Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tara Chevrestt & Lola, Pudgy, and Jazzy

Who is in the photo at right?

Lola is the black Pekingese. She'll be 8 years old in October. She's my number one sidekick. Pudgy is the pug. She just turned 7. Jazzy is the Japanese Chin and she is 6. I am Tara Chevrestt. I'm a former aviation mechanic, a dog mom, and a writer and editor.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Lola doesn't like coffee, actually. But I do. She often sits on my lap while I drink it (morning and evening). She'll give it a sniff, but balks at a sip. She does like my wine, however.

What's brewing?

I just brewed a pot of Toasted Coconut made by KONA Coffee Co. I added some chocolate caramel creamer and I've got dessert.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

A Milk Bone biscuit.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Oh yes. They go by so many names, it's a tad embarrassing for me to admit. First, Lola got her name from the Copacabana song. Her name was Lola...she was a dancer. She walks with a sashay and the name is so fitting. Pudgy was named for Betty Boop's dog. I love Betty Boop. When I got Jazzy, I was reading a book in which the heroine was named Jazzy and she opened a bar called Jazzy's Joint and I thought that was super cute, plus I always like the name Jasmine so I shortened it down.

For some reason, I've never been able to call Lola just Lola. It's Baby Lola. My husband tells me that as long as I keep calling her baby, she'll act like one. I also love to use Spanish words and names every chance I get so Lola is also Senorita Lolita (I even used it in a book!), Pudgy is Pugita Mamacita, and Jazzy is Chiquita Bonita. I know. I'm weird.

Do your dogs contribute to your writing?

Yes! I wrote a book all for them as a matter of fact: Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers. They each have their own "tail." Lola's is Thank Dog it's Friday and it's about her and her mommy switching bodies for a day. Well, I wrote that and then the other two kept giving me mournful looks so I had to write stories for them as well and Dog Tails came to be.

I also bounce story ideas and plot lines off Pudgy. She does this head cocking thing and really seems interested and though she doesn't respond, talking out loud helps me work things out.

How were you and your dogs united?

I'm ashamed to say I bought them. At the time, I did not know the things I know now regarding breeders and puppy mills, but I wouldn't go back and do it any differently cause I love them so. I wanted a dog very badly and I researched toy breeds cause I lived in an apartment at the time and found an ad in the paper for little Peke puppies. It was love at first sight. She was a little black ball of fuzz. She took two steps, peed with fright, took two steps. I melted.

Pudgy was also the result of an ad in the paper. I wanted a companion for Lola. They did not get along at first and I think they still don't. But Pudgy came from a house full of pugs! Pugs everywhere! And I picked her up and she tried to hoola hoop right out of my arms! She's the stubborn one.

Jazzy was an online thing (Yes, I know now. Sorry.) Again, love at first sight. I still have her the photo I fell in love with that made me hand over an entire paycheck to fly her from Kansas into my arms. I'd always wanted a Japanese Chin, however, ever since I saw one in a pet store and played with it, but had to leave it behind.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other. Jazzy used to have a friend named Onyx, a Rottweiler triple her size, but she moved to Wyoming.

Do your dogs have any non-canine pet-pals?

Nope. But they sure do love when their Grandma Janet comes to visit. The girls love to play with their daddy too. Me, I'm more for hugs and kisses. When daddy comes home, they bring out the toys.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

They chase away my birds from the feeder!

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

I'm deaf and watch movies with closed captioning so I had to enlist my mother for this question. She said Jennifer Lopez would be Lola because she has a nice voice and is Spanish. (Lola's origins are Chinese, but her attitude is def. Latina. She takes after her mom.) Pudgy's voice would be Angelina Jolie because Pudgy thinks she's sexy. And Jazzy would be Phyllis Diller because according to my mother, when Jazzy does make a noise, it doesn't sound good and I guess Ms. Diller had a very horrific laugh.

What is each dog's best quality?

Pudgy is my hearing dog. And I didn't even train her to be one. She just seems to know that her mommy is deaf. When the doorbell rings, she alerts me. When I use an oven timer and I tell her, "Let me know when this goes off," she does. I would be lost without her.

Lola is the one that I hold when I'm down, when life kicks my a**. She senses my moods and offers comfort or humor when I need it.

Jazzy is my silent shadow. She never makes a sound but follows me room-to-room as though protecting me. And sometimes, when I wake up, she's sleeping almost on top of my head. I like to think she's being a dream catcher for me.

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

Pudgy would want more food. Screw her diet, she says. I'm very firm about them not overeating. She hates that.

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

I've always said...if they could talk...I would ask, "What do you think of me?"

Visit Tara Chevrestt's website, blog, and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Very good interview. It was so nice to read something different about you. Love it. The girls are just like they are in the book too.

  2. I'd say the dogs are lucky to have you!

  3. Great interview and I love those photos, especially baby Lola! She's just adorable!!

  4. Lovely interview, Tara! You make an excellent dog proud of your girls. :)

  5. Nice getting to learn about you. What beautiful dogs!


  6. I LOVED this interview!! Talk about a fresh idea. It was wonderful getting to know you better, Tara. Best wishes for you and your pupparoos!

  7. Thank you everyone! I think I'm lucky to have them in my life.

  8. My kind of gal! Kona coffee and dogs (and I love my black cat too). ILY Tara. I'm so glad to have virtually met you.

    Christie G. (A.C.)

  9. Beautiful dogs and beautiful owner! I'm going to look up your book on Amazon!

    Have a great summer with your pack :)

    Crystal & Pinch (check out our profile on this site under "daschunds" or "mini pins"!)