Monday, December 20, 2010

Pat St. Onge & Jack and Moo

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Pat St. Onge, and these are my two Siberians, Jack and Moo.

I'm an artist and work from home doing digital illustrations for a publisher of educational materials. I also paint – watercolor, acrylics, and ceramic glazes. I have a website at

Jack and Moo are both 5-year-old Siberian Huskies. Jack is our handsome male, and Moo is our cute little female.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No special occasion, I often drink my coffee on the deck with my pups. Our yard is surrounded by trees, so its private and very peaceful.

What's brewing?

Freshly ground Costa Rican coffee, with a splash of 2% milk.

Any treat for Jack and Moo on this occasion?

An apple-bran muffin. Jack & Moo get some peanut butter on a doggy biscuit.

How were you and your dogs united?

We've adopted all our dogs from wonderful breeders with small family-run kennels.

Jack came to us 3 years ago after we lost our Sherman at only 4 yrs. old from lung cancer. He had been the companion to Star, our first Siberian, and she was heartbroken at his loss. Jack came from the same kennel in Ohio as Sherman (Destiny Siberians). I had worked with an animal communicator during Sherman’s last days, and later showed her a pic of Jack when we were considering him. She said he was one of the very nicest dogs she’d ever come across, and run, don’t walk, to go get him. I drove from RI to OH to bring him back here to live with us. And she was right, he’s super-sweet. He loves being a good boy.

Moo joined us at the end of last January, after we lost 2 Siberians last fall. (Star, (12), who’d been with us since she was 5 weeks old, and Sherman’s sister Tori (7), who we adopted after losing Star, & then lost her 8 weeks later due to a ruptured intestine.) I found Moo through the Internet, and it turned out her kennel is only 50 miles from us. We went to see her and it was love at first sight! She looked at us like “Hey, where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you to come get me!” and came home with us that night. She's been like a ray of sunshine in our home, always happy and ready to play. She's a charmer, everyone loves her.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Both dogs already had names that fit their personalities. Jack’s AKC is Destiny’s DaVinci. Very fitting - this boy is soooo handsome, and very photogenic. Nicknames: Jack a-roo, the Jackster, & Jackeral-Mackeral.

Moo (AKC Liyaza’s DQ Moolatte) got her name from her all-white face which reminded her breeders of the face of a little calf. (They also raised cows) I do sometimes call her Moo-na Lisa, because it goes nicely with our Jack DaVinci. Nickname: Moosie-Moo.

What influence do Jack and Moo have on your art?

Besides supervising everything? I find that more & more of my art (and social activities) revolves around dogs.

I do a blog for them called Cybersibes. I really enjoy photographing them, and using photoshop to create little visuals for stories about their adventures. I’m studying Flash animation, and have featured Jack in most of my animation projects. I’ve painted their portraits, and recently got involved with a pet portrait exchange. That kicked off my new blog, Paint & Pixel Paws, featuring my pet portraits.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Squirrels, rabbits, moles, birds…. Jack has a Siberian’s typical strong prey-drive. He hunts every night. Moo’s a little more easy-going. They both adore children and are very popular with the locals on our walking route.

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

Jack has a thing for squeaky Penguins, he used to play for hours and hours with them by himself. Eventually he de-stuffs them, so we have quite a Penguin collection in various states of disrepair.

Moo: Nylabones, cow hoofies, and sticks. I’ve had to remove all the stuffies since her arrival, as the first thing she did was eat a stuffie-- which fortunately, all came back out.

Where is Jack and Moo's favorite place for an outing?

They like nothing better than going outside to play in the snow! When there is no snow, they enjoy walking by the ocean on the beaches and rocky coastline. But they don’t go swimming, they prefer their water frozen.

Who are Jack and Moo's best pet-pals?

Jack’s best buddy was Moon, a big male Sibe that used to live near by. His family moved, and we went to visit. He & Moon were wildly ecstatic to see each other again. Now, Moo is his best buddy.

Moo’s best buddy at the kennel was a pug. Jack is her best friend now.

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

I work from home, but I think Jack would like it if I spent less time in front of the computer and more time taking him places. Moo would like me to take her everywhere I go & never leave her. She’s usually within 10 feet of me no matter what I’m doing.

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

Jack bursts with pride when he’s caught something. I think he’s most embarrassed when the vet’s taking his temp, his expression says it all.

Moo is happy no matter what. I think she should be proud that she’s learned how to be a house dog: no counter-surfing, stay off the furniture, ask to go out, and sit before you get your dinner. Most embarrassing? When Jack turns the tables on her & gets the upper paw when they wrestle. Doesn’t happen to often, but you can see the Princess is not pleased.

View a portfolio sampling of Pat St.Onge's artwork. Visit her Paint & Pixel Paws blog featuring her pet portraits, and check out Jack and Moo's Cybersibes blog.

--Marshal Zeringue