Friday, April 13, 2012

Susan H. James & Isabella and Jake

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Susan and I'm the owner and photographer at Susan H. James Photography. I also blog about the adventures and antics of my huskies at A Tale of Two Huskies. This photo is of me, my husband, and our Siberian huskies Isabella and Jake at the beach this past Christmas. Isabella is 1 1/2 years old, and Jake is 1 year old.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I stopped for a frappe on the way to the park with my huskies.

What's brewing?

McDonald's mocha frappe.

Any goodies to go with the coffee? Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

I don't usually have anything with my frappe, and my huskies get treats after their walk-- usually Dentley's rawhides or peanut butter-filled stuffed hooves.

How were you and your dogs united?

My husband found a breeder outside of Raleigh, NC and loved the picture of one particular husky, now our Isabella. A little over six months later, we started searching for a good playmate for Isabella, and ended up going back to the same breeder, where I picked out Jake. They have the same parents, so they're full-blooded brother and sister, just from different litters.

You've got some beautiful wedding photos on your website and blog. Which are more challenging to photograph: dogs or brides?

Thanks. Definitely brides. While dogs may move around a lot more, they don't care if they look a little heavier than usual or make a weird face in the photos. Brides do.

How did your dogs get their names? Any nicknames?

My husband liked the name Isabella, and we went through lists and lists of names until we both finally agreed on Jake. (Note: The names were not picked in connection with the Twilight saga. I've had many point out that connection, but we never read the books or watched the movies. Just a coincidence.) Isabella's nicknames include Baby Girl (which we used just as much as Isabella, if not more), Missy (when she's getting a little brave), and Princess (when I'm annoyed with her and she's acting "too good" for something). Jake's nicknames include Jake-Jake, Jakey-boy, Big Boy, and Goober. Ironically, before getting Jake, my husband suggested this name, and I told him that you couldn't name a dog Goober, it would just be wrong. Turns out Goober would've been a perfect name because he's so klutzy and makes the funniest faces.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Anything and everything that moves excites my huskies-- people, squirrels, cats, other dogs...Isabella wants to greet every person and dog, and chase everything else. Jake likes to greet all people, but is more likely to bark at another dog until he gets to know them a bit. He'll also chase squirrels, cats, leaves, etc. Any time the doorbell rings or someone knocks at the door, they go crazy, trying to see who can get to the door first and jump up to see who's outside.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

They love toys. Isabella never tore up a toy until Jake arrived. He's a chewer and can de-stuff or de-squeak a toy fairly quickly; Isabella is now just as good at it. Ropes, tennis balls, and more recently, really bouncy balls-- they can't get enough of them. Huskies aren't known for fetching, but Isabella will retrieve a ball almost every time, in hopes you'll throw it again and continue the fun. Jake may or may not return it-- he's a bit hit-and-miss on that.

What is each dog's most endearing quality?

Isabella has never met a stranger. She loves meeting new people and seeing old familiar faces.

Jake is the sweetest dog. He loves to lay on my feet anytime I sit down. He will also lick you to death if you'll let him-- hands, face, neck, toes, whatever he can get to.

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

They'd want me to allow them to sleep on the bed more often, or every night.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

Anywhere in the open that allows them to run free like the wind. There's not too many places that they get that opportunity, so anytime they can, they have a blast.

What is each dog's proudest moment?

For Isabella, it's anytime she thinks she's outsmarted me or my husband. She's always been smart as a whip, so anytime she figures out how to escape the screened-in porch, or finds a toy that I've hidden out of reach (or so I thought), she's happy.

For Jake, it'd probably have to be finding yet another tree or post to mark every time he's outside.

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

For Isabella, probably Jennifer Garner or Kate Beckinsale-- they have the beauty, brains, and kick-butt attitude that Isabella has.

For Jake, I'd say maybe Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler-- someone that's a bit of a goofball and bumbler, like Jake always is.

Visit the Susan H. James Photography website and A Tale of Two Huskies blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. I love your blog Marshal! Sharing it on facebook. I think it is the coolest one around. And those huskies. Beautiful. Thanks for such a fun spot! Glad I had my day here with my pack too. Barbara

  2. We loved learning more about Jake and Isabella - they sure are Siberians - we all have a lot of the same traits. Lightning is currently on a destroy-a-stuffie-a-day binge.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  3. Great Q&A!! ;)
    Wow!! Isabella and Jake are blood "siblings"? That is so neat!! Seriously!! ;-D
    Isn't that the truth about brides and their self-consciousness issues!! However, my BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE Beagle/German Shepherd cross, Rose, is nearly impossible for me to photograph!! She dislikes the camera's bright flash!! ;op
    Is that considered "peer pressure"? When one dog teaches another some habit? ;-}
    Happy Friday the 13th to you!! ;-O

  4. It was so great to learn more about Jake and Isabella. How cool that they are true brother and sister! Great interview! :)