Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Maura Lynch & Dudley and Fergus

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Maura Lynch, a former entertainment and book publishing executive who is now writing a nonfiction book about a major health issue with an emphasis on patients’ perspectives and rights.

Dudley (male) is a 4-year-old Yorkshire Terrier.

Fergus (male) is a 3-year-old Silky Terrier.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I pick up a coffee from my favorite street vendor on the corner of 67th and Broadway in New York City every morning when we three are on our way home from a morning walk in Central Park.

What’s brewing?

I have no idea what beans are used—this is a coffee cart on the street—but it’s the best cup of java I know! I like it with International Delights French Vanilla, no sugar.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

No, the coffee is treat enough for this tea drinker!

Any treat for Dudley and Fergus on this occasion?

We usually stop in at my TD Bank branch where they have dog biscuits for customers’ dogs.

How were you and your dogs united?

Four years ago, on Easter Sunday 2007, I found Dudley online through I was incredibly naïve, and didn’t realize that he had been born in a puppy mill in Missouri. The next day, I went to Brooklyn to get him from “the middle man,” and fell madly in love. Alas, poor Dudley was very ill, and I had to take him to the vet immediately. He had broncho-pneumonia, which is what happens when kennel cough (bordatella) is left untreated. Poor pup spent the first 10 days in the vet hospital.

In early July 2008 I stopped at a pet store in the West Village to pick up a treat for Dudley. There were puppies in the window, and I knew that these dogs were all from puppy mills. Yet in the back of the store, crated 24/7, was this sad but sweet male pup. I started visiting this puppy twice a week for three weeks. The store owner told me the puppy was a “6-month-old Yorkie.” However, he was a 4-month-old Silky Terrier. By week 3, I had to “rescue” the puppy. I named him Fergus, and he’s been the best addition to my household.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

I loved the name Dudley, probably because of my fondness for the late Dudley Moore. After I named him, I found out that in Irish Dudley means “little black warrior of the two sides.” Dudley is just that. He’s fiercely protective of our home, but when we’re out and socializing, he acts demure and timid. His nickname is “The Bubba” (which then became “The Bubba-do”).

When I got Fergus, I knew I wanted to use another Celtic name, and I liked the meaning, i.e. “fierce man; first choice.” He may be my second dog, but he definitely was my first choice when I saw him! Fergus’s nickname is “Fergie,” and I also call him “Sweetie Pea.”

Cat, squirrel, postman…?

Since they’re both terriers, they’re very protective of our home, and rush to the door if they think “intruders” (meaning anyone who walks past) may enter the domicile. Fergus would love to chase all the squirrels in Central Park, but he’s not allowed to do that. Yet, they’re both very well-socialized, and get along great with other dogs and with people.

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick…?

They are the squeaky-toy kings. When the weather is bad, we play a rousing game of “Fetch” with their vast empire of squeaky-toys. After all, terriers are ratters, and I need to keep them at the top of their game!

Where is your dogs’ favorite place for outings?

Central Park.

Who are your dogs’ best pet-pals?

Each other. They also love my mother’s two Yorkies, Georgie and Seamus, their “country cousins.”

If Dudley and Fergus could change one thing about you, what would it be?

They would like to mesmerize me so that I give treats on their command, which would mean every minute of the day.

What is each dog’s best quality?

Dudley taught me about the unconditional love and loyalty a dog will give you, and he taught me about courage by battling serious illness when I first got him. Fergus wakes up every day full of joy and enthusiasm. His happiness is contagious, and he reminds me that every day is a gift, and fun can be just around the corner.

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

I think they each experienced pride when they began to learn basic commands such as, “Sit. Stop. Stay.” They’re rarely embarrassed, except when they’ve fought with me or one another. Then they want to kiss and make up.

Visit Maura Lynch's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue