Friday, October 29, 2010

Eve Marie Mont & Maggie

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Eve Marie Mont, English teacher and author of Free to a Good Home, my debut novel inspired by my shelter pup, Maggie, a Jack Russell-Boxer mix now thirteen years old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Since I’m a high school teacher, I get up most days at 5:15. When I leave the house, my husband and pup are usually still in bed (I’m so jealous!), so the weekends are precious to me. I like to make a big pot of coffee that fills the house with heavenly aroma, curl up next to my husband and Maggie, and do a crossword puzzle or watch some recorded episodes of The Daily Show since I can’t stay up that late during the week.

What's brewing?

Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend with lots of cream and sugar!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

My favorite weekend breakfast is an Everything Bagel with cream cheese, sliced tomato, and scallion.

Any treat for Maggie on this occasion?

She knows if she pretends not to beg, she’ll always get the last bite.

How were you and Maggie united?

When I taught in southern Maryland, a teacher friend of mine ran a small humane shelter out of her home, so my husband and I set out one evening to find ourselves a new companion. We thought we wanted an older dog, one that was housetrained and a little more placid. But when we arrived at the house, I spotted a puppy sitting in a crate by the foyer stairs. We had told ourselves we didn’t want a puppy. Puppies were too much work, too much hassle. But as we played with the other adult dogs, that puppy in the crate kept staring at us, almost begging us to take her home.

“Miracle,” as she was known at the time, had been found on the edge of a farmer’s field covered in ticks. She’d been to the vet and had had all her shots, but she’d already been “adopted” three times and had been returned for various reasons. One family said their son was allergic to her. Another didn’t realize how much work a puppy would be. The last owner said that Maggie had hoarded things in her crate: old socks, stuffed animals, empty plastic water bottles. I didn’t see why this was a deal breaker, as I’d probably hoard things too if somebody had once left me for dead on the edge of a farmer’s field.

She was small and tan with a white belly and white paws that looked like little boots. She also had a white lightning-shaped patch on the back of her neck like Harry Potter. Her eyes looked like they’d been painted with eyeliner, and her face was sweetly expressive. In about five minutes, my husband and I were smitten. We signed the forms, paid the fee, and took her home with us that day.

How did Maggie get her name? Any aliases?

Most of the dogs in the shelter had been kept in a heated garage overnight, but Maggie, being as young as she was, was kept in the house with the cats. When she first came out of her crate, she moved like a cat, slow and dainty, occasionally licking her paws in a feline way. We named her Maggie after Maggie the Cat from Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. From time to time, we call her “Cutie,” “Muffin,” “Sausage,” “Honey,” “Kid,” and my husband’s favorite: “Shmoop.”

Does Maggie have any influence on your writing?

Maggie absolutely influenced the writing of Free to a Good Home. The main character, Noelle, is a veterinary technician who seeks consolation in the unconditional love of her dog, Zeke, when she finds herself childless and divorced at the age of 33. Maggie was the inspiration for Zeke, and she also kept me company through most of the writing process, including when I got all those initial rejections!

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Maggie is a total squirrel hunter. We have tons of squirrels in our yard, and when Maggie chases them, she forgets she’s thirteen and has achy joints.

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

Give Maggie a stick to chew on, and she’s happy for an hour.

Where is Maggie's favorite place for an outing?

Maggie’s favorite place is in our own backyard, lying by the creek.

Who is Maggie's best pet-pal?

Unfortunately, Maggie doesn’t get along with most other dogs, so my husband and I are her best pals. Maggie totally thinks I’m part of her pack, and my husband is the alpha dog.

What is Maggie's best quality?

It’s a tie between her spunk and her sweetness.

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

If Maggie could change one thing about me, I’d be a full-time writer so I could work from home and spend all day with her. (Incidentally, if I could change one thing about me, it would be the same.)

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

Maggie’s most embarrassing moment is when she got in a fight with another dog over a water bowl. Not her water bowl; just a water bowl. Her proudest moments are probably when she chases the squirrels from our bird feeder, then looks triumphantly at us like she’s done a great public service.

an excerpt from Free to a Good Home, and visit Eve Mont's website and blog.

Writers Read: Eve Marie Mont.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Katelyn Nesi & Bambi

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Katelyn Nesi. I am a professional photographer. Bambi is my Chihuahua and my best little 5-year-old gal pal. She hides from my camera, but I always manage somehow to capture her silly personality.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I don’t drink coffee, but as the weather cools I enjoy drinking hot chai tea.

What's brewing?

Organic Chai Tea with Coconut Milk.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

No goodies with the coffee, but Bambi will enjoy a snack after we play in the park.

How were you and Bambi united?

I came across Bambi on a shelter’s website. She had the most gigantic ears I’d ever seen and a precious little face. I just had to meet her! When I adopted her, I was warned she was fearful and had trust issues. She was presumable beaten and abused by a male. Now, five years later, she has a sweet loving demeanor. Although, she still enjoys her snarls at my husband Chris!

Any treat for Bambi on this occasion?

Bambi absolutely loves Dingo dental bones. So, since she hates the camera, I thought a dingo might get her excited!

What's the most difficult aspect of photographing a dog?

Dogs don’t really like big cameras in their face nor do they like the shutter sound. The second I take out my camera around Bambi, she hides or snarls. Most dogs though just have a lot of energy and you have to ready to run, play and laugh with them.

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

When I adopted Bambi my mom was with me. She said she looked like the little deer, Bambi. And then the name just stuck.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Bambi loves to chase squirrels. I’ve gotten some fun images of her standing tall at the bottom of a tree while a squirrel looks down at her. She enjoys running after cats as well, and doesn’t care for strangers. The UPS man is her favorite to bark at!

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

Bambi doesn’t play with many toys and when she does, it’s rare. Occasionally she likes to throw stuff animals around and attack them. She usually does this when she’s not getting enough attention, like when we have company. Then everyone looks, smiles and she notices you watching. Once she’s gotten your attention, she drops the toy and goes to lay down.

Where is Bambi's favorite place for an outing?

Bambi loves to go to grandma’s house! Anytime I pick-up her travel crate, she screams and dances with excitement. When we get to grandmas, she is thrilled! If we’re not traveling anywhere, she loves to just sit outside in the sun on the back patio.

Who is Bambi's best pet-pal?

Bambi doesn’t really like other pets, but she is best pals with me. She loves to cuddle up and sleep on my lap while I’m editing photos or watching TV. She’s my little heater in the winter.

What is Bambi's most endearing quality?

She easily stops being grumpy with a few commands, tickles and cuddles. She can switch from a sleepy mood to a loving, fun, peppy one in moments.

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

She would probably want me to be home more to cuddle with her. Sometimes I’m really busy. I’ll be out all day or I have a lot to get done, so I never sit down to cuddle or let her sleep on my lap. She gets upset by that and starts to ignore me. I feel bad when a whole week passes without evening TV cuddles!

What is Bambi's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Bambi’s proudest moment was probably when she began trusting me.

She was a terror for the first 8 months after adopting her, ready to attack all the time. I took her to a local trainer, where we went to classes for 8 weeks with other dogs like pit bulls and rottweilers. She was a pea next to these peaceful giants. She hated training and the trainers. She was used most often as the example of how to handle your pet when they are aggressive, too.

The first night of training, two of my fingers were chewed up and I had to get a tetanus shot the next day. I have a picture to show how I had to put her in a “down” and keep her there for 30 minutes, with my fingers all bandaged! I spent most of the first two weeks of training afraid of her.

Then, we magically started to change together. We began to trust each other and the fear subsided. Eight weeks later, she went on to pass the test for Canine Good Citizenship through the AKA. It was so amazing and I was so happy to have a better relationship with her finally.

Her most embarrassing moment has to be when she runs excitedly around the house before we head out the door with her in her travel crate. She will whip herself around, dance and squeal, but then she attempts to jump up high or over to the couch and lands smack on her face. She just gets right back up though and goes at it again!

Visit Kate Nesi's photography website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 25, 2010

Anne Gracie & Chloe

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Anne Gracie and I write historical romances (Regency era) for Berkley Books. My dog's name is Chloe. She's an 8 year old tri-colored Australian Kelpie with a little Blue Heeler in the mix. They're both working breeds — sheep and cattle herding — and she's fast, loyal and intelligent.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Writing my morning pages. I usually write them first thing in the morning, sitting in bed with the sun streaming in my window, a pillow behind my back, a fresh hot coffee at my elbow and the dog either wedged beside me or teetering on the end of the bed as she hurls abuse out the window at a dog who's had the cheek to pass the house. But otherwise she waits patiently, knowing we'll have a walk when I've finished.

What's brewing?

Home brewed Colombian fair trade coffee, strong double espresso with a little milk, no sugar. It kick starts my day.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Breakfast — usually a piece of toast with avocado or sliced tomato.

Any treat for Chloe on this occasion?

No, she's already had her morning bone. Doesn't stop her doing the imitation of the dog-who's-never-been-fed, though.

How were you and Chloe united?

It was several years since my beloved old Bessie-dog had died (aged 20) and for a long time I couldn't imagine any other dog taking her place. Then I dog-sat a friend's dog for a few weeks, and realized I didn't just have a Bessie-shaped hole in my life, there was also a dog-shaped one that needed to be filled. I planned to get a dog from the shelter in a few weeks, after a conference I needed to attend.

Then I made the mistake of walking past a pet shop and paused beside a snaggle of six puppies in a big cage. One woke up, saw me, and came straight over. I'm a bit superstitious about being picked by a dog, but I was going to a conference in two weeks, and in any case, I hadn't planned to buy a puppy from a shop, so I went home and tried to be sensible for a few hours... then went back, telling myself that if she picked me again, it was Meant to Be.

When I walked into the shop, there were a couple of kids playing with the puppies on the far side of the cage. No way any puppy would leave fun like that, I thought. But Chloe turned around, saw me and ran straight over, wagging her whole little body. So that was that. I'd been picked.

Does Chloe have any influence on your writing?

Definitely. I even have a page on my website called "If you want to be a writer get a dog."

I often include a dog in my books, but only if the story warrants it.

How did your dog get her name? Does she have any aliases?

I'd thought of calling her Mixi, but she just gave me a look and I realized she was a Chloe. My friends who looked after her that first time when I went to the conference called her LittleDog, and still do.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

We're in Australia, so no squirrels. Cats definitely. Postman fine. Birds on the ground in her back yard? Outraggggeous! Each time she leaves the house she bursts from the back door and explodes into the yard like a woofing, bucking bronco, sending birds flying in all directions. Gives me a laugh every time.

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

Squeaky toys at home, tennis-ball-sized rubber/foam ball at dog-park. Actual tennis balls? For peasants. Frisbee? What is the point of catching a plate with no food on it? Really!

Who is Chloe's best pet-pal?

Toby-dog, a golden Lab who lives with the people who call her LittleDog. Chloe is smaller than Toby, but she bosses him shamelessly. The ecstasy and wild excitement when they meet is hilarious.

What is Chloe's most endearing quality?

She has lots. I love the way she curls up in the car, in the passenger seat with her muzzle planted firmly on my thigh. It's also very cute the way she shamelessly makes up to strangers at dog-park, sitting on their feet so they can't move away, and gazing meltingly up at them, offering a disgusting, drool-ridden ball as a (temporary) gift.

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

That I would learn to fling balls and walk as I write. And then I could write/walk/fling for 18 hours a day.

What’s the most amusing thing Chloe does? The most frustrating?

The funniest thing she does happens whenever I'm about to do a load of washing. The moment I open the lid of the washing machine or pick up the washing basket she flees the house and lurks in the farthest reaches of the back yard, watching suspiciously. Because naturally I'm going to shove her in the washing machine, aren't I?

The most frustrating?

There's not really anything, she's amazingly easy to live with, but if I had to pick something, it's her ongoing war with the monster in the hose. She doesn't touch the hose itself. It's the water that spurts out of it that needs attacking. Usually I just crack up laughing. But sometimes I think she's over it, then when I least expect it she will come flying out of nowhere, leaping through the air as her jaws snap on the evil jet of water. The water escapes, but I get drenched.

But really, she's a blessing.

an excerpt from Anne Gracie's new novel, The Accidental Wedding.

Anne Gracie's website and blog, follow her on Twitter, and join her on Facebook.

Chloe stars in Gracie's featured post, "
If you want to be a writer get a dog."

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jessica Dee Rohm & Daisy

Who is that in the photo at right?

My name is Jessica Dee Rohm. I am an author of three novels, including Make Me an Offer and the newly released Sugar Tower - both of which prominently feature those wonder creatures of the universe, dogs!

Sugar Tower, easy to acquire in print or Kindle download at Amazon, is a mystery featuring a female sleuth and her side-kick, a Jack Russell terrier named Kitty. A dog-walker extraordinaire, Gloria Yap, rounds out the trio.

My real life side-kick, the Jack Russell terrier pictured here, is named Daisy. She is six years old and believes she is a six month old Rottweiler. I know this not only by the way she behaves but she frequently laments about how misunderstood she is by the world due to her compact size during our regular coffee hours, where we sometimes watch Frazier (her favorite show...she calls Eddie the George Clooney of dog-stars), but usually bare our souls (never our teeth) to each other.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

While we often share a bowl of java, today was special. We were determined to finally settle on what percentage of the royalties from Sugar Tower we would get to keep and what percentage we would donate to the ASPCA. Of course Daisy is lobbying for all the royalties to be donated to those poor pups in need but I am trying to impress upon her that although President Obama keeps insisting that inflation is tame, the prices of dog food and coffee are going nowhere but up!

What's brewing?

As many coffee lovers know, there are two types of coffee beans. Coffea arabica, and the 'robusta' form of the hardier Coffea canephora. Now, of course, Daisy and I only drink coffee brewed from the cane (Latin for dog) phora bean. We blend our own super-frothy drink that we have coined our own name for: cappuccino-rabido!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Daisy is just crazy for my Milkbone Muffins. Your readers can leave a message on my website for the recipe and I will email it to them. If I get enough requests I will post it on my Facebook fan page and my website. I don't indulge...watching my weight.

Any treat for Daisy on this occasion?

Don't tell Daisy's father...but I gave her a tablespoon of freshly ground peanut butter from Whole Foods to eat with her muffin.

How were you and Daisy united?

On our human daughter's birthday six years ago we went to NYC to see the musical Wicked. We passed a pet shop and fell in love with Daisy. For those readers who are anti-pet shop, our other pets Nike, a 14-year-old Lab, Naomi and Lucy, 10-year-old cats, were all adopted from shelters. Anyway, our human daughter said if we bought the little Jack, she wouldn't go to boarding school. Long story short - she went anyway and Daisy became our "empty-nest" dog.

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

I wanted to name her Kitty, being a writer and devotee of irony, but the family out-voted me. So I named her fictional persona in Sugar Tower Kitty instead.

Does Daisy have any influence on your writing?

She is muse, entertainer, and companion.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Daisy has a psychological problem and confuses bicyclists for squirrels, thus taking off after them in hot pursuit. We have to keep her on a short leash.

Frisbee, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Alas, humans are her sole playthings.

Who are Daisy's best pet-pals?

Daisy's best pals are Chester, an English spaniel, and her brother, Nike, an ancient black Lab [pictured at left].

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

That she would stop burying her chicken cacciatore behind my bed pillow.

What is Daisy's best quality?

She never yaps.

What is Daisy's proudest moment?

When she climbed all the way up the Santa Fe ski mountain to Totemoff's Tavern.

Her most embarrassing?

When we had to carry her down.

Read about Sugar Tower, and learn more about the book and author at Jessica Dee Rohm's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jana Hall Papa & Baby Girl and Lola

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Jana. By day, I am in sales, but my passion is pugs and pug rescue.

Baby Girl is the fawn pug that I'm holding. She is 11.5 years old.

is the black pug. She is 6 years old. Some people don't know that pugs can be black too.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Every day is an occasion for coffee! But today was a beautiful day so we spent some time outside to get some fresh air.

What's brewing?

My favorite coffee is World Market Mocha Java Blend whole bean coffee. We have a fabulous Cuisinart coffee maker that grinds the whole beans for each coffee pots. I also add Torani coffee syrups.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

This morning we had breakfast burritos with coffee.

Any treat for Baby Girl and Lola on this occasion?

The pugs got scrambled eggs as they do just about every weekend.

How were you and your dogs united?

Lola came to us when she was a year and 1/2 old. Someone had bought her and then decided they didn't want her. (That makes me sad so we try not to bring it up in front of Lola). Baby Girl is a hospice pug with SouthEast Pug Rescue & Adoption. Baby Girl came into rescue with a Grade IV Collapsed Trachea. She received a Titanium Stent at the University of Tennessee Vet College. Baby Girl will remain with us for the rest of her life.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

I named Lola because I am obsessed with 4-letter names. I have always loved the name Lola and I thought that she was going to be a black pug diva. She is not so much of a diva, but a scared little monkey. Lola also goes by Lola Bug, Bugger, or Hooker (long story).

Baby Girl came into rescue with her name. Some people said that we should change it, but she is Baby Girl and we wouldn't think of it. She is also known as Baby Squirrel and Bossy Butt.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Bird, Lola is obsessed with barking at the birds (barking safely behind the screen door). Baby Girl then barks at Lola.

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

Lola loves bully sticks. Baby Girls is more about napping verses playing.

Where is Baby Girl and Lola's favorite place for an outing?

The pugs love car rides to anywhere! No seriously, they have their own car seats and just enjoy the ride.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other.

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

If they could change one thing it would be that I am the food police. I measure out their food, monitor their treats, and make sure they only get the best food possible. They would probably like me to let up on that and just give them as much food as they want.

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

Lola's proudest moment was completing Canine Basic Obedience. Her most embarrassing ... one Easter she was jumping on top of our cousin's pool cover and we practically had to fish her off the top of it. The cover had murky stagnant water and Lola came off it not smelling very good.

Baby Girl's proudest moment was our follow up visit at the UT Vet College after receiving her stent. It was a long couple of months of recovery and when she got the all clear, we were so proud of her.

Visit the Papa's Pugs website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cyn Thomas & Scout

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Cyn Thomas, owner and designer at RiverDog Prints, a custom paper goods company. I'm with Scout, who is 9-years-old. She is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the dog love of my life. We are both involved with RiverDog Prints. Scout writes a Dog Blog from her point of view and I have my own blog that covers business, family and Scout.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I usually need a dose of caffeine in the afternoon (I have two boys, 8 and 5 that tucker me out) and it gives Scout and I the opportunity to get outside in our yard and take a little break from our business.

What's brewing?

Flavored coffee straight out of the home brew machine.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I will usually have a couple Fig Newmans. Big fans of Newmans Own products - they make dog treats too.

Any treat for Scout on this occasion?

I save her treats for when she needs to come inside and needs a little coaxing. Although, she would consider it a treat to chase the ball and roll in the grass, snorting.

How were you and Scout united?

A friend from work has a Chessie and his agreement with his breeder included a couple dogs from one litter of pups. Scout's mom, BB, had a large litter and my husband and I picked her out from the crowd. We observed that she was gentle, but stood up for herself when necessary. She's still the same today.

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

She is named for the character in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. I've said if she were a human, Scout would totally wear rolled up overalls and have a pixie haircut like the character in the movie. She does have nicknames: Scooter-Pants, Super Dog, Princess Click-Click, Sis-tah, Dee-Oh-Gee (say it fast.)

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Scout's become a half-hearted squirrel and chipmunk chaser. She used to tear after them with great enthusiasm, but age and familiarity has dampened the chase. But, the poor UPS/FedEx people are another case. She truly sounds like she would bite off their limbs, if she could. I feel for them.

Frisbee, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Water Kong with long rope attached is her outside toy. Inside, she has a basket of toys that she will place in her mouth to greet us after an absense. She'll make the distinctive roo-roo-rooo sound of a Chessie and then a happy growl, keeping the toy in her mouth at all times.

Where is Scouts favorite place for an outing?

Anywhere she can swim.

Who are Scout's best pet-pals?

Chessie's usually like their humans better than other dogs, but Scout will tolerate our neighbor's golden, Molly.

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

That I would work less during the day.

What is Scout's best quality?

She has a sweet loyalty that goes straight to your heart.

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

Learning to swim was her proudest. She was very tentative around water for the first six months of her life. But she conquered her fear and seeing her swim is an amazing site.

Visit Scout's Dog Blog, and learn more about RiverDog Prints.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 15, 2010

Maria Morgan & Precious and Joe

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, I'm Maria Morgan, and these are our two retrievers, Precious Princess, and Mighty Joe. I'm an inspirational/devotional writer who also loves writing children's stories. Currently, I'm working on a devotional series and am a regular contributor to a local publication, Around About Cumming. I must say, these two furry friends have provided the inspiration for numerous blog posts! You can check out my website.

Enough about me, let's get back to the dogs! Precious is a Golden Retriever and Mighty Joe is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and I appreciate the opportunity to feature them at Coffee with a Canine.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I may be a bit different than you other dog owners out there. Our canines are outdoor dogs with their own separate houses (designed by a friend to match our house!)and bark parks, so sharing my coffee time with them is a bit of a challenge! But I can say that I routinely drink my steaming mug of Suisse Mocha (Maxwell House International Cafe) right before I lace up my gym shoes to spend some carefree time with my pooches. And they don't even seem to mind my coffee breath! My husband is the true coffee aficionado and enjoys ordering various coffees to use in his daily espresso. But that's a story for another time!

Any treats for your dogs on this occasion?

We give our dogs a variety of different treats, although not regularly. True to her feminine nature, Precious has to watch her 'girlish' figure, so we try to be careful that she doesn't over-indulge. And of course we can't just give treats to Joe and leave Precious out!

Their favorite treats are meat scraps from barbecue pork shoulder and homemade peanut butter treats, baked with extra love by a sweet neighbor. Hmmm, even though we're talking dog treats, I'm getting a little hungry!

How were you and Precious and Joe united?

I hate to admit that I wasn't much of a dog person before we got our two puppies. Years ago, when we lived in an apartment, we had promised our daughter a puppy as soon as we bought a house. That promise was a bit overdue. After we determined the type of dog that would best suit our lifestyle, my husband began researching breeders.

Four years ago, we adopted our dogs from Gold Eagle Kennels in Alabama. When we made the trip to the kennel, we had planned on just picking up our Golden Retriever. While there, my husband also wanted to look at the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. After spending some time with Mighty Joe, we agreed to adopt both dogs, making for an interesting car ride home!

Precious was just six weeks old when we welcomed her into our family, and Joe was an energetic yearling. I can't say enough about how these two have wormed their way into my heart and opened my eyes to the wonderful world of canines!

How did Precious and Joe get their names? Any nicknames?

Our daughter had mulled over dozens of names and carefully picked out, Lady. All that changed when she laid eyes on the six-week old, ball of fluff and exclaimed, "How precious!" And she's been Precious Princess ever since; Precious for short. When we registered her with the AKC, there were 17 other dogs with the same name(!), so she became Precious Princess the 18th. Our family is totally into nicknames, so we often refer to her by one of these terms of endearment: PP18, Eloise, GG, Golden Girl, PupPup, The Rug, and Pupper.

Since he was 15 months old when we got him, Mighty Joe had already been named. We usually just call him Joe, although nicknames abound for him, too: JoBe, Big Red, Big Buddy, Mighty Chesterpeake, Mocha Joe, Nature Boy, and Big Red Horse, to name just a few!

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick?

On this one, we live in a house divided! Precious and Joe are as different as night and day. When Precious was a puppy, Joe thought toys were only for big dogs. He claimed every toy and as a result, Precious was left with what we began referring to as 'natural' toys, sticks, sticks, and more sticks! To this day, Joe loves anything he can run and fetch: a frisbee (his personal favorite), tennis ball, or rubber animal. Precious on the other hand, couldn't care less about toys. She prefers a good stick any day!

Who are Precious and Joe's best pet-pals?

True to the nature of her breed, Precious greets every dog with her tail wagging, and that, can-I-be-your-friend look, in her gorgeous brown eyes! Of late, she seems to be getting along quite well with the turtles who slowly make their way across her bark park. Yes, I've had to deliver a surprised turtle or two from the clutches of her mouth! Not to worry though, as I gently release them well outside of her fenced area, not much worse for the wear.

Joe is a classic alpha dog all the way. If a dog even looks at him the wrong way, he takes it as a challenge. He gets along well with his sister, Precious (as long as she stays in her own bark park!), but doesn't make a point of being too friendly with other canines. Comically, squirrels, are a different story. He often allows them to waltz right onto the porch of his house and get a piece of dog food out of his bowl. How funny is that?! We joke that they're his pets! Go figure!

What is each dog's proudest moment?

Precious' proudest moment comes right before we take our evening walk. Her excitement builds as she hears me get her leash. She flies down the hill of her bark park and bounces up and down, tail wagging madly. Once she's released from her area, she continues on a beeline straight for our pond. As she plunges into the cool water, and begins wading around, you'd think she just won a prize, judging from the thoroughly satisfied look on her pretty face!

Joe is proudest when he's involved in an intense game of fetch. Let me help you understand. When we got Joe, he had never played before. We literally had to teach our 15-month old dog how to play! It was pretty humorous listening to my husband coaxing Joe to play by repeating over and over, "You're a retriever." These days, his proudest moment is definitely when he makes a seemingly impossible catch that leaves our mouths hanging open. I must say, he's one athletic dog! You go, Joe!

What is each dog's best quality?

If I had to sum it up, Precious' best quality is being loving. She loves giving kisses and she is the ultimate cuddler! When I'm in her bark park, she leans up against me and just oozes love from those big, brown eyes of hers. No matter where she is in her space, she comes running when we're around. She loves coming into the house and snuggling while we watch TV. She rolls over for a tummy rub, and if we stop petting her, she's quick to let us know that we're slacking on the job! We love our Golden Girl!

Joe's best quality is loyalty. He loves to position himself where he can see into the house and catch glimpses of us throughout the day. When we talk to him, he cocks his head from side to side as if he's doing his very best to understand us. He's very cautious when it comes to outsiders. He doesn't let just anyone approach him. He is totally devoted to us. Joe has come a long way since we got him (learning how to play, overcoming his fears, etc)and is a wonderfully, faithful friend! We love our Mighty Chesterpeake!

Visit Maria Morgan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Diane Bruder & Blues Traveler and Ginger Snaps

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Diane Bruder, with my dog, Blues Traveler. I am a high school Speech, English and Drama teacher at Bay City Central High School and have coached academic teams like Debate, Student Congress, Forensics and Mock Trial. This fall I hope to work with Junior Student Council and an afterschool enrichment program for at risk youth.

What are your dogs' names and vital statistics?

I have two American Hairless Terriers. My Male is the darker of the two dogs, named Blues Traveler and he is 11 years old. The pink dog is my female, Ginger Snap, and she is two-and-a-half years old. American Hairless Terriers are rare and have only been in existence since 1972. They were first bred by Edwin Scott of Trout Creek Kennels.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee each morning at 5:00 a.m. with my husband and I pack his lunch before he leaves for work. Blue and Ginger go outside to play and do their doggie duties. If I am not working, like in the summer, they bolt up the stairs afterwards and we snuggle under the covers until about 7:30 am.

What's brewing?

Fresh Ground 8 o’clock coffee, with Sugar Free Coffee Mate Vanilla Caramel Creamer, compliments of James Bruder, the Java Master of our house.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Just cereal or yogurt and fruit slices.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

The dogs enjoy Pupperoni Dog treats or Beggin’ Strips and VitaK Peanut Flavored Vitamin Drops along with a little lick of yogurt or milk left over from my cereal to wash it all down.

Some mornings I will hand feed them dog food from a “people bowl” while watching TV on the couch. It is the same food in their bowl, but for some reason it just tastes better when mom hand feeds it to them on the couch.

How were you and your dogs united?

Blue came from the breeder, Wade’s Kennels in Arizona. He flew via plane in January, 11 years ago and was just 8 weeks old when we got him.

Ginger came to be with us 2 years ago when we lost our female Rat Terrier, Gidget. Blue needed a buddy to play with as he was depressed when Gidget died. Ginger came via airplane from Trout Creek Kennels in Louisiana. She was already six months old.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Blue’s full registered name is Wade’s Blues Traveler. His sire’s name was Blueberry and his Dame’s name was Moody Blues. We wanted to keep the name Blue and since he came to us via plane he was Blues Traveler, named after a musical group, starring John Popper.

Ginger got her full name of Trout Creek’s Ginger Snap, because she is very sweet like the cookie, but Snaps around the yard chasing things or just having a good run.

Blue’s alias is “Mama’s Fat-Rat” because he has gained some chunk over the ears…probably due to my hand fed morning treats.

Ginger’s nickname is “Ginny the Belly-Warmer” because she likes to cuddle in close to my belly when sitting on my lap under a blanket or snuggled under the bed covers at night.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Ginger does the chasing and Blue just follows along barking because she does. They will bark off anyone that comes to the door including the postman but are more likely to chase after animals. Their favorites are squirrels and bunnies or any rodent with fur. Maybe it is hair envy?

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

Most definitely any form of ball be it small tennis ball or football-- Preferably one that squeaks or has fur on it or stuffing in it. They like to chase it and beat it up by swinging it violently side to side before laying it at my feet to throw it again. If left unattended with a tennis ball, they will chew all the fur off it.

Ginger does all the running, and Blue, now that he is older, waits for her to bring it close to me and then steals it from her to lay it at my feet.

Where are your dogs' favorite places for outings?

Favorite places are: the back yard, going for a bye-bye in the car, taking a walk along the river or around the block, on a lap or by a lap, on the couch snuggled under a blanket, or curled up under the blankets next to me in bed. Blue likes to lay his head on the bed pillow next to mine, and Ginger likes to curl up in my belly. They like to be anywhere their family is; they are very social, loving and loyal.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other, our family, and any visitor who comes to the house that pets or feeds them treats.

What is each dog's best quality?

Both are very loving and loyal. Blue likes to lick noses, and Ginger likes to playfully nibble fingers. It is more of a lick and taste than a bite. Both dogs mind well, and don’t run off even when we take them camping in the woods. I love their tenacity when playing. They will play until they drop if I let them.

Because they are hairless, they have no dander either and are very hypoallergenic dogs. I do not sneeze or get hair on my couch or clothes. They are very hearty and healthy dogs, and can be bathed once a week in a laundry deep sink or right in the shower with the same body shampoo the rest of the family uses. We moisturize their skin just the same way we do our own.

They are not outdoor dogs but are easy to care for dogs. They need SPF 50 protection in the summer so they do not burn, and long legged pajamas and wool coats in the winter so they can go outside and still stay warm.

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

Blue’s proudest moment was when he learned to jump up on the couch by himself and walk on a leash. For some odd reason he has to spin in circles about 8 times before he goes down stairs, exits a door or jumps on furniture. Yesterday, he was out in the yard by himself and spotted a squirrel. He had his first chase ever and treed the squirrel! He is a well-mannered dog and has never peed or soiled any carpets in the house. He is very intelligent and easy to train. He was crate trained and had an older dog to emulate.

Blues' most embarrassing moment was that because he was around an older female dog, he squatted to pee, instead of lifting his leg the first 6 months of his life.

Ginger’s proudest moment was getting her doggy certificate from Pet Smart Training School. She didn’t totally understand the tricks until about 3 weeks after the class and then they just stuck with her. She hasn’t forgotten her basic commands.

Her most embarrassing moment was when I found a doggie doo-doo under my dining room table. When I showed it to her and asked her what it was, she cowered down and gave me the big brown eyes and then rolled on her back in submission for me to pet her belly.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kathy & Milou

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Kathy and I am a former stay at home mom. I say former, because our son is grown now, but I still don't work outside of the home. I love to read and blog about the books I've read on my blog - Bermudaonion's Weblog. Milou (pronounced Me - lou) is a female (spayed) Jack Russell Terrier who will be 15 at the end of the year.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Relaxing and/or reading on the front porch.

What's brewing?

I don't drink a lot of hot drinks, so my drink of choice would be Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. They don't sell it in our part of the country, so I have to stock up when I visit Alabama.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I had trouble coming up with something so I asked my family and they said, "Olives!" I do love olives and cheese.

How did Milou come to join your household?

Our son begged for a dog when we lived in France, but we felt the time wasn't right since we lived in a small, second story apartment. After we returned to the US, we put him off as long as we could, but finally gave in to his begging. We bought Milou from an old man out in the country, outside of Charlotte, NC.

Any treat for Milou on this occasion?

Of course! She's in charge and gets whatever she wants!

How did your dog get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

Milou is named after Tintin's dog, but gets called all kinds of things - her majesty, princess, spoiled, etc.

Does she make any contribution to your blog?

I've featured her on my blog a few times, but not recently.

Before she preferred napping, would she have been more likely to get after a squirrel, cat, or postman?

Since Milou loves all people and gets along with cats, I'd say a squirrel.

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

Tennis ball and squeaky toy in her younger days. Now the only toys she plays with are two small, round, soft squeaky toys.

Where is Milou's favorite place for an outing?

These days I'd say the front porch or the backyard.

Who are your dog's best pet-pals?

We have friends who own a border collie, and Milou likes to go in her yard with her. Maggie will run up and down the yard about fifty times in the time it takes Milou to make two laps. She also likes to walk with a schnauzer named Bowser in our neighborhood and gets along great with my in-laws' schnauzer Polly.

What is her most endearing quality?

Milou is so sweet and loves everyone and makes us feel so good when she gets excited to see us.

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

She would like to have all of our attention all of the time and would love it if we'd give her more to eat.

What is your dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

When we lived in Auburn, one of our neighbor's sons was terrified of dogs. Milou finally won him over and they became great buddies. They actually gave Milou a going away party when we moved. Her most embarrassing moment would probably be when she chewed through her bed and got it stuck on her head.

Visit Kathy's
Bermudaonion's Weblog.

--Marshal Zeringue