Monday, October 3, 2011

Sue Wilcox-Hall & Fudge and Samba

Who's in the photo at right?

I'm Sue Wilcox-Hall and with me are two of my ten dogs. I used to work as a bookkeeper, but now I spend my days playing with my dogs and indulging in my hobbies of knitting, sewing and cross stitch.

On the left is Fudge, a six year old Portuguese Water Dog and on the right is Fudge's mate Samba, a nine year old Portie.

What's the occasion for Coffee With A Canine?

The pack joins us every morning for coffee. If we have an early morning vet appointment or obedience class, we still have coffee together when we get home.

What's brewing?

No special blend in the morning. I do like a mocha later in the day. Any excuse to have some chocolate.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Each morning my husband makes two slices of toast for the dogs. Some days he spreads them with cream cheese, sometimes with peanut butter and occasionally with jelly. He cuts them into little pieces and each dogs gets two pieces. They all wait quietly while we have breakfast, knowing their special treat is coming afterwards.

How were you and your dogs united?

We used to rescue abused and neglected puppies. Our first PWD was one of those pups. When he died at age 14 I knew I had met my breed and would always have one. I contacted a Portuguese lady who had some pups and Samba came to live with us. After a few years I decided to breed her and I studied pedigrees. Fudge had the best pedigree I could find and so at 8 weeks of age he joined the family. Together they produced a litter of nine and we kept six of the pups. The eight Porties along with two mixed breed rescues make up our family.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

Definitely squirrels which we have to refer to as 'sq'. They recognize the word and race to the windowseat to check the deck and trees for invading squirrels.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

I put a lot of thought into naming our dogs because they tend to grow into their names. Samba is Boo's Legacy Samba Dancer. Boo was our first Portie and she is his legacy. Legacy is also our kennel name. She came out of her carrier after a twelve hour flight jumping and dancing and ready for action.

Fudge is a brown and white Portie. His full name is Deerpark's Chocolate Legacy RN. Deerpark was his breeder's kennel, his color is chocolate and Legacy is our kennel name. I was at a loss as to what to call him until my husband asked what was my favorite type of chocolate candy. My answer was Fudge and it was the perfect name for this boy.

Samba is sometimes called Mama because she's the mother of so many of our dogs and Fudge is Fudgie or sometimes Doofus.

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, Frisbee?

All of the above. Fudge like to make noise so he often carries a squeaky toy around and keeps up a constant squeak. Samba's very favorite toy is her Flying Cow Frisbee. She gets so excited when she sees it that I keep it hidden. She even taught all her puppies to play with it. Samba also loves her water Frisbee and does great water retrievals when we go to the lake.

How many times have you heard: "Oh, isn't that the kind of dog the Obama family has?"

Before the Obama's adopted Bo, most people had never heard of Portuguese Water Dogs. When I said I raised them, people gave me a blank look and asked what it was. Now some people recognize my dogs as PWDs, but even those that don't at least have heard of the breed. I no longer get people asking if they're poodles, labradoodles or sheepdogs.

What's each dog's proudest moment so far? The most embarrassing?

Samba's proudest moment was when she and I delivered her beautiful puppies together. We cared for them together, it was really a joint effort. Samba doesn't have embarrassing moments. If something doesn't go as she planned, she shrugs it off and tries harder the next time. I wish I was more like her.

Fudge's proudest moment was when he earned his Rally Obedience title. We worked hard for it. He would say that wearing some of the hats I find for him are his most embarrassing times. I'd say his most embarrassing, at least for me, were the times in the show ring when he decided on his own to show the judges the tricks he could do. I say judges because Fudge has done this several times. He loves to make people laugh and if he sees that he's succeeding, there's no stopping him.

Do your dogs have a favorite place to go for a walk?

We have a fenced acre for the dogs to run and that's their favorite place to play. We organize games such as ball games, frisbee or chasing paper airplanes. They also have a wading pool that they love to splash in. There is a public trail behind our house and we often walk a couple at a time. It offers a good opportunity to do training away from their own yard and the rest of the pack.

What is each dog's best quality?

Samba is loyal. She wants to be with me every minute of the day. She'll do anything I tell her to. Fudge is a clown. He loves to make people laugh and he's also a very good sport.

If Hollywood made a movie in which your dogs could talk, who should do their voices?

Fudge would be Robin Williams. Fudge is a clown.

Samba would be Barbra Streisand because she has a great vocal range which she isn't afraid to use, from high pitched yips to deep throaty growls. Also as our Alpha dog, she's quite bossy.

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

Samba is a chow hound so she'd make me more generous with treats. She'd also be sure that I took her with me every time I leave the house. Fudge would like it if I paid less attention to the other male dogs in the house and gave him my undivided attention at all times.

Learn more about Fudge and Samba and their pack-mates at The Portuguese Water Blog and the Dogs-N-More blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Thanks Marshal! My dogs think they're famous now.

  2. What a great interview!! Loved getting to know Fudge and Samba a little better!

  3. Woo Hoo - we LOVE Samba and Fudge AND the rest of the pack too. Great interview.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  4. So nice to see some of our bestest furiends here!!

    The Rocky Creek Scotties and Ivy

  5. Hi Y'all,

    Neat article. Following these fellows on their blog has offered much entertainment.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. I stumbles across this article while searching for a Flying Cow Frisbee - please share - where'd you get it?