Friday, May 13, 2011

Kristin & Pip

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Kristin. I live in Chicago with my husband, daughter, rabbit, three cats, and of course, Pip. I currently work as a writer and professional fundraiser for a Chicago-based nonprofit. My background is in creative writing and the arts - I would definitely prefer to be doing something more creative, but unfortunately the bills need to be paid.

Pip is a 13-year-old (mostly) Yorkshire terrier. I say mostly because he is bigger than most Yorkies and we suspect he may have a little something else in him as well.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Who needs an occasion? I tend to take on too much and am always short on sleep. Caffeine is a must-have! Drinking coffee and spending time with Pip are two of my favorite activities.

What’s brewing?

Nonfat cocoa cappuccino – I like my coffee with chocolate and of course, skim milk to make it feel less indulgent.

Any treats for you or Pip on this occasion?

Pip likes anything and everything. I usually carry goldfish crackers in my purse – they work wonders with Pip and my daughter!

How did he get his name?

Pip is named after the main character in the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I love the book and the name just fits him.

How were you and Pip united?

Pip was abandoned at a pet store in 2001. He was left with another dog in a cramped and dirty carrier – they were both terrified! Witnesses say his former owner walked away laughing. Both dogs were admitted to Red Door Animal Shelter, a small no-kill shelter on the far north side of Chicago. The other dog, a Schnauzer named Teddy, was adopted almost immediately. Pip originally came to our house as a foster dog, but he was so frightened and sad, we just couldn’t send him back out into the world on his own. It took him years to transform into the confident, happy-go-lucky dog he is today.

I know from your blog that Pip lives with cats and a rabbit. How do they get along?

Pip loves cats – sometimes I think he thinks he is a cat! Our three cats occasionally boss him around, but otherwise, they all get along very well!

Our rabbit, Lulu, is the newest family member. Let’s just say, she doesn’t care for Pip much! Lulu lives in our downstairs family room and Pip lives on the main floor. He doesn’t seem interested in Lulu, but I think he definitely misses the family room! Hopefully, they will be friends some day!

Squeaky-toy, tennis ball, stick?

Pip is starting to slow down, but he still loves a good squeaky-toy – especially one he can flaunt in front of the cats!

Deer, postman, squirrel?

We have family in northern Wisconsin and there’s nothing Pip loves more than to go up there and bark at deer (from the safety of the front porch, of course)! He has never been very interested in squirrels, but the other day I caught him, for the first time in ten years, staring one down in the backyard!

What is Pip’s best quality?

Pip is one of the sweetest and most gentle creatures you will ever meet. He is wonderful with kids and if he were a little younger, we would definitely explore animal-assisted therapy.

Our daughter is a little shy, but with Pip at her side she has made many new friends. No matter where we are, children gravitate to him – which also helps her because she is the girl with “the dog”.

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

Pip gets very sad and shaky when I leave for work in the morning. I was home with my daughter (and Pip) for her first few years. When I returned to work, it was a huge adjustment for all of us, including Pip. I suspect we would probably all be happier if I worked from home!

What's your dog's most embarrassing moment?

Pip has some arthritis in his back legs and as a result has trouble with stairs. We watch him pretty carefully, but he has had a few bad falls. Thankfully, he has never been injured though he always looks quite embarrassed after a stumble.

His proudest moment?

His blog!! His blog!! His blog!! We are stunned and incredibly grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the pet blogging community! We are truly humbled by all the wonderful comments and support as well as new friends from around the world. Our goal for the blog is to celebrate the human-animal connection, help animals in need, and most importantly, make people laugh. We hope we succeed! Thank you!

Visit the official Pip Gets Back in the Game blog.

--Marshal Zeringue