Friday, November 30, 2012

Colleen and John Marzluff & Reese, Digit and Bellatrix

Who is in the photo at right?

Colleen and John Marzluff. I volunteer with my dogs and work on writing when I can. I also volunteer for Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue with Siberian Husky rescue and education. John is a professor at University of Washington and the author of several books including one that he co-authored with his wife about life in rural Maine with Siberian Huskies and ravens (Dog Days, Raven Nights).

The dogs are border collies, Reese – 8 (F), Digit – 3 (M), and Bellatrix – 5 (F) (except for Digit who is ½ border collie and ½ unknown).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Everyday is coffee with my crew.

After a 4 mile walk they join me for my second cup of coffee and the paper.

What's brewing?

San Francisco organic rainforest from Costco, regular drip, with some creamer.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

They get their “breakfast” which is dry kibble that is ½ lamb and ½ salmon based.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Reese – as a rescue dog, she came with her name. Apparently she was named after the street where she was born. Reese’s Pieces, Miss Reese, Reesie.

Bellatrix – for fans of Harry Potter you should recognize this name. I was not too keen on it until my daughter who named her told me it is a star in a constellation. Bella, Bell (and she does wear a bell all the time so we can keep track of her), Bellie, Smellie Bellie, Red Dog.

Digit – he had 4 extra toes on each of his back feet so this was an obvious choice according to John who had naming rights. Diji, Dijimon, Dwij, Doodlebug, Digiredoo, Little Man, Freckle Face.

How were you and your dogs united?

Reese was found when she was 11 months old by our younger daughter, online from Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue after her 3-legged Siberian Husky had died. Her full story can be found on page 63 in To the Rescue, Found Dogs with a Mission by Elise Lufkin.

Bellatrix was one of three pups in a litter that a friend was fostering for Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue. The friend needed someone to care for the litter when she went on vacation. My oldest daughter begged to help and adopt one of the pups. I told her if she was successful taking care of the pups when my friend was gone, then she could adopt one.

Digit was in a litter of 8 pups that a friend in an agility class was fostering for Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue. We volunteered to help socialize the litter and fell in love with the biggest pup. He continues to see 2 of his brothers from the litter who are very different, so we suspect multi dads for the litter. They all had the extra digits.

We had 11 Siberian Huskies at one point in time when we were active with dog sledding (some of them are featured as the “Third down dogs” at the U of WA football games), so having 3 border collies is no problem.

You know quite a lot about crows and other corvids; are these birds smarter than border collies?

This is a tough question since each is at the top of its species for smarts.

They do well in each of their environments. So, to dodge the question, we have invented the “Crowdog” [photo left].

What is each dog's best quality?

We used to have Siberian Huskies who are notorious for running off, so having three dogs that will stay with you off leash is a quality that I really appreciate.

Reese is a real cuddler and great for when you need a dog fix which is why she makes a great pet therapy dog [photo right].

Bellatrix is good for a laugh, especially when she watches tv or the computer or chases random flashes of light when she is in the car or herds the waves at the beach.

Digit is a clown and loves to cuddle too, so he is a little of both of the others.

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

Reese – Zooey Deschanel: a little sweet, a little snarky.

Bellatrix – Ellen DeGeneres: a little OCD and goofy.

Digit – Robin Williams: just plain goofy.

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

For Reese – “Where do you go and what do you do when you disappear in the yard by yourself in the morning?

For Bellatrix [photo left] – “What are you thinking when you are watching TV/computer?”

For Digit – “Who was your father?”

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

Reese and Bella – more time for more off leash walks/hikes.

Digit – faster brain and body for agility.

Read about John M. Marzluff and Colleen Marzluff's Dog Days, Raven Nights.

--Marshal Zeringue

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