Friday, January 6, 2012

Leslie & Stymie, Darla and Sharky

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Leslie from Baltimore, mom of two fantastic daughters ( 20 & 13) and three very entertaining dogs. I just turned 40 a few weeks ago and I still can't believe it!! For over 10 years I worked as a dog groomer-- needless to say, I love dogs, especially the big fuzzy ones. I gave up grooming because my achy back couldn't take the lifting and bending any longer. Now, I work part time at Michael's arts and craft store. If I can't be surrounded by dogs... then craft supplies is the next best thing.

Our dogs are Stymie, a very lovable 8 year old male Black Lab. Darla, the very bossy female Boston Terrier who is also 8, and Sharky, the rambunctious 3 yr old male Golden Retriever. This is their house... they just let us live here.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Everyday is an occasion with these guys. Let's say that today... it is coffee in bed with the three of them and I am fighting for my spot as usual.

What's brewing?

Nothing fancy here, just a Folgers Dark Silk K-cup from my Kurig.

Any treats for you or the dogs on this occasion?

Milk bones for the big guys and some teddy grams for Darla who has a sensitive stomach.

How were you and the dogs united?

We got Stymie a few days after we lost a pit bull that we got from a rescue. Our hearts were broken when we realized that we just couldn't keep her. She was super sweet but very dog aggressive. Twice, she jumped through the glass storm door to get out; it was a very sad, stressful and expensive experience. My husband, who was trying to mend our sadness found an ad for Lab puppies. It was love at first sight. Little puppy Stymie was just what we needed.

We got Darla just a few months after Stymie, We wanted him to have a buddy. Darla was a Valentines present to me from Paul. I had always wanted a Boston Terrier. My mother passed away just two weeks after we brought Darla home, I swear it was that little tiny stinky puppy that held me together during that tough time.

Sharky was a 10th birthday gift for our youngest daughter Sally.

How did the dogs get their names? Any aliases?

How did they get their names.... Stymie: we were in the car making the two hour drive home with this adorable black puppy and none of us could come up with a name other then frilly names like Cupcake and Sparkles ( the kinds of names that your pets get when you have two daughters). Then my husband blurts out, Stymie! (named after the kid on The Little Rascals). We all loved it and laughed the whole way home.

Darla's name also came from The Little Rascals. I thought that it was be cute to match Stymie. Her full name is Miss Darla Lewinsky (after Monica), and yes... she even has a blue dress.

Sharky's full name is Sharky Blagojevich... just look at his crazy hair and you'll see why he got the name. We like to call him Chucky (as in the chucky doll) when he is misbehaving.

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

All of the dogs love to take walks... they don't care where they go just as long as we take them somewhere. Stymie loves to walk up to the neighbors' house. Some days I call the neighbor and tell him to open the door. I let Stymie out and he runs straight to his house. He loves it there! I think that it is because the neighbor feeds him beer and cheese. Shhhh, don't tell the other dogs.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

As sweet as they are, these dogs aren't big fans of squirrels, cats or the mail and garbage men. My oldest daughter has a pet Dove named Pearl, the dogs love to watch and play with Pearl just as long as the bird stays on the floor. If he starts to fly away... look out! The retrievers first instinct is to try to catch him.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

They all love toys, but I have yet to find the "indestructible" toy. They destroy everything! Their favorite thing to do is swim. The boys (big dogs) will stay in the pool all day long. Although, Darla is a good little swimmer too, she would much rather be floating around on a raft with me.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Although all of the dogs are buddies, Stymie is more of a loner and Sharky and Darla are constantly together. Since Darla is a mama's lap dog we thought that the Golden would be great company for the lab ~ and we were a little worried about how Darla would accept the new puppy. It was completely opposite and Darla and Sharky took to each other from the start.

Whether it is sleeping, playing, giving each other a disgusting tongue bath, or fighting... they are always together.

What is each dog's best quality?

Each of our dogs has a unique personality and it is those personalities that are their greatest quality and gift to our family. Stymie is the typical tail wagging lab who always has to have something is his mouth.

Sharky is the gentle giant. He truly is the sweetest dog whose happiness radiates through the house. He constantly makes us smile.

Darla Lewinsky, with her pretty painted toe nails is the princess of the house... with a major case of little dog syndrome.

They have brought so much pleasure to our home, however chaotic it may get, it's a happy place to be.

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

I think that that dogs have changed me. Having three dogs is a lot of work and I have learned how to just relax and not sweat the small stuff. I think that if the dogs could change something about me that they would want me to sleep on the floor... so that they would be more comfortable sleeping in my spot of the bed.

If your dogs could speak in the movie about your life, who should do their voices?

What a fun question. Since Stymie is the oldest and wisest I think that James Earl Jones would be the best voice for him.

Keanu Reeves would be the perfect Sharky voice, I can just hear him now... "Narly dude!"

Estelle Getty from The Golden Girls would be the perfect voice for the sometimes grumpy Darla.

Visit Leslie's A Spoonful of Everything blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Darla with Estelle Getty's voice is a hoot. I love the picture of the water loving canine kids in the pool! I have a border collie/black lab, Pebbles (We are Flintstone fans) and she loves to swim. I also have a mini australian Shepherd, Rocky (though Bam bam was considered!) who is super smart and loves to fetch and bring back anything! Glad you enjoy your dogs-they are all adorable.
    Happy New Year,
    Ruth G. Zavitsanos

  2. This was great fun!!! Thank you for asking the dogs and I to participate. : )

  3. Great interview. It's clear how much you love your pooches :)

  4. Great post Leslie ...nice to see you from me...happy

  5. "They'd like me to sleep on the floor so they have more room on the bed." LOL. That is how I feel with our cats. I have one that literally sleeps on my head. When we had our little dog, Misha, she and the cats would take over the bed. Many times I would just give up and go sleep on the couch. And guess what, the animals would follow me out there.

  6. I loved reading this Leslie, loved hearing all about your life and gos, they are each so so cute! :D

  7. LOVE this! Leslie's doggies are the cutest! I always look forward to when she posts pics of the little darlings on her blog. ;)