Monday, May 16, 2011

Donna Christensen & Erin and Buck

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Donna Christensen, I am the creator of and Paws and Claws Web Design. I started out in Hair Design, had a lucrative Custom Floral Design Business and for the past 14 years Web and Graphic Design.

In the photo on the right are Erin and Buck. Erin is a 5-year-old German Shepherd and is the inspiration for my blog Freedom To Bark. Buck is an 11-year-old Mixed Breed who came to live with us with his mom when he was one year old after his owner passed away and no remaining family members wanted to take in the two of them in.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We start our day early, usually around 4 am, sometimes as early as 3 am. I only have one cup of coffee a day but can't start work without it. I'm a creature of habit so it's more routine then actually needing it to get started.

What's brewing?

Nothing special, they all work for me. I do love Iced Coffee though when I go out.

Any treats for you or the dogs on this occasion?

While we wait on the coffee Erin and Buck get a morning treat, usually crackers, cheese or a dog treat. Nothing for me until 7 am when I eat before the kids get up.

How were you and Erin united?

We have always been partial to German Shepherds. Before Erin we had Irish and she was an outstanding family dog and pack leader to our four dogs. When Irish passed on the whole house went into limbo, even our other dogs were at a loss without their leader. We even searched and found the info for the people that we got Irish from hoping against hope that they still lived there and might have a litter. All that call accomplished was more tears. We learned that they only had that one litter and kept one of Irish's sisters which also passed away a week before Irish did. We finally found another breeder and chose Erin out of the litter. She was the runt of the litter and something about her called out to us. I was still upset over loosing Irish and it took me awhile to not constantly compare the two. I had a hard time accepting how different they were but now realize it was necessary to move forward.

How did Erin get her name?

My husband chose it. He's Irish and always picks an Irish Name.

Squeaky-toy, tennis ball, tick?

They have to be durable. Erin's favorites are her Kong and Tug Toy. Buck doesn't care for toys.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Erin is finally accepting the postman; He calls her Cujo. She still can't tolerate the Fed Ex or UPS people. As soon as she hears the truck she's in the window ready to warn them off even if they are down the block.

We have a possum and raccoon that visit our yard regularly. The possum lives under our deck in the summer and drives them wild. We had a real close call with the raccoon. They cornered him one night and it jumped onto Buck's back and wouldn't get off. It took three of us to control the dogs and finally get the raccoon to back off. Thankfully Buck wasn't bitten and if this is the same raccoon, he still comes around every night.

What's an ordinary day like for Erin?

Erin is non-stop energy. Her day consists of playing with her toys, harassing Buck, chasing the birds and squirrels in the yard. She doesn't settle down until night time.

What is Erin's best quality?

Her intelligence and desire to please us.

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

Definitely more play time.

What's Erin's proudest moment so far? Her most embarrassing?

Erin is top dog here and she knows it; she can do no wrong in my husband's eyes.

Her most embarrassing I'd say is catching a bird in our yard a few years ago. She came to the door so happy and expecting praise with the bird in her mouth and instead was reprimanded. She looked so forlorn.

Also she's afraid of our Hamster. She plays all tough until the hamster comes near her and she takes off for safety.

Visit the Freedom to Bark blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue