Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kellie Rupard-Schorr & Buddy, Belle, and Briscoe

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Kellie Rupard-Schorr. I am a HIV/AIDS Prevention Specialist, freelance writer and comic book collector. I write a spirituality blog and a political webcomic called The Beaglez. I live with my partner Cathy, 3 beagles and 2 cats.

Buddy is a 6-year-old female lemon beagle (only tan and white).

Belle (the little one) is a 6-year-old female Tri-color beagle with black ears.

Briscoe is a 2-year-old female Tri-color beagle with big brown ears.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Sunshine!! After months of cold temperatures, rain and snow the sun finally came out and we had a warm enough day to take the whole pack to the historic Battlefield Park for a walk.

What's brewing?

Panera Light Roast with a metric ton of sugar in it (well, maybe not that much). Like most folks raised on southern sweet tea and Pepsi, I like my drinks super sweet.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Not today, although it was hard to pass up the pastries in the store.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

No snacks on this trip, but after the long winter a walk at the park is always a treat.

How were you and the beagles united?

In 2004 one of our cats passed away and Cathy grieved terribly. I had never seen a lemon beagle before and took Cathy to go see her. They were a match made in heaven. Eventually, it became clear Buddy needed a friend so we brought Belle into the family. Two years ago we noticed our dogs were becoming big couch potatoes, so we picked out Briscoe to liven up the pack.

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

Buddy earned her name because we got her to be Cathy’s “buddy”.

Belle was named after Snoopy’s sister in the comic strip Peanuts.

Briscoe [photo right] had such a wrinkly forehead and stubborn nature we named her after our favorite TV character – Law and Order’s Lenny Briscoe.

What was the inspiration for your webcomic at

I like to talk about politics, but I don’t like to fight about politics. One day I was downloading a camera card and realized I had about 100 pictures of the dogs. So I started making political cartoons out of them which got a great response from friends. I discovered people are more likely to listen and discuss rather than argue when your thoughts come out of the mouths of cute beagles.

UPS man, cat, squirrels?

Anything that moves. The beagles have a fenced in play area so squirrels frequently come up to the fence and tease them and they would love to get their paws on one! We also have a lot of deer in the area that provide a howling good time. [Belle, photo left]

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

Definitely squeaky-toy! Briscoe gets a new toy every morning to destroy while we get ready for work. Once she pulls the squeaker out we take it away and give all three girls a treat. A squeaker a day keeps the blues away.

Where are the dogs' favorite places for outings?

They love the Battlefield Park, an actual civil war battlefield. We live out in the country so any walk in the woods is always full of good smells and diversions.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Beagles love everyone and the whole world is their best friend.

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

They would want me to get up earlier so I could spend more play time with them. I’m not a morning person so I get up with just enough time to get ready and get out the door to work. If they had their way, I’d spend all day hanging out with the home beagles.

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

Proud: My partner Cathy was being treated for breast cancer and had just taken her first chemotherapy treatment. She said she felt fine and wanted to snooze on the couch and I went to the back of the house to take a nap. About an hour later Buddy [photo right] started jumping up and down frantically on the bed to wake me up. She never does anything like that. I got up and noticed Belle was running up and down the hall and wouldn’t stop. She just kept running to the bedroom door then running down the hall. Since it was unusual for both dogs to be so frantic, I followed Belle and found Cathy lying on the bathroom floor. She had gotten sick and gone in there while I was sleeping. Thanks to the dogs I was able to stay with her while she was ill.

Embarrassing: We took Buddy and Belle to a pet store to have their picture taken with Santa. They put a huge red bow on Buddy that made her look really dorky. Then while we were in line, Buddy had a “backwards sneeze” (something beagles are prone to – it sounds and looks like an asthma attack). So she starts hacking and wheezing loudly while everyone is staring at her. Cathy sat in the floor with her and tried meditative techniques so she started rubbing Buddy’s chest and saying, “Think about calm things, visualize nice thoughts, think about being at the vet. You love the vet.” It was so embarrassing Belle and I walked down the cat toy aisle and pretended we didn’t know Cathy or Buddy!

Visit The Beaglez webcomic.

--Marshal Zeringue