Monday, February 28, 2011

Nyx & Taricha

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Nyx, I'm a 25-year-old college student (the arts being my general direction).

My doggie is Taricha, an 11-month-old American bulldog who's tipping the scales at 90lbs already.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I'm a huge coffee nerd and though Taricha isn't a fan, she still likes everything I do. We enjoy coffee every single morning, lunch, afternoon and shortly before bed. We've been in the middle of a blizzard lately so haven't had a chance to venture out to our local shops. When its nicer outside, we go several times a week to our local watering hole to hang out and enjoy on the patios. Coffee needs no occasion!

What's brewing?

Black drip coffee. Dark roast (Sumatran) from a local roaster.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

None today, caffeine is all one really needs.

Any treat for Taricha on this occasion?

Taricha gets bits of cheese for waiting patiently.

How were you and your dog united?

Last year a friend adopted this little beefy puppy from a pet store (eee!). A few weeks later he quickly realized he didn't have the time for her (he was gone 10+ hours a day...!). It started with puppysitting, though when I first met her I knew I wanted her for my own. It was love. I'd watch her and entertain her while he was away at school for a while. It was only a matter of time before he gave her to me and we lived happily ever after!

How did Taricha get her name? Any aliases?

Taricha is a genus of toxic newts. (We like herps around here) She often gets called Tbags, Fatty and Puppy Face.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Squirrels, all the way. (Min-Pins and Chihuahuas too... because they look... like squirrels..)

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

Anything and everything that is able to be tugged on. So all of the above and then some!

Where is Taricha's favorite place for an outing?

Roller Rink. Sounds strange but its not! We walk to a nearby park that has two enclosed rinks. There are rarely people there, so we use the opportunity to throw on the skates and roll around, literally. She'll chase me, I'll chase her. Sometimes I'll bring toys or a clicker/treats. She knows when we get to this park that it's going to be a GOOD time and we will all afternoon hanging out.

Who are Taricha's best pet-pals?

Rufio, a tuxedo kitten who lives with us is Taricha's best friend. They are inseparable indoors, sleep together, play together, eat together (and often eat each other).

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

I think she would want to get out more than we do and see more. Most days, sadly, we're sitting around the house being very boring (in her eyes). Of course we go for walks every day, but I think she wants more adventure.

What is Taricha's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Most embarrassing: running into sliding glass doors, running into walls, running into bookshelves, running into people. She has smacked into all kinds of things head-on while mid zoomies.

Proudest: Every single time she de-stuffs a stuffed animal. There must be some distinct triumphant pleasure out of shredding a helpless creature into oblivion and she'll stand over her stuffing disaster with the proudest happiest expression ever.

Check out Nyx and Taricha on YouTube and at the Bully Gurls blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adrienne Saia & Juno

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Adrienne Saia - I live and breathe Philadelphia freedom, even though I've been living in Colorado for three years. I'm a writer and a volunteer at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

Juno (the one with the big ears) is a female pit bull mix who will be five this month! She was found wandering the streets in Pueblo, Colo., and was brought to HSBV by a lovely woman named Renee.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

This is our morning routine, in addition to checking email, showering and rolling around on our backs and stretching (okay, the last thing is just Juno's routine). I think our favorite coffee dates are on I-70 W, on the way to ski at A-Basin.

What's brewing?

Always on my grind... ground coffee, that is! I drink caffeinated hazelnut coffee (decaf on days off only), french vanilla non-dairy creamer, two Splendas.

Any goodies to go with the coffee

Breakfast is usually a bagel, yogurt with granola & banana or day-old pizza.

Any treat for Juno on this occasion?

Juno's entire life is a treat!! Kidding... she had a rawhide knot last night, so I'm going to let her stomach work on that and her Science Diet first.

How were you and your dog united?

I adopted Juno from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley two weeks after I moved to Colorado. She had been there for nearly two weeks as well. She was my 25th birthday present to myself; $99 = instant friend for life. I got really lucky that she picked me.

Juno is an interesting name for dog--where did it come from? Any aliases?

Juno was one of several names I considered, along with Lucy (from I Love Lucy!) and Cleo. I liked the way it sounded and the movie was popular at the time. Since my 2.5-year-old dog had given birth to a litter of puppies not long before I got her, it seemed appropriate. She also responds to "Boo Boo," "Boo Dog," and "Dammit!"

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Oh - definitely squirrel. And rabbit. She's a true terrier.

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

My weird dog isn't the biggest fan of toys. I wasted money on Kongs and cans of tennis balls right after her adoption. She does love to nibble on her life-like stuffed squirrel and this big puffy stuffed ball that looks like an Easter chick (thanks "grandmom"!).

Where is Juno's favorite place for an outing?

She loves being at A-Basin and romping in the snow in between downhill runs. In fact, she is always down to go anywhere in the car! We even roadtripped to California and back. Going for runs near the prairie dog preserve behind our apartment is pretty fun for her too.

Who are Juno's best pet-pals?

Sadly, she has very few pet pals. She can't understand why cats don't want to be chased and why dogs are freaked by her rambunctious play style. She has gotten along with my cousin's greyhound B.B. and a chihuahua mix named Kiara. Juno is definitely a people-loving canine!

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

The amount of time it takes me to get from bed to front door in the mornings.

What is Juno's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Proudest: graduating with flying colors from obedience school! Most embarrassing: escaping from "Aunt" Amy and "Uncle" Eric for two hours and returning home after rolling in poop or dressing as a squirrel for Halloween!

Learn more about Juno at Ex-Pat's and Geno's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tara & Kaiser

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Tara, and I work in local government. I'm in school for a degree in Visual Communication and toying with the idea of a minor in Journalism or Creative Writing. This handsome fellow is Kaiser. He'll be one year and two months old on February 8th and he's a fawn colored Great Dane. As of earlier this week he weighed 125lbs and if you stand him up on his hind legs he's somewhere around 6'7" tall (we know this because he stands above my boyfriend who is 6'5").

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We live a short walk away from a local coffee shop called Cup 'O Joe. On Saturday or Sunday we'll take Kaiser and walk over for some coffee. One of us sits out front with him while everyone stops to pet him and ask us questions about him. He adores the attention and meeting other dogs that might be stopping for coffee.

What's brewing?

A Buckeye latte (mocha latte with peanut butter) for me, usually flavored coffee for the boyfriend.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Every so often we'll get some cupcakes or biscotti to go with the coffee, or we'll stop at the sandwich shop up the street.

Any treat for Kaiser on this occasion?

The treat is going for a walk and all the smells, sights and sounds, not to even mention all the extra loving and attention he gets from people and pups who pass us. Maybe there's a piece of jerky for him at home.

How were you and Kaiser united?

Our union was seven years in the making. Seriously. I had my heart set on a Dane when I was 18 and I had to wait until I got a place that would let me have a dog that large. I looked for breeders for months before finding a lady selling them about three hours north of us. When the litter was about three weeks old my boyfriend and I drove up to meet them. There were eight puppies, four fawn, and of those fawn only two were males. We sat down on the ground to play with them and see if either stood out. The smaller fawn male puppy crawled over to my boyfriend, got up into his lap, and promptly went to sleep while his brothers and sisters played. We figured he had chosen us, and that's how we chose him.

How did Kaiser get his name? Any aliases?

We wrote down a long list of names and then went through them one by one eliminating them as we went. The process took so long that by the time we settled on Kaiser we were both sick of discussing it. He doesn't really have aliases but sometimes we call him Midget or Baby Kaiser.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Kaiser is a lover of man and beast alike. He doesn't bat an eye at squirrels in the yard. We have pictures of him watching butterflies and sniffing flowers; he reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull. He really is a gentle giant.

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

Sticks and ropes! He can play rope forever, which is unfortunate because I don't have the strength to fight with him for very long as he weighs almost as much as I do now (and is still growing). Fortunately, he loves rawhide bones. He can demolish one of the three foot long rawhides in hours.

Where is Kaiser's favorite place for an outing?

He used to go to Doggy Daycare once a week and I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of his week. Unfortunately he was bitten on the leg one week and then three weeks later a dog bit off a piece of his ear. We decided it probably wasn't safe for him there because smaller dogs are afraid of him and therefore are more apt to bite or get angry if they feel threatened. Now he just loves to take car rides, go to the park, or visit my parent's house. Anywhere he gets to meet new people.

Who are your dog's best pet-pals?

Kaiser actually doesn't have many friends. Dogs that are normally friendly are intimidated by him. One of our friends has a bull terrier named Dozer that wasn't afraid of him and the two would play for hours. Unfortunately Dozer moved to Florida earlier this month. We'll have to find a new best friend for Kaiser.

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

He would probably give us endless energy so we could spend the whole day walking and exploring, playing with a rope or stick, or visiting dog parks. He would probably also have us feed him jerky instead of regular dog food.

What is Kaiser's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Kaiser's proudest moment was mastering the automatic sit (he sits automatically whenever we are out for a walk and stop). We worked hard on that one so he got lots of praise when he finally got it. Maybe the most embarrassed he has been occurred last week when I brought him home from the vet after cherry eye surgery with a big plastic cone of shame. We took out a chair and a sign just trying to get from the room to the lobby.

Learn more about Kaiser at The Hot Mess Chronicles.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kristen Nelson & Pancake

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Kristen and I recently graduated with my Masters in Elementary Education. I am still looking for a job. Pancake is a shih tzu and I have no idea how old she is. I rescued her from a puppy mill and she was in such bad shape with no teeth they have no idea how old she is.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It was such a nice day outside that I wanted to get out with her! Plus, the Sonic was totally destroyed with the May floods in Nashville and has recently reopened.

What's brewing?

Actually not coffee but instead Sonic Vanilla diet coke

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

A Jr. Cheeseburger.

Any treat for Pancake on this occasion?

Of course! Her own Jr. Hamburger!

How were you and your dog united?

I found Pancake on I knew I wanted a shih tzu and I was just drawn in by her first pictures. She was from a puppy mill where she was used as a breeding dog and not taken care of at all! It took her two weeks to figure out that you could play with the toys I had for her and over a year for her to trust the leash. I didn’t hear her bark for two weeks and even now the only time she barks is when she hears me and she can’t see me.

Pancake is an usual name for dog--where did it come from? Any aliases?

I get asked this all the time and I have no idea! I just decided (before I got her) that it would be her name. I always wanted a dog named Pancake and it fits her perfectly!

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Not really. But she is a snob to the other dogs (Cairn Terrier and Doberman mutt). They try to play with her and she only wants to play with the cat- who of course won’t play with her only the Chloe (Doberman mutt).

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

Actually she is very fond of cat toys. She loves them! She will steal them from the cat’s basket.

Where is Pancake's favorite place for an outing?

Sonic! She loves their ice cream.

Who are Pancake's best pet-pals?

Her favorite animal is Izzy the cat and she also is very fond of Izzy the dog. She only likes to play with animals that are smaller than her. She can be a bit of a snob.

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

That I would be home more. She is very attached. I cannot be in a different area of the house without her there as if she hears me she barks and whines.

What is Pancake's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Most embarrassing is when I catch her near the cat litter box. We recently got a top entry one. No more of that!

Proudest would be when she finally trusted walking on the leash!

Visit the Ladybug Blessings blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sue & Song

Who is in the photo at right?

This is me (Sue) and my Greyhound Song. She will be 8 on 16th February, which will also be the second anniversary of the day I got her.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Happy to stop for a coffee anytime and extol the virtues of owning a Greyhound.

What's brewing?

I love a decaf skinny latte.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Would have loved a toasted teacake, but don't do that any more - no honest I don't...

Any treat for Song on this occasion?

Song gets plenty of treats (whilst limiting them enough so she keeps her physique).

I've just got a dog biscuit recipe book, so she's hoping I'll be baking batch after batch.

How were you and your dog united?

I got Song from a Retired Greyhound Trust rescue kennel.

How did Song get her name?

Her racing name was Song Song Blue. I assume her name came about because of her colour and also because she was owned by The Blues Brother Syndicate.

If they could see her now....

Any aliases?

Not really, although my dad thought her name was 'Thong'.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?


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

Squeaky toy. Song also loves a tennis ball. She likes to chase it and then chomp it in two.

Where is Song's favorite place for an outing?

The farm track - loads of smells up there.

Who are Song's best pet-pals?

She likes all her friends, but she'd have to say she has a special place in her heart for Richard (a gorgeous black and white Greyhound).

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

Probably that I was a Greyhound.

What is Song's proudest moment?

Yet another tennis ball chomped in half.

And her most embarrassing moment?

The time she thought she'd spotted a large cat and it turned out to be a carrier bag - some sight hound.

Visit Sue's Graceful Greyhounds blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Roxe Anne Peacock & Spike

Who is that in the photo at right?

Roxe Anne Peacock, an author with my first mystery, Leave No Trace being released by Whiskey Creek Press February 1, 2011 as an eBook and print.

With me is my best friend, a male pug named Spike. He turned eleven years old on February 14, 2011.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Spike and I are going to celebrate our first mystery being released in February. We are finally done with this mystery and can move onto the next. He is tired of me reading the same story over and over.

What’s brewing?

We stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts to get my favorite cup of java, dark French roast.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I love the egg white turkey sausage flatbread sandwich and it is healthy for you.

Any treat for Spike?

I bring Spike’s favorite treat along on the trip to Dunkin’ Donuts: Beggin’ Littles-Bacon Flavor.

How were you and Spike united?

My daughters loved a popular musician who owned a pug. We looked around for a local breeder; so we thought. Later, I found out she was a puppy mill and kept most of the dogs in the basement. From the outside of the house, you wouldn’t think that would be true. We were looking at a larger pug at first until he pottied on the floor. Then there was this poor little cute guy who was still in the cage. We took him out of the cage and fell in love. He has slept with me every night since when I haven’t been away; which isn’t often.

How did Spike get his name? Any aliases?

My daughters named him after the Rugrats’ dog. We sometimes call him Spikey, Dog, Fat Boy and Old Man.

Does Spike have any influences on your writing?

A few years back I wrote a poem about Spike which was published in the Rockford Review. My mystery, Leave No Trace will be released February 1, 2011 as an eBook and print by Whiskey Creek Press. One of the reptiles in the book is named Spike. It is the cutest reptile of course. You can also find information out about the book at my website.

Does Spike dislike or chase any animals or humans?

Spike dislikes the pizza man. The only time he ever bit anyone was when my son-in-law tried to capture Spike before he got to the pizza man. He loves pizza! I guess he thinks the pizza man is trying to take the pizza away instead of bring it.

Does Spike have any favorite toys?

Spike has the two favorite toys he has had since day one. The first is a ragged old fuzzy horse with not much fur left on it. He brings it to us when he is happy; such as eating chicken or pizza. Now and then he rescues it from the corner where his toys are and gives it a bath. The other toy is a fuzzy yellow and green rat. He brings the rat as a second choice. We don’t allow guest dogs to play with Spike’s favorite two toys. He shares all the rest.

Where is Spike’s favorite place for an outing?

We live on five acres which Spike loves. He doesn’t care to go in the car any further than the post office which is about two miles away. Spike especially loves to visit every tree, the barn and bushes he can find in the morning to read his newspaper. He desires to know if the opossum, skunk, raccoons, cats, or coyotes have visited.

Who is Spike’s best pet-pal?

My daughter, Heather lived with us for awhile after college with her BUG; a Boston Terrier-Pug mix named Lola. Now Heather is married and Heather and Lola moved to their new home about an hour away. When they visit, Spike thinks Lola smells so pretty. His little tail just wags and he chases her around the house for about ten minutes.

What is Spike’s best quality?

Spike loves everyone; except the pizza man. He likes to share himself when company comes. He sits with everyone at one time or another.

What is Spike’s proudest moment?

Spike never barks at anything. The only time he barks is when company comes in the door and leaves. But now we have a new kitten who seems to rule the roost. The kitten named Simba May is declawed to protect the furniture and Spike. Simba blocks Spike from following me around the house and tried getting Spike’s food. I told Spike to bark at Simba and make her go away. Finally, Spike found out he could rule the roost and scare Simba with his bark. Now he never worries about sharing with her. Cats aren’t supposed to eat dog food anyway!

What is Spike’s most embarrassing moment?

Heather and I took Spike to a large pet costume contest at the Rockford Metro Centre a few years back. Spike loved all the other dogs; that is until he saw a pug. He thought the pug was the ugliest dog he’d ever seen and retreated with his tail drooping.

I hope you enjoyed your coffee with Spike and me. We are like two best buds; joined at the hip.

Visit Roxe Anne Peacock's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tricia Williams & Benny

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Tricia Williams, and this is my dog Benny. I’m a production assistant at a video production company, and have been for the last several years.

Benny is a terrier-mix (it’s a real mystery as to what he really is), and an almost 4-year old boy. Benny, my fiancĂ© and I live together in Richmond, Virginia.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today Benny is joining me to snuggle on the couch- it’s his favorite thing to do besides play. He burrows in his blanket and sits right beside me.

What's brewing?

Right now I’m having Starbucks French Roast (brewed at home), with a little French-vanilla creamer. Perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Not today! I like to think of my coffee as a goodie in and of itself.

Any treat for Benny on this occasion?

Just some ice cubes- he loves to crunch on those! His other favorite thing is wet food (he only gets this on very special occasions).

How were you and your dog united?

I went with my sisters one afternoon to the local animal shelter where we found him crouched in a corner. He didn’t have a name or a story yet since they’d just picked him up off the streets. He had lost a lot of hair from fleas, was bleeding from sores on his ears, and seriously undernourished. I picked him up a week later (after he had been fixed), and the rest is history. He doesn’t even look like the same dog I got that day.

How did Benny get his name? Does he have any aliases?

We call him a whole slew of names! Benny, Ben, Benjamin, Benihana, Ben-bear, Bear, etc.

His full name is Bennet Arthur Williams. Bennet is for the Bennet family in Pride & Prejudice (my favorite movie) and Arthur from Arthur Weasley of Harry Potter- it’s unfortunate that Benny can’t read!

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

He loves everything he comes across. For a terrier he’s shockingly tolerant of small animals!

His only problem is probably loving them a little too much.

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

He prefers the squeaker out of the squeaky-toy, best removed quickly. Then the rest of the toy is thrown aside.

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

He loves the tennis court at our apartment complex! He would run circles for hours if I let him- we play catch there, and hide and seek. He always seems to know when we’re headed there.

Who are your dog's best pet-pals?

He loves my in-laws' dogs Rocky and Reya (border collies) [Rocky, Reya, and Benny, photo left], his cousin Henry (another terrier mix), and his friend Hero (an Australian shepherd).

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

He’d probably want me to feed him more- we give him half of a portion of food in the morning and evening, yet he can’t seem to get enough.

I don’t know if it’s his scavenger beginnings, but that dog looks for food everywhere!

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

His proudest moment was when he’d been with us for a few months, and he’d learned some tricks and his sores had healed. You could tell he felt great!

His most embarrassing: he’s a klutz just like me, and often takes leaps onto a surface only to miss and fall on the floor.

He always gets back up and tries again, though!

Visit Tricia Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 11, 2011

Melinda & Jeeves

Who is in the photo at right?

This handsome dachshund is Jeeves and the human is Melinda. We live in a high rise in downtown Chicago just a block from Lake Michigan. I do a lot of different things when I’m able but have the most fun knitting and reading when I’m not cuddled up with Jeeves. Jeeves is 3.5 years old and is a short hair sable dachshund—a combo of a red and a black and tan.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today I’m a bit under the weather so am having coffee at home while listening to NPR.

What's brewing?

Intelligentsia’s Decaf Librarian’s Blend that is described as being “representative of the soul of the librarian: steady, reassuring, and always there with that slight edge of eccentricity. It has a bold base with a bit of sparkle.“ French press with a little half and half.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I should be eating breakfast soon, but for now, candied ginger.

Any treat for Jeeves on this occasion?

He will get a peanut butter Kong after he wakes up (he is currently holding me down on the sofa in a half on/half off the lap position).

How were you and your dog united?

I got Jeeves at 10 months old after he was ‘returned’ to the folks who bred him. He was living far outside the city so he had to get used to living in a high rise and taking walks with lots of people, dogs and even horse drawn carriages.

How did Jeeves get his name? Any aliases?

I love the P.G. Wodehouse stories about Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. Jeeves, (the valet/butler) is distinguished, wily, intelligent, and is the true head of the house. Fits my Jeeves perfectly. I also sometimes refer to him as my coy boy, I think a couple of the photos capture that bit of his personality!

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Lake birds and pigeons. Jeeves likes to make them fly.

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

Red Kong! He plays fetch with it, eats peanut butter or cream cheese out of it and takes it to bed at night.

Where is Jeeves' favorite place for an outing?

Chicago Dachshund Lovers meetings! Lots of dachshunds rent out a doggy day care place so they can run and play with one another for a couple of hours. We get to see Joey and Maggie (and Carson!) there. Jeeves also loves walks up the lakefront to the park.

Who are your dog's best pet-pals?

Guinness the dachshund, and in my building, he likes to see Violet, Tiger or Charlie on the elevator. And everyone in the Chicago Dachshund Lovers group is a friend. Online, Joey and Maggie, Baxter and the new pup, Ramsay at doxdocs.

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

I would always be with him at home, by the lake or in the park.

What is Jeeves' proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Finishing obedience classes was a proud moment for both of us. He also likes it when people ask if he is a show dog.

Most embarrassing is when he thinks large objects are a living threat. He once defended me against a row of port-a-potties temporarily set up for an event on the lake. Another time Jeeves decided a statue was going to attack and he dragged and barked me safely away. Much laughter from passers in these cases adds to the embarrassment of course!

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eric Goebelbecker & Caffeine

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Eric. I am a software engineer on Wall Street and also own and run Dog Spelled Forward, my dog training business.

I give classes every week at the Maywood Veterinary Clinic in Maywood NJ and Fetch Club in New York City. I'm also a substitute instructor at St. Hubert's Dog Training School, where I apprenticed to learn dog training from the best trainers in the business.

I write for my own blog and for Dog Star Daily, and also do a podcast for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, where I am on the Board of Directors.

Caffeine has been with me since she was nine weeks old. She is nine years old now and a Border Collie/Pointer mix, as far as we know. Caffeine takes "high energy" to a new level. At nine she is still running, jumping, and generally driving everyone nuts.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Caffeine and I walk to Moon Doggie Coffee Roasters a few times a week. Sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with Buddha and/or Gage, my other two dogs.

What's brewing?

Tanzanian Peaberry, black, no sugar. This is my favorite brew and I can only find it at Moon Doggie.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Not this time. Sometimes I go for one of their cranberry muffins, but my wife took the picture and she's pretty strict about my diet.

Any treat for Caffeine on this occasion?

Moon Doggie always has great treats out for dogs! The owner, Donna, volunteers for a Basset Hound Rescue. Caffeine got a heart-shaped cookie this time.

How were you and your dog united?

We found Caffeine at a rescue, as a puppy. I believe on Petfinder? Was it around back then? We had just lost Sally, a pit bull mix, to lymphoma.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

When we visited the rescue they had two puppies, Caffeine and another. Caffeine was the more spirited of the two, eagerly jumping around and exploring the lobby of the grooming salon where we met. At one point she attacked, fatally wounded, and then eviscerated a defenseless Dunkin' Donuts bag. I told my wife "We could name her Caffeine."

A few days, after we decided to adopt her, I called the rescue to ask about her. When I said we had seen a female black and white puppy the volunteer said "Oh! You mean Caffeine?" The name had stuck!

She is often referred as "the Princess" because she can be very demanding as far as how much attention she receives and what she believes she deserves treats for. (Breathing, drinking, eating....) She is also sometimes called "Decaf," usually after 8:00PM.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Yup. But she only wants to smother the postman with kisses.

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

Caffeine loves to play fetch, but she prefers a squeaky ball with something for me to grab onto so we can tug between throws. Right now her favorite is a large sized "Bad Cuz" rubber ball. She also loves when I set up the agility equipment in the yard for the spring and summer.

Where is Caffeine's favorite place for an outing?

She loves the walk to Moon Doggie, but enjoys playing in the yard quite a bit too.

Who are your dog's best pet-pals?

Buddha, my other Border Collie mix, is probably her best friend. They love to wrestle in the morning, and can often be found lying near each other. Gage, our other dog, is a bit if a jerk and doesn't always play nicely.

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

I'm too stingy with the treats, and won't let her eat my food directly off of my plate. I'm a bit of a jerk that way.

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

Caffeine is a real ham. She loves to show off in front of people. We attended a K-9 Nose Work seminar last year and she was the absolute center of attention for a couple of 5 minute sessions and I thought she would explode with pride.

Visit the Dog Spelled Forward blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 7, 2011

Samantha Ratcliffe-D'Arrigo, James D'Arrigo & Galaxy and Thornton

Who is in the photo at right?

In the photo is me, Samantha Ratcliffe-D'Arrigo, James D'Arrigo, Galaxy (black) and Thornton (tan). We own Vegas Rock Dog, a rock and roll clothing line for hip humans and dogs.

James is also a producer and professional musician who is currently in Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show on the Las Vegas Strip. We are heavily involved in fundraising for the dog rescue community and produce many of these types of events.

Galaxy is 6 years old and a breed of her own and Thornton is 5 years old and a Parson's Jack Russell. Both of them are girls.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We go for coffee all the time and in this particular photo we are on our green carpet for a Yappy Hour event we produced at our favourite coffee shop in Vegas -- Espresso Culture and Cuisine.

The event was to launch Yappy Hour at the friendliest coffee shop in town and also to raise funds for dog rescue.

What's brewing?

I like a Cafe Viennese and James likes an Americano.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Sometimes an Italian cookie or a croissant with nutella!

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

I always have treats in my bag for them but the cafe has them, too.

How were you and your dogs united?

They are both rescue dogs.

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

I'm British and love love my British chocolate and named Galaxy and Thornton after chocolate bars.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?


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

Tennis ball for Galaxy; a chew toy for Thornton.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

They love to walk the trails in Boulder City NV.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Shababay, our neighbour's cocker spaniel ... and they love her.

What is each dog's most endearing quality?

Galaxy always wants everyone to be together and that's when she is the happiest.

Thornton just wants us all to have fun.

They are both very loving.

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

They would love it if we didn't work at all so that we were together 24/7.

Other than that they know they have an exciting life being the Vegas Rock Dogs.

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

My dogs' proudest moment was going on TV to yap about Vegas Rock Dog being a part of the Emmy Awards gift bags but it was also embarrassing.

Galaxy jumped up and down on her back legs like a kangaroo when she got scared of the camera cables, all on live TV.

Thornton had an embarrassing moment when again they were on TV and doing a fashion show and Thornton decided to lay down and go to got it...on live TV...

Visit the Vegas Rock Dog website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kari Ryerson & Baily, Mesa, and Big Carl

Who is in the photo at right?

Kari Ryerson, IT Consultant, Dog Rescuer

Baily, F, almost 4, Pit Bull/Boxer/?

Mesa, F, 4, Pit Bull/Am Bulldog

Big Carl, M, 3, Chihuahua

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's my weekly work from home day. I travel 4 days a week (sometimes more) for work but on 90% of Fridays I get to work from home so I take advantage and work from the sofa (and sneak in a nap or two).

What's brewing?

Any variety of Peet's Tea. The hubs used to work there so we stocked up with his discount. Current fave is Black Currant.

Any goodies to go with the tea?

Cookies, Cakes, Pies or whatever else I recently baked. I am an avid cook/baker.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Yummy Chummies, a staple since we adopted the girls in Alaska.

How were you and your dogs united?

All three of the monsters are adopted. Baily came into our lives at just over 7 weeks old from an adoption event for a local rescue in Anchorage, AK. Mesa came from Anchorage Animal Control three months later when we decided to get a friend for Baily before she got too spoiled. Big Carl has been with us for less than a year. We got him when we went to a rescue group BBQ fundraiser. It was love at first sight when the hubs set eyes on him.

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

Mesa came with her name from animal control. We thought it was unique and suited her so we kept it.

Baily was a name that I had stuck in my head for some reason and it wasn't until we went to pick up furniture the next day that I realized it was because we had been shopping at Bailey's Furniture (but our Baily has a better spelling.

Big Carl is named after a cheeseburger, seriously. The hubs and I were watching TV talking about getting a small dog someday when a Carl's Junior commercial came on talking about their new Big Carl burger. We laughed about how that would be an awesome name for a small dog. The next weekend we met Big Carl.

Nicknames, they have lots. Mesa is also known as: Moose, Moose Goose, Goose, Dip Dunk, Dozer, Moo Goo Gai Pan, Poop Foot. Baily is: Bug, Bug a boo, Boo, Snuggle-up-against, Baily Roo, Baily Sue. Big Carl is: BC, Carlos (his evil alter ego), Escape, Senor Chaos.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Squirrels drive the dogs insane!

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

Mesa and Big Carl love balls. Baily is a fan of ropes or any kind of tug toy.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

The dog beach. Mesa gets to swim, Baily gets to meet little kids, Big Carl gets to bark at lots of stuff.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other. They used to be super social and go to daycare and have friends over when we lived in Alaska and Northern California but since we moved to LA they haven't made nearly as many friends since my hubs works from home and can watch them all day.

What is each dog's most endearing quality?

Baily loves to snuggle. She is such a lover she passed her therapy dog certification on her first try.

Mesa is driven. If she wants something she will go for it (in most cases, It being a ball).

Big Carl can always find a way to make me laugh. No matter what, he is such a character it brings a smile to my face.

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

They would love if I didn't travel as much. I work as a consultant so I fly out for 3-4 nights each week while they stay home with the hubs.

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

Baily - proudest: passing her therapy dog exam; embarrassing: walking into a glass door.

Mesa - proudest: conquering dock diving; embarrassing: falling into the pool while chasing after a squirrel.

Big Carl - proudest: stealing food from Mesa any change he gets; embarrassing: falling out of bed in the middle of the night.

Visit the Dog is God in Reverse- My Life With Dogs blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Robert Kurzban & Goose

Who is in the photo at right?

This is a picture of Goose, Nicole (aka, my sweetie), and me, during the holidays.

My name is Robert Kurzban. I’m an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. I recently wrote Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite, my first book.

Goose is a gentle lady of 9 years, of mixed ancestry. Our best guess is that she’s a pit bull and lab mix.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No occasion. Goose and I don’t need an occasion to get together for a cup o’ joe. This [photo at left] is a shot of Goose sitting next to me during our morning ritual. Sometimes she prefers her bed, but usually she’s happier here on the floor, next to me. We’ve been together for a while now, so during these morning moments, there’s not a lot of conversation; we both just know.

What's brewing?

I drink Eight O’Clock coffee, freshly ground, black. It’s simple but good.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Morning coffee is a goodie.

Any treat for Goose on this occasion?

Goose is watching her weight. Treats are restricted to the evening hours, usually, one greenie, though Frosty Paws are always possible.

How were you and Goose united?

Nicole was Goose’s first person, but when Nicole and I got together about six years ago, we formed a little family. Goose and I hit it off right from the start.

How did Goose get her name? Any aliases?

Goose’s real first name is Lucy. Inevitably, we dropped the formality and started calling her “Luce,” which somehow became “Goose,” and then attracted a definite article and relaxed a bit, turning into “The Gooooooooose.” Now she’ll turn her head to nearly anything that has that long “o” in it.

Your new book is Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite--did Goose play any role in your research and writing?

Of course. She was behind me the whole time. And by that I mean she was literally behind me the whole time. She curls up on a little cushion – we call it “the dot” – behind my desk chair. Occasionally when I didn’t want to leave the book when it was clearly Her Time, she would nudge my arm with her snout to remind me that there was more business to be done than just writing.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Squirrel. Always with the squirrels, our Goose.

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

Plush animals. The small ones last about fifteen minutes or so. The well built ones can make it a few days if their stitching is heavy enough. She seems to particularly savor ripping the stuffing out.

Where is Goose's favorite place for an outing?

Anywhere there’s a sunbeam to lie in.

Who is Goose's best pet-pal?

Goose likes all people, and is pretty much indifferent to all canines.

What is Goose's best quality?

There has never been nor will there ever be a dog as sweet as Goose.

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

Well, “proudest” might not be exactly right, but during our walks, Goose likes to face down squirrels. She seems to enjoy it, so we usually let her stare at them for a while, and then she’ll make a move, after which they run up a tree, she loses interest, and we move right along. Once, she was staring down a particularly fat squirrel who – I want to be clear about this – was standing right next to a tree, and we figured it couldn’t possibly manage to fail to escape from our sweet but pokey dog. Well, we had her on a long leash, as we often do on the walks in the country and, like a dog possessed, Goose shoots at the squirrel, and, whap! In a blink of an eye she had actually managed to get the poor creature between her teeth. Nicole screamed, the Goose dropped the squirrel – which finally did scamper up the nearby tree – and we felt awful for the poor squirrel. But we did have to respect the fact Goose, just that once, actually got the better of a squirrel.

Most embarrassing. Well, Lucy is getting on in years, and we’re concerned with her hips when she goes up the stairs. So recently she’s started to use the “Rob Elevator,” which is me carrying her up the stairs. She knows that it’s good for her, but it’s clear she doesn’t find the arrangement dignified in the least. She bears it stoically though.

Visit the official website for Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite.

The Page 99 Test: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite.

--Marshal Zeringue