Friday, September 17, 2010

Lisa Begin-Kruysman & Hooper

Who is in the photo at right? What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

That's Lisa Begin-Kruysman and Hooper.

On Sunday, September 19th, Hooper and I will stop for coffee on our way to Dog Fest at Windward Park Beach in our city of Brick Township, NJ. At the old “Corner Grocer” on Princeton Ave, I’ll have an unknown brand of coffee, strong, fresh, dark, one sugar (this ‘aint no Starbucks).

Are you and Hooper planning on including any treats with your coffee?

I might indulge in a hunk of crumb cake or Jersey fave, buttered roll. No coffee for Hyper Hooper, but she will lick the bottom of the bakery bag clean of every crumb.

How were you and Hooper united?

Hooper is an 8-year-old Portuguese water dog, bred by Carolyn Iraggi of North Star Portuguese Water Dogs, making Hoops a true Jersey Dog. After several visits to Carolyn’s house and a thorough screening, this diligent and protective breeder deemed my husband, Rich, and me worthy and responsible owners!

How did Hooper get her name?

Hooper was named by my husband after the Matt Hooper character in Jaws, one of his favorite movies. Of course there must now be a Quint and Broady, right? “Hooper drives the boat, Chief.” Kids like to call her Hooper the Pooper.

Cat, squirrel, postman?

Cat – Scared of most.

Squirrel- Likes to chase them just to see them scamper up trees, wouldn’t know what to do with one if she caught one.

Postman – We’ve been blessed with great mail carriers who give her treats and attention so she loves them.

Stick, Frisbee, or squeaky-toy?

Frisbee? Thinks it’s a shallow water bowl.

Squeaky Toy – loves to get new ones so she can rip out the squeak box.

Sticks – Likes to eat them or play games with them like stick soccer and who has the most sticks in the yard.

Who is Hooper's best pet-pal?

Unfortunately, Hooper is not a real dog lover, but she has one doggy bff, Cody, who kind of feels the same way about dogs so they both know how chill out together.

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

I think Hooper regrets that there are no children in our household, but she loves when kids visit…. I tell her that if she lives a good life, in the next one she can ask to come back as the 20-somethingth child of the Duggar family.

What is your dog's best quality?

Hooper is loyal, affectionate and good to all humans.

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

Embarrassing? Well, there was that Thanksgiving when she snuck into the kitchen of my sister and brother-in-law’s elegant house and took the entire turkey carcass off the counter and dragged the greasy thing all over their hardwood floors; the stain remains three years later. Then there was the Amelia Island Closet Incident. It’s a long story, but due to a confluence of misinformation, false sightings, panic, and a dog that hid silently in the back of a large walk in closet in our rental house for 18 hours…. We believed Hooper to be lost and let’s just say the entire community, of Amelia, and many in my hometown, were helping to bring her home, complete with a posting on Craig’s List and flyers… Story has a happy ending complete with a spiritual and metaphysical aspect that convinced me that help comes from the most unexpected people and places.

How will you and Hooper celebrate National Dog Week?

This year, for the very first time, our city of Brick Township will be hosting a Dog Fest, welcoming all kinds of dogs and their humans to a big waterfront park. Its an extra-special occasion because it is the first day of the 82nd observation of Will Judy’s National Dog Week. Back in 1928, Captain Judy started Dog Week as a way to thank our military dogs and show appreciation for all dogs in the nation for being man’s true best friend.

At Dog Fest, we will visit the booths of different vendors, watch demonstrations by our local K-9 Police Dog Unit, and therapy dogs, and visit NJ’s very own Dog Whisperer, Janice Wolfe, who rescues and rehabilitates dogs so they can be trained to be assistance dogs for children with special needs. Our Mayor will also be declaring Brick Township a National Dog Week City using the Proclamation written by the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, often referred to as “The Grandfather of American Dog Obedience.” Captain Haggerty was a great supporter of NDW and wanted people to continue to honor it during the last week of September each year.

My book Every Dog has its Week: How Seven Days in September came to celebrate Dogs and the People who Love them (represented by the Parkeast Literary Agency) chronicles the life of the National Dog Week Movement. The book’s Foreword is written by Babette Haggerty, daughter of Captain Haggerty, and an accomplished dog trainer in her own right in NYC. You can learn more about the book, and the Movement on my blog.

What kind of seven day salute will you and your readers give our dogs during National Dog Week?

Visit Lisa Begin-Kruysman's National Dog Week Movement blog.

--Marshal Zeringue