We call her Zilla for short, but also call her Zilla-monster, a play off of Gila monster. Sometimes we call her Snorelax after the Pokemon, because whenever she snuggles with me I tend to fall asleep. Plus I love the irony of her being so small and Snorelax being huge.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Zilla will bark at all three. She doesn’t discriminate based on size.

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

Squeaky-toy. She prefers something small and floppy, that way she can easily grip it with her little mouth.

Where is Zilla's favorite place for an outing?

She loves running around and chasing squirrels on Grape Island. We only get to make that trip once a year though. We often take her to my fiancée’s parents farm so that she can get exercise and play with the other animals.

Who is Zilla's best pet-pal?

We just recently got a cat, which we named Lando Calrissian after the character in Star Wars. They get along for the most part. Zilla chases Lando all the time and Lando loves his exercise. It’s a nice little game they play. She also likes to play with our next door neighbor's dog Hendrix. We think of them as boyfriend and girlfriend.

What is Zilla's best quality?

She is an awesome snuggler. Whether it be napping on the couch, or in the bed at night. She loves to burrow under the blankets and lay right against the backs of my knees.

What is Zilla's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Zilla’s proudest moment would have to be when she first learned to play catch. I tried to teach her to fetch a toy when I said “Do my bidding!” and after a couple of weeks she caught on. Her most embarrassing moment would probably be whenever she is naughty and grabs something off our coffee table. She always runs underneath our papazan chair in shame once she gets caught.

Visit Matt Hewitt's blog and personal website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maggie Horton & Ally

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Maggie Horton, I am an office manager for S & M Air Tool Service. We work on air tools for trucking companies and railcars. I also do graphic design work for Signs of Sophie. There we do all sorts of vinyl work. We do signs, banners, wall graphics, personalized market totes and many other personalized items.

Ally is a tiny toy poodle and she just turned 2 years old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Just spending the morning together after a busy week at the office. (She goes to work with me every day so she knows how busy we’ve been!) We love to spend Saturday mornings catching up on blogs, TV, and laundry.

What's brewing?

Well, since its 100+ degrees here in the deep south we’re skipping on coffee this morning and we’re have smoothies. I love a good strawberry banana smoothie made with fresh strawberries and bananas.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

No, not for me.

Any treat for your dog on this occasion?

Ally loves the Three Dog Bakery treats, so she’s having a “chocolate chip cookie."

How were you and Ally united?

Growing up my family had a teacup poodle that we loved dearly. He was attacked by another dog and died while I was in middle school. Ever since then I have wanted another one but it was never the right time. After my husband and I got married he went to the night shift at work and I was so lonely. I knew it was the perfect time to get my poodle puppy. I found a local breeder in the paper and went to see the one pup she had left. It was love at first sight. She was the runt in the litter and the last one to be adopted. She couldn’t have been more perfect for us.

How did Ally get her name? Any aliases?

I graduated from The University of Alabama and follow Bama football religiously. I knew I wanted her name to be something to do with the school but I didn’t want it to be to oblivious. Lots of the pets in these parts are named Bama, Bear, and Saban. I wanted something more subtle. I decided on Ally Bama for her name before I even found her. We call her Ally most of the time. I also call her Ally Bug, Bug, Buggy and Ally B.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Ally is a lover. She rarely even notices cats or squirrels. She will announce the postman or UPS mans arrival by howling like a wolf. But as soon as he reaches the door she’s trying to get his attention so he’ll love on her.

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

Squeaky-toy for sure. She loves to hear them squeak. It is amazing how quickly she can find the squeaker and make it work! She loves tennis balls but her mouth is to small to pick them up so she gets frustrated with them.

Where is Ally's favorite place for an outing?

She loves the lake. She also loves to go to her grandparents houses. She loves “daycare” (that’s what we call the office because everyone brings their dogs!) but I wouldn’t really consider that an outing since she goes every day. She also loves to go to Tuscaloosa during football season to tailgate [photo right].

Who is Ally's best pet-pal?

Well, she loves her big brother and sister Sam and Gracie. (They are both 100lb labs that stay outside and in the basement.) Ally goes down every night with me to let them in and feed them. Her best pooch friends are probably at daycare, Molly, Isabella, Sophie, Lucy and Chloe. They play all day everyday. She also has a “cousin” Bella that stays with us sometimes. They have a ball when they’re together. Then there’s Champ her other cousin that she has a love/ hate relationship with. They play together but also get very jealous and compete with each other for Granddaddy and Nana’s attention. She is a very social dog!

What is your dog's best quality?

I think Ally’s best quality is that she is the gentlest dog and is very easy going. I have several nieces and nephews and she will let them pick her up and pull her ears and she just whimpers if they hurt her. She is so good with them. She’s never been aggressive toward them. We can take her anywhere. She is so laid back and just goes with the flow.

What is Ally's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Her proudest moment was probably when she was voted “People’s Choice” at the Gardendale Magnolia Festival Pooch Parade. She was loved by everyone she met. The kids love her because she is so small and they can just pick her right up and love on her.

Her most embarrassing was probably when I made her dress up for Halloween as a bumble bee [photo left]. She doesn’t mind wearing clothes but she’s not too fond of costumes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jenny Nelson & Clarabelle

Who is in the photo at right?

That’s me, Jenny Nelson, and my not-quite-two-year-old Australian cattle dog mix, Clarabelle. I’m a writer whose first novel, Georgia’s Kitchen, about a chef in New York who travels to Tuscany to open a trattoria and, incidentally, has a lab retriever mix named Sally, came out earlier this month.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No special occasion, just a lovely morning for coffee on the back porch. The kids are playing with my husband and Clarabelle’s doggy pals haven’t yet arrived at my husband’s office, so it’s just me, the pooch and the butterflies flitting around the garden.

What's brewing?

An even keel: half caf, half decaf, milk, sugar. I prefer Starbucks Italian roast bold and Espresso decaf, but since I ran out of the Italian I’m using Dean & Deluca’s French Roast.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

My breakfast – a couple pieces of toast with raspberry jam.

Any treat for your dog on this occasion?

Clarabelle generally doesn’t have much of an appetite until evening. Her food sits out for her all day and then at around seven, when we’re having dinner, she digs in. However, if I were to offer her a slab of salmon, she’d be eternally grateful.

How were you and your dog united?

Clarabelle was a rescue dog from Georgia who came to us by way of Perfect Pets Rescue in Red Hook, NY. Apparently there are a lot of kill shelters in Georgia and Perfect Pets travels there and scoops up as many as they think they can find homes for. They’re a great organization. Anyone looking for a dog in the Dutchess County, NY area should check them out!

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

My daughters Flora and Ava, then five, named her. There’s a kid’s book with a cow named Clarabelle, and I’m pretty sure she’s her namesake (sort of appropriate, since she’s part cattle dog). I think it’s a terrific name. We call her Clarrie, Clarabellie and Nutty.

Does your dog have any influence on your writing?

Taking Clarabelle for a walk is a great way to work through plot problems. Whenever I need to clear my head, I’ve got a partner who’s always ready for a bit of fresh air. Sometimes, I talk to her as we walk (we live in the country, so no one sees us!), though I’m pretty sure she ignores me.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Squirrel, absolutely. She is a gentle dog who turns into a rabid killer around squirrels. It’s a bit unsettling (for her humans and also for her belly).

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

She loves a good tug of war, but is also a fan of fetching tennis balls. Dropping them, however, is not her strong suit.

Where is your dog's favorite place for an outing?

Her yard. Fortunately, the property where we live is entirely fenced and she roams it all day long.

Who is Clarabelle's best pet-pal?

Roscoe, a black lab with a giant head and a heart of gold.

What is Clarabelle's best quality?

She is incredibly smart. And she gives great hugs (seriously).

What is Clarabelle's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Catching a Frisbee, which she’s since forgotten how to do. Not sure about her most embarrassing moment -- she’s pretty cool.

an excerpt from Georgia’s Kitchen, and learn more about the book and author at Jenny Nelson's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chelsey Andrews & Angus

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Chelsey Andrews. I'm a mostly stay at home mama to an 8 month old, Laureli... but, I also have a couple of Etsy shops where I sell paper crowns, cards and photo prints (The Paper Lady Shop and The Paper Mama Shop). I run a couple of blogs during my baby's nap time: The Paper Mama and The Paper Lady. My little furry son, Angus, is a long haired Chihuahua and is almost 4-years-old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Mike, Laureli, Angus, and I were taking a little walk to the dog park. On our way back we decided to stop and enjoy some tea and doughnuts!

What's brewing?

Well, I'm not really a coffee drinker, but I do love caffeine! Iced Tazo Zen tea is what we had today. Yum!!!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Oh yes. A yummy little pink doughnut and a glazed chocolate doughnut.

Any treat for Angus on this occasion?

No, just a drink of water. He's so little that any treat is like a whole meal for him!

How were you and Angus united?

While my hubby went to school in Spokane, WA I met a breeder that lived in Idaho. We met all her little Chihuahua's and Angus was dancing at our feet while all the other dogs ran around the yard. I went home and couldn't stop thinking about how sweet he was. We called her a couple days later and told we had to get him. The best decision.

How did Angus get his name?

Does he have any aliases? Mike just picked it out. It just stuck! Angus does go by many other names. I'll just list a few: Boo-gee, Shmooga, Booga, Manga, Bonga, Ang-ee, Maingus, and well... just any sort of sound with a "g" in it.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Angus does not even care. We always try and get him excited to see squirrels and cats... nothing. He just looks and keeps walking.

Frisbee, squeaky-toy, stick...?

My sister (she lives in New Zealand) sent him a little stuffed Kiwi bird. It makes Kiwi sounds when you squeeze it. He loves it!

Where is Angus's favorite place for an outing?

Anywhere out of the house. All we need to say is, "Angus, are you ready to go?" and he get's all excited. He's excited wherever we take him.

Who are Angus' best pet-pals?

My mom's dogs: Pepper and Farley. Angus does not really like our cats. They like to swat at him! My baby thinks Angus is the funniest thing on the planet. Angus does not really like her though. He tries to stay just out of reach of her.

If Angus could change one thing about your cats, what would it be?

Their size. Princess is about 10 pounds and Pistachio is about 20 pounds. If they weighed less then 6 pounds I think he would love it!

What is Angus's best quality?

He is so sweet. Yes, he can be a poop and has many accidents in the house (grrr) but, he is one of the sweetest dogs ever. He LOVES people. He loves to cuddle and be pet.

What is Angus' proudest moment? His most embarrassing?

His proudest moment: When he jumped up on the sofa all by himself. His most embarrassing: When he went to drink out of a man-made lake and fell right in! Luckily he had his halter and leash on. I just pulled him up like I caught a fish!

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Carol A. Guy & Maddie

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Maddie, a three-year-old mixed breed female, and me, Carol A. Guy, author most recently of House of Secrets, book four in the Spirit Lake Series.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have my coffee while I check my e-mails. Maddie prefers a little bowl of milk.

What's brewing?

Just plain coffee with some sweetener and a flavored cream. I especially like hazelnut. Maddie takes her milk straight.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Toast and jelly or a bagel with cream cheese.

Any treat for Maddie on this occasion?

Of course, Maddie has her favorite snack, cheese flavored Goldfish Crackers or a hot dog!

How were you and Maddie united?

Maddie was found by my granddaughter, Andrea, wandering around an apartment complex. No owner came forward, so she became a member of our family. She’s especially devoted to my six-year-old grandson, Paul.

Does Maddie have any influence on your writing?

In many ways. I’ve learned a lot about canine behavior from her. My fictional canine, Mingo, who is a main character in my Spirit Lake book series is a male and Maddie is female, but they share many traits--loyalty being the main one.

How did Maddie get her name? Does she have any aliases?

Maddie’s full name is Madison, a name given to her by my granddaughter.

Where is Maddie’s favorite outdoor destination?

Maddie’s favorite outdoor destination is the back fence where she can socialize with the two Jack Russell terriers who live behind us and the side fence where she can socialize with the Great Dane who lives beside us.

Who is Maddie’s best pet-pal?

Maddie tries not to play favorites. She prefers to keep them all on the string.

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

I’m sure she’d want me to give her my entire helping of bacon when we have bacon and eggs for breakfast. But I only allow myself one piece and she usually gets one! We both need to watch our figures, you know.

What is Maddie’s best quality?

Her loyalty. She’s very protective of us and she’d very good with children.

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

We have cats. Maddie likes to “herd” them, like a sheepdog would do. The cats aren’t amused, but we love watching her perform this little ritual and I don’t think it hurts a thing to put cats in their place once in a while.

However, on the flip side, she does tend to bark more than I’d like. She’s got terrier in her, so she can be a little high strung at times.

All in all having Maddie in our home has enriched our lives and we consider her a member of the family.

Visit the official Carol A. Guy website and read an excerpt from House of Secrets.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bea Smith & Findley

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Bea Smith and I'm a school librarian. My dog, Findley, is a 15-year-old male Shih-tzu. We've been together for 13 of those years.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

One Saturday morning a month, Findley and I go for a little ride to Starbucks. Findley likes riding in the car and he loves the coffee smells when we reach the drive through window. Since I had him for so long when I got his little buddy, Brendan, who does NOT like to ride in the car, it's a nice way for some one-on-one time with just the two of us.

What's brewing?

I usually get a vanilla chai latte, full size,using regular milk.When I splurge, I splurge. At home, I drink Central Market's Bavarian hazelnut coffee with milk and sugar. Findley prefers water, as caffeine keeps him up at night.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Not usually. Sometimes on our monthly trek to Starbucks, I'll get some coffee cake.

Any treat for Findley on this occasion?

For a while the Starbucks baristas would give Findley a dog treat, which he very much enjoyed. Now, I just keep one in the car for him so he doesn't feel left out.

How were you and Findley united?

It was Thanksgiving night, and I was on my way home from visiting my parents. I was on a rural highway just a few miles from town, when I saw this cute, cute, little dog running down the highway on the other side, and I just knew he would get hit. (I'd seen him a month before at a nearby convenience store as my mother and I drove past, and she said he'd been there for a few weeks. I was very worried about him then, but we didn't stop.)

That night, I thought, "I just have to help that little dog." I turned around at the next crossover. I was going very slow, but it was dark and my headlights picked up the little guy sitting in the middle of my lane just as I was about to hit him. I swerved, went into a shallow ditch, and took inventory. When I realized I wasn't dead, I got out of my car. All the warnings about stray dogs, wounded dogs, etc. went through my head as I said tentatively, "Little dog? Are you out here?" I was afraid to even look at the road, but to my astonishment, he walked up and sat at my feet, looking shaken and very puzzled. I swear, my car must have gone right over him! I put him in my car and took him to my parents' house. My mother answered the door and immediately looked very wary. I said, "I'm not going to keep him; I just need to see if he's okay and find a rescue organization."

My mother said later that as I drove away, my dad wandered in to see what the commotion had been. She brought him up to speed and ended by saying, "Bea says she's going to find him a home." My father laughed and said, "She already has!"

I named him Findley on the 45 minute ride home, and I've never been sorry I stopped.

How did Findley get his name? Any aliases?

Findley's name just popped into my head. I guess that's just who he is! I also call him Fin or The Sheriff, because he likes to patrol the perimeter of the house periodically to make sure no bad guys are outside. He walks the same route, from window to window, about the same exact times each day.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Findley hates opossums and raccoons! We have a lot of trees in the backyard, and there is a creek nearby, so we get a lot of wildlife even though we are in town. Sometimes late at night, an opossum or a raccoon will peer into the back door window, and Findley just goes ballistic. I think they like watching his reaction, knowing he can't get to them! Can raccoons giggle? I swear one night I thought one of them waved...

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

Findley has a rope toy that he loves. He makes these cute little grrrr noises when he is playing. He also likes wrestling with Brendan. Since Findley is older now, he spends a lot of quality time in his doggy bed, pondering life's mysteries and snoring softly.

Where is Findley's favorite place for an outing?

He loves going to the post office or to Starbucks. My parents live nearby, and we go visit frequently. They fuss over him, and Fin gets to play with their dog, Webster [photo above left]. My dad always has copious dog treat at the ready and my mother loves to pet him.

Who is Findley's best pet-pal?

Brendan [photo right], my three year old Chihuahua mix, both frustrates and amuses him. I think Findley likes the companionship. He likes to curl up with my cat, Kiki, and take naps. Sometimes the three of them pile on top of each other and snooze.

What is Findley's best quality?

Findley is just the sweetest dog I've ever met. He's smart and loyal, but when I look into his eyes, I can see he's just such a kind little soul. He has the most expressive face I've ever seen on a dog.

What is Findley's proudest moment? His most embarrassing?

It had rained a lot recently a couple of years ago, and my front yard showed it. When I stepped into a new gully in my yard and severely broke my wrist, I almost blacked out from the pain. Findley sat next to me and waited patiently, not barking, wandering, or pulling, until I could get up and wobble inside the house, with him following patiently behind.

Our most embarrassing moment, I think, is when my mother, writer Caroline Clemmons, talked me into taking Findley to have his picture with Santa the first year I had him. Poor Findley seemed to think I was giving him to Santa, and he was terrified! The crowds, the other dogs, and the Big Guy with a Beard just almost finished him off. The picture was pitiful, with Santa holding on to a slippery dog and Fin's expression of terror. I felt so bad!

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 13, 2010

Elayne Fletcher & Strummer, Lola, and Cody

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Elayne Fletcher, with my dogs (l to r) Strummer-a 5-year-old black and white Border Collie, Lola-a 9-year-old red and white Border Collie mix and Cody-a 12-year-old brindle and white Border Collie mix. I'm a self-employed structural engineer in Boulder, Colorado.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We're stopping on our way to a hike in the mountains and celebrating Cody's 12th birthday.

What's brewing?

Whatever's on tap at the North Boulder Amante coffee shop. I'm having a medium mocha to wake me up and give me energy for our hike.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I'm training for a triathlon so no treats today but after my race I'll be sure to stop by for one of their fabulous chocolate croissants for a post race treat.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Doggie Biscuit-otti, of course.

How were you and your dogs united?

We adopted Cody from the Boulder Humane Society. Then I wanted a second dog and my husband not so much so I hornswaggled him a little by telling him I wanted to stop at the Humane Society's retail store for a special toy for Cody that I'd seen there. Well, the special 'toy' we came home with was 8 week old Lola. Strummer came to me from the local Boulder Collie Rescue. The woman who ran the rescue worked in my office building and brought her foster dog into her shop. I avoided her for about 3 years then my evil co-workers told me she had the sweetest dog down in her shop. I resisted for a bit then I had to go down and check her out. She was a very sweet dog but did not get along with Lola so we didn’t adopt her. Then the rescue lady called me a few days later and said she had a boy with a personality that would likely get along with Lola and she was right. All 3 dogs get along really well.

How did your dogs get their names?

Cody had his name already when we adopted him and we thought it suited him so we kept it. As for Lola [left], I took one look at that sassy little red-headed puppy and Lola popped right into my head. Not sure where it came from. Strummer is named after Joe Strummer, singer from the punk rock band The Clash.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Not on their watch.

Frisbee, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Yes please. 24 hours a day if possible. Strummer’s favorite toy at the moment is a big plastic purple watering can. I can’t get him to put it down. But basically the dogs will play with just about anything, even cottage cheese containers.

Where are your dogs' favorite places for outings?

All three dogs love the Boulder Reservoir. They can swim and chase after their toys in the nice soft sand and run around like the loons that they are. They also love to go hiking and running with me in the mountains. They also love to go to the agility field to practice and to agility trials.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Cody and Lola are loners as far as other dogs go. They’d much rather play with me. Strummer has a few doggie pals, an Australian Cattle Dog named Maggie that belongs to a friend and various dogs that he knows from agility.

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

They’d like me to play with them all day long rather than wasting my time at my desk doing work.

What's each dog's best quality?

Cody [left] is loyal to a fault. If I’m sick he won’t leave my side. I was stuck at home after foot surgery and he would refuse to leave with the daily dog walker, we had to trick him into thinking I was going with in order to get him out the door.

Lola is a sassy, happy girl. She has a lot of joy and enthusiasm for everything she does and she makes me smile.

Strummer has a big personality. He’s a walking comedy routine and always makes me laugh.

What's each dog's proudest moment? The most embarrassing?

Cody’s [photo, right] proudest moment is probably taking fourth place in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix at USDAA Nationals. Though he loved doing agility at the practice field he had a lot of stress issues when he starting competing and it took a lot of work for him to overcome his fears. Fourth place might not sound like much but being able to put in a nice clean run in the huge arena with the crowds and pressure of a large National event on a very hot day was huge for him.

Similarly Lola [photo, bottom left] placed second in the Grand Prix Finals at a USDAA Regionals and it was a high pressure event with a big crowd. She also had to overcome some fear issues to be able to do that.

Strummer‘s proudest moment is a little harder. I’d say maybe the time he provided solace to a homeless man in my neighborhood. Strum loves people despite being seized in an abuse case and when the homeless man saw him Strum wagged his tail at him and the man asked if he could pet him. I said of course and the man told me his son was just killed in Iraq and Strummer reminded him of the dog they had when his son was a kid. He threw his arms around Strummer and started crying and Strum just snuggled in and wagged his tail some more.

Elayne Fletcher's dogs have their own blog that follows their agility training and other adventures.

There is also video of their agility competitions
here and here.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Linda Morrow & Eddy

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Linda Morrow and I'm a wedding, special event, maternity and newborn photographer in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. My company is Linda Morrow Photography.

My dog, Eddy, is a 14-year-old Shih-Tzu.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I live in Wyndmoor, PA which is right outside a really cute part of Philadelphia called Chestnut Hill. My husband, Eddy and I went for a little stroll on Sunday morning to enjoy the day.

What's brewing?

I'm all about Mighty Leaf Vanilla Bean Tea and my husband loves Colombian coffee. Eddy is a water only kind of gal.

How were you and Eddy united?

I brought Eddy home when she was just 8 weeks old. She was 4 lbs. and could fit in the palm of my hand. She's still so small that sometimes people think she's a puppy ... a really cranky puppy.

Any treat for Eddy on this occasion?

Eddy always gets a treat when we get home from walks ... she's very partial to Beggin' Strips and gets Greenies on special occasions!

You've got some great photos of dogs and brides on your website and blog: which are more difficult to photograph?

Definitely dogs are more difficult. Brides don't run at you once you put them into position. Photographing my dog is especially challenging since she loves turning away from the camera on purpose. She's an evil genius you see!

I really love including pets in portrait sessions though. I've done several recent maternity sessions that have included the family dog. I love it when people see their pets as a member of their family. They bring so much to our lives every day.

How did Eddy get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

Eddy is named after a character on a BBC show called Absolutely Fabulous. Her full name is Edina. As for nicknames, when Eddy was a puppy, a couple came over to order their wedding photos. They had a little girl who was fascinated with Eddy. She was just learning to walk but chased Eddy around the dining room table saying "Dog Dog" "Dog Dog." It kind of stuck. We still call her that today. My husband also calls her "Little Miss" (with a bit of a southern accent...and he's not southern). It's wildly cute.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

She used to really make an effort chasing after birds or squirrels for at least 10 feet, but now that she's older she'll actually stay on her bed in my office and bark when someone comes in the door. It's kind of the Lazy Dog's Guide to Security!

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

Her favorite toy is a Garfield that says "Play Nice" on the front (she enjoys the irony).

Where is Eddy's favorite place for an outing?

Eddy loves to walk in our neighborhood. About a 1/2 hour before my husband gets home from work, she'll suddenly wake up and start pacing around the house. She waits anxiously for him so we can go on "the walk" when he gets home.

Who is Eddy's best pet-pal?

I'm not sure Eddy even realizes she's not human. She doesn't know what these other fuzzy creatures are, but her owner had better not pet one of them!

What is Eddy's most endearing quality?

Love, love, love. Eddy always happily greets me at the door and snuggles with me when I was sick. She's a great friend!

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

She'd probably wish I didn't notice when she was faking having to go out just to get a treat. Sometimes she'll just stand on the patio for a while and think she's pulling one over on me. Nice try!

What is Eddy's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

She's quite the party animal. Here's a photo [at left] from Eddy at my bachelorette party.

I'd tell you stories but I'm sworn to secrecy!

the official Linda Morrow Photography website and see Morrow's photo-post "Having a baby? Worried about your pet’s feelings?" at her blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 9, 2010

Laurie Mascia & Sadie

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Laurie Mascia. Currently, I work as a proofreader/editor, but I also consider myself a writer. I have a blog, but I also write poetry and one day hope to pen a novel (what writer doesn't have this dream?!). For now, I'm content with my day job and spending time with Sadie, my 4 (almost 5) year old Corgi mix (although I don't know what she is mixed with!). She is the love of my life, and the sweetest little furkid!

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I spend most weekends with Sadie, since I work during the week. This day in particular, we were enjoying the sun on my Aunt's deck.

What's brewing?

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee with cream and sugar (my favorite).

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Just coffee for me.

Any treat for Sadie on this occasion?

Because it's so hot out, I brought some Frosty Paws for Sadie. She furiously enjoyed one as we sat in the sun.

How were you and Sadie united?

I found Sadie when I was living in Boston, MA, through She was located in a shelter in Tennessee. I saw her smiling face, and fell in love! A few days after I applied to adopt her, I spoke with her foster mom, who didn't understand why anyone would abandon such a sweet, loving dog. I eagerly agreed to adopt her, and a few days after that, they drove her up from Tennessee right to me! She was nervous after the long trip, but once they handed her over to me, she calmed down and licked my face. We have been together ever since.

How did Sadie get her name? Does she have any aliases?

When I adopted her, they were calling her Cory. But she just didn't look like a Cory to me. She didn't even answer to Cory when I called her! So, I thought of a few other names, and Sadie just stuck. I think it suits her though. She has several nicknames but Sader Taters and Sadie Kins are used most frequently.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Well, we currently live with two cats, and she tolerates them for the most part. Squirrels are certainly her prey of choice! I tend to think she has some kind of Terrier in her, because she goes into stealth/ninja mode when she sees a squirrel, and slowly inches forward in an attempt to capture it! (To this day, I haven't let her catch one though.)

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

Squeaky tennis ball! Sadie used to be afraid of any toy that squeaked, but now she squeaks them incessantly, especially when I am on the phone (i.e., ignoring her).

Where is Sadie's favorite place for an outing?

Sadie loves going in the car, so she'll go pretty much anywhere. She really has fun at the dog park (which has a lake) or the dog beach though. Even with those short little Corgi legs, she's a great swimmer!

Who are Sadie's best pet-pals?

As mentioned, we live with two cats. I'm not sure I'd call them her pet-pals, but she sees them more than any other animals! Then there are a few dogs in the neighborhood she likes to play with. Her dog park friends are Cowboy (Greyhound), Bandit (Jack Russell Terrier), and Maggie (Westie mix). But clearly I am her best pal.

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

She'd want me to be home with her 24/7. I wish I could work from home!

What is Sadie's best quality?

No matter how badly I am feeling, Sadie can put a smile on my face in a second. It's the best feeling in the world knowing she loves me unconditionally.

What is her proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

I think her proudest moment was "finding her voice." For the first nine months she was in my life, she didn't make a noise. She didn't bark or growl or anything. I feel like she was almost scared to do so. She was on her best behavior, because she didn't know what might make me abandon her like her last family did. That might sound crazy, but I really believe that's what she was doing. After awhile, she knew she was in her forever home, with her forever Momma, and that's when she finally started talking! And boy does she talk now. She always tells me when I am ignoring her, or if she can't get onto my lap because my legs are crossed. It makes me smile to see her true personality!

Her most embarrassing moment would have to be last Halloween, most likely. She was a banana. And we were in a dog Halloween parade. She didn't seem to mind the costume after a little while though (as long as I kept the head piece off)! She's not a stranger to costumes and dog clothing. (But don't worry, I rarely make her wear them!)

Visit the Sadie the Rescued Corgi blog and become a Facebook fan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meghan Hemenway & Watson

Who is in the photo at right?

That’s me and Watson. I’m Meghan Hemenway, a municipal financial consultant by day and blogger by night. Oh, and a very soon-to-be mom. Watson’s new playmate is due August 20th. Watson is a three-year-old, male Labradoodle.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have been refraining from coffee intake while pregnant which for me has meant dealing with a weekly craving for a big, chocolaty iced coffee ever since the heat of summer set in. Watson and I took the opportunity to head over to Einstein Brothers for a little Sunday afternoon snack.

What's brewing?

A massive – decaf – iced mocha from Einstein Brothers which hit the spot on a hot day.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Absolutely. To go along with my coffee craving I am having a bagel sandwich.

Any treat for Watson on this occasion?

Watson is treating himself to a dog bagel.

How were you and Watson united?

My husband and I found Watson from a newspaper ad. More than being a “designer dog” he is the consequence of a 70-pound yellow Labrador and her apricot-colored Standard Poodle neighbor. Watson is like the result of one of those old “What if they mated?” segments from Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The answer to that question is a 79-pound Labrador with the spindly legs of a Standard Poodle and the hairdo of a Muppet. When we went to see the litter, Watson, then Buddy, followed us all around, sitting on my husband’s feet, and staring lovingly up at us. We were hooked.

How did Watson get his name? Any aliases?

Watson is named for Kansas City’s own, PGA and Champions Tour golfer Tom Watson. My husband is a bit of a golf fan. Watson also responds to Wats or Watsie.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Yes. He lays by the front door and guards our home from all three, and rabbits. He hates – or loves – rabbits the most. But judging by the abundance of rabbits, squirrels, and neighborhood cats in our yard I would say that none of them is scared too badly by him.

Who is Watson's best pet-pal?

Watson knows no stranger, but his best friend is our neighbor’s Great Dane named Jell-O. Jell-O often comes over to our yard for play dates and the two wrestle, chase each other, play tug, and end each play event by collapsing on opposite sides of the yard.

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

Watson is a fan of playing games in general so will chase after anything you throw. He likes to keep the same tennis ball as long as he can and pull all the fuzz off of it. I once took his favorite ball to the dog park, not realizing his connection to it, and when another dog fetched it he followed forlornly along behind the dog until he dropped it. My husband is now working with Watson to become better at catching Frisbees in the air. His long poodle legs are good for towering over small dogs, not for gracefully jumping in the air.

What is Watson's best quality?

Watson has these black, button eyes which make him look even more like a Muppet. He will follow me around the house and gaze up at me with his sweet eyes watching for any clue of what is coming next.

Where is Watson's favorite place for an outing?

Watson’s favorite place is a dog park in our city with a lake. He loves swimming and retrieving things from the water. It is a great place for an outing during the hot summer days, but he will also accept any body of water as a substitute.

What's your favorite Watson story?

Our first year with Watson was filled with all kinds of hilarious mishaps. He was an exuberant puppy who got bigger and taller by the day. He was soon able to put his front paws up on every counter and snag anything he found, especially his favorites – bunches of bananas and loaves of bread. We watched him vigilantly throughout his puppy phase making sure we didn’t lose too many shoes or pieces of furniture to our active dog. One day we both were working outside in the front yard with him watching us from his spot at the front door. After a few minutes I had a bad feeling and looked up to see he wasn’t at the door. I ran inside to find him in the kitchen foaming at the mouth. He had found a tube of Bengay on a counter and punctured it while investigating it. Other than a lingering minty smell and a lot of confusion he was fine.

Visit Meghan Hemenway's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue