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