Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Carrie Noar & Bunny, Lilac, Blueberry and Morgan

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Carrie Noar. In real life I teach Pre K at a year round school. That would be me with Bunny, our youngest Greyhound in the picture.

We have four dogs here, Lilac, a fifteen-year-old Greyhound, Blueberry, a nine-year-old Greyhound, Bunny, a four-year-old Greyhound and Morgan, a two-year-old German Shepherd.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We went out for a hike and then came home to warm up.

What's brewing?

I'm not a coffee drinker, so I'm having Starbucks' hot chocolate.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Chocolate biscotti! You may as well go chocolate all the way!

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

They're finishing dinner, and then I imagine a nap will commence.

How were you and your dogs united?

We fostered Lilac back when we had our first two Greyhounds. She was already a senior because she'd been a brood mama. I guess that made her less attractive to other adopters. Anyway, we'd had her for several months and there hadn't even been a single inquiry about her. My birthday is in May, which happens to be Adopt A Senior Month. My husband graciously allowed me to pay her discounted adoption fee for my birthday that year. Eight years later, that sweet, old little dog is still with us!

Blueberry [photo left, with Morgan] is Lilac's daughter. We were asked if we would dogsit her while her first adopter had surgery. We thought it would be fun to have mother and daughter together for a month. Well, the lady started getting wishy washy about whether she wanted her back. Then we started hearing that she wanted Blue to stay with her mother and us. After several months we were finally told one day that Blueberry was ours. She was already deeply attached to my husband, so we were more than happy to keep her here.

My first grey, Treat, was a therapy dog, ambassadog, READ dog and just general extension of who I was. When she passed away suddenly, I was bereft, even with three other hounds in the house. Two of them were seniors and Blueberry was my husband's girl. I realized that if I wanted to keep doing all those activities that I'd really enjoyed, I was going to have to find myself another Greyhound. We went back to the Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption kennel, where we'd gotten our first two Greyhounds, and met about a dozen dogs. Finally, they told me they had one new dog in who hadn't been tested or anything, but I could meet her if I wanted to. I hadn't clicked with any of the others, so I agreed. In walked the tiniest, prettiest little Greyhound that I'd ever seen, and she calmly leaned right up against me. I was smitten with Bunny from the very beginning!

We knew Morgan's previous owner online. She was actually one of Bunny's racing owners. When she learned that a German Shepherd was my husband's dream dog, she offered us hers. She couldn't give Morgan the time that she needed. We went up and met her and she was a great fit! She's been here with us since the end of June and we really love her. My husband would probably take a bullet for that dog, and she'd probably take one for me!

How did your dogs get their names? Do they have any nicknames?

All of them had their names when we got them except Lilac. Her name was Line, and that's just not easy to say or work with. We wanted something that was a little feminine, two syllables and we had a friend who had loved purple and had just lost her beloved Greyhound. So, we came up with Lilac, partly in tribute to her and because we didn't think we'd meet too many other Lilacs out there. She also goes by mama dog.

Blueberry goes by Blue, Berry Girl, Booger Berry and Your Highness.

Bunny goes by Little Bit, Pupcake, Bunny Girl, and Princess.

Morgan goes by Mo, Wolfy Girl, Shepherd and Fuzzy Butt.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Hmmm... Bunny and Blueberry would take out a squirrel any day. They stalk them at the dog park when they aren't too busy sniffing the grass or taunting other dogs. They'd expect the postman to tell them how beautiful they are and pet them.

Lilac would go for a cat, even at her old age! She's surprisingly spry when she wants something.

Morgan would take out all three, choosing which one posed the highest threat to homeland security at the moment. She's also take out any lurking rabbits while she was on her search and destroy mission.

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

Bunny, Blue and Lilac would all prefer their stuffed rabbits. Morgan will chew any squeaky toy, tennis ball or frisbee into submission in a matter of minutes.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

Bunny and Morgan go out hiking with us almost every weekend. If it's not too strenuous a hike and the weather is decent, Blueberry goes, too. They also love the Oakwood Park dog park. Lilac does not like to go anywhere in the car. She's happiest lounging at home.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Morgan adores Bunny [photo, right]. She thinks of herself as Bunny's personal body guard around other dogs. Bunny is happy to play with Morgan on hikes and at the dog park, but treats her with a certain amount of disdain at home. Blueberry is a bit aloof. She'll play with Bunny or Morgan on occasion, but prefers to stay to herself. Lilac is so elderly, she just expects everyone to stay out of her way!

What is each dog's most endearing quality?

Lilac is a love sponge. She will come to you and wrap her head around your neck, or more often now, bury her head in your chest and stand there for petting. She's also completely shameless! Any of our others who even think they've been caught in a misdeed will hang their heads in shame, but Lilac will look you in the eye with an "I did it. You know I did it and I know that you know that I did it. Can we just move on now?" look that you just can't get angry at.

Blueberry lives to make us laugh. She knows when we get amused by her antics and will totally ham it up. There's just a certain sparkle about her. She's the one who will come to you when you're upset and just be with you.

Bunny is unbelievably sweet! She's like sunshine poured into a furry little body. She always, always, always wants to be with me and be touching in some way. She's a total heart stealer.

Morgan is so devoted and intense. She really would do anything to protect us if she thought we were in danger. She is always partially on alert, ready if she's needed by anybody in her pack. This includes pushing my husband away if he cuts Bunny's nails and she gives a little yelp.

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

Lilac is shameless! She's never been embarrassed, ever. She once stole a bag of Easter candy that was hidden in our bedroom and hid it behind the couch. When we left for errands, she pulled it out and had a party with our first two hounds. We had pastel foil colored poop in the dog pen for a week, but fortunately no sick dogs.

Blueberry recently went through having a cancerous lump removed from her head. The fact that she made it through and has recovered nicely is her best moment. We don't talk about the time she rolled backwards off our bed.

Bunny tied for first place on graduation night when we took obedience. She also recently completed a fifteen mile hike without ever flagging while a lot of the German Shepherds we were with were ready to be carried up the last hill. She's also very proud to have been the only one to have gone with me on a big vacation to Dewey Beach for a Greyhound gathering where people actually recognized her from the blog. Having to wear a harness at eighteen months old because she hadn't learned to walk on a leash would probably be the most embarrassing.

Morgan's proudest moment is anytime she thinks she's scared intruders away from the house. Coming tail fur stuck in her teeth close to catching a rabbit while on a leash in the yard is up there, too! Being scared by a lizard about three inches long on one of our summer hikes is her most embarrassing moment by far.

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

I'm pretty sure they'd get me to quit my day job and take them on blogworthy adventures every day. They seem remarkably unimpressed when I go off to work each day for their kibble money.

Read more about the dogs at the Tales and Tails blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue