Monday, March 21, 2011

Alex & Nigel, Natalie, and Nash

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Alex. By profession I am a marketer/advertiser, but in this economy I am now professionally a care giver to my 3 beasts and my military spouse, and a blogger over at Laundry and Vodka. That's Natalie with me in the photo.

I have 3 lovelies:

Nigel - 5 1/2 year old Dachshund
Natalie - 4 year old Basset Hound
Nash - 2 1/2 year old Australian Blue Heeler

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with Nigel every day. He sits in my lap on the sofa while I drink my joe. But today, he is not feeling well and spent the night with the vet to get him into better shape. So instead, I have the two big dogs lounging on the floor by my feet. Nash likes when I use him as a foot rest.

What's brewing?

I am a caffeine addict, but with pregnancy has come limitation on my obsession with coffee. I am 5 months along with my first child (a girl!), so I am drinking half caf black drip. Gag! It's the only way I can justify more than 1 cup in the morning, but I miss my bold, jet fueled coffee!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I have the same goody every day - Nuts Over Chocolate Luna Bar.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Nash already gobbled his up, but Natalie is still munching on a dental chewy this morning.

How were you and your dogs united?

Nigel the weenie dog became my best friend in 2005. I had an old, ailing cat, and needed a dog that would do well with him. I also worked a good bit and needed a breed that slept a lot. Perfect solution? A weiner! He was the right fit for my family immediately!

Nash was a welcome home gift for my husband upon his return from Iraq. He just loved the breed and had always wanted a heeler, so it was the perfect gift.

Natalie is our most recent addition. We moved to a home in the mountains, one day a beautiful white basset hound showed up at my door. She was hungry and dirty, so we fixed her up. I drove around and did manage to find the owners, but they said they didn't want her anymore. I took her straight to the vet, everything that could be wrong with a dog was wrong with her... worms, bad teeth, bad skin, never been fixed, etc... A few weeks and lots of money later she was a vision of health!

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

All of my animals have always had names that start with "N". It's a quirky fun thing I've done since I was a kid.

Nigel just suits him, he's a funny little devil.

Nash, we lived in Nashville at the time, so it was a great fit for our rambunctious puppy.

Natalie, her name was previously Ally, so Natalie sounded really close to that. She doesn't respond to either name (Ally or Natalie), she prefers to be called Girlfriend.

FedEx man, cat, squirrels?

Nigel loves to bark at the UPS man! Nigel is blind, so he barks his head off until the man says hello, then he runs to his feet for the pet that he knows he's due.

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

Nigel loves his babies. I've included a photo of him with his beloved skunk. He sleeps with him every night, tucked under his arms like it's his baby.

Nash is a tennis ball fanatic. As many times as we'll throw it, he'll fetch it!

Natalie just likes chewies, any kind of chewy. Unfortunately, she doesn't know the difference between a chewy and sunglasses, or a chewy and a flip flop...

Where are the dogs' favorite places for outings?

Nigel should have a sign that reads, "Have food? Will travel." He'll go anywhere, any time.

Nash loved dock diving! He doesn't quite get the hang of it yet, but he loves all of the other dogs and the special attention he receives.

Natalie is a home body, she just wants people to come love on her.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Nigel loves his babies.

Nash and Natalie love each other.

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

The big dogs would want me to spend more time in the backyard with them. Nash would want me to have an automatic throwing arm to keep that tennis ball flying. And Nigel doesn't like my growing baby bump because it is taking up his lap space!

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

Nigel went with me to the airport to pick up his daddy when he returned home from a 15 month deployment to Iraq. We had never gone so long without seeing him, and I feared that Nigel would forget his daddy. I had left Nigel in the car while I ran in to find my husband, as we entered the parking garage I ran a few steps ahead to get Nigel on his leash so he could greet his dad. Nigel had not yet gone blind, so as I hooked his leash, I turned him around and sat him on the ground. My husband didn't make a sound, he just looked at his little wiener dog. All of the sudden, Nigel let out the loudest scream I had ever heard from a dog. He started dancing in place, and peeing everywhere, and screaming and crying. My big strong military husband started crying, he tried to pick up Nigel but he was still peeing from the excitement of it all... like a sprinkler all over his boots. Finally, he calmed down enough to be held, and in that moment I am absolutely certain that Nigel was the proudest I'd ever seen him. He had kept me safe, our home safe, and he was ready for his daddy's return.

Natalie had an embarrassing moment in my car - we didn't know each other very well yet. She was crying, but I assumed she was just a little nervous in the car. Then she cried a little louder, I assured her we were almost to our destination. Then she cried louder! I was turning in to the vet... then I smelled it. She had dookied in my car. Sigh!!! I got her out, she ran as fast as she could to the grass to finish her business. I could tell she was mortified, poor little thing.

Nash is all boy, and on level ten all the time. I don't think he knows what embarrassing means. But he's awful proud of his pretty girlfriend Natalie, he grooms her all day long.

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--Marshal Zeringue