Friday, December 14, 2012

Juliana Willems & Otis

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Juliana Willems. I work marketing and events at my local humane society, I foster mostly "pit bull" dogs and I document it all in my blog Peace, Love & Fostering. The dog with me in the photo is one of my former foster dogs Otis, a two year old mutt (American bull dog? boxer? pointer? pit bull dog?), who is currently staying with me while his forever dad is out of town.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Otis is a big baby and since he doesn't like doing anything without me I bring him along even for my morning coffee.

What's brewing?

Anything from Starbucks. Probably something seasonal - so right now a skim, no whip gingerbread latte.

Otis doesn't need coffee because he becomes instantly caffeinated whenever I return from being gone for more than 30 seconds.

Any treats for you or Otis on this occasion?

I try not to feed him in public so that his drool doesn't take over his entire being.

How did you and Otis first meet?

He was adopted by a friend of mine and it wasn't working out. I offered to dog-sit him when they went away for a weekend and, as you can probably guess, he never went back. I fostered him two separate times (one other adoption didn't work out, poor pup) until he found his perfect forever home. It was worth the wait, because he and his dad are the most perfect pair.

Would you share a bit of insight about your work with foster dogs?

In the past year I've had a handful of both long term and temporary fosters, including dogs from the rescue group I work with, Jasmine's House. Because I work at the county shelter I see how valuable fostering is to open up cage space for the homeless animals that pour in through our doors every day. My foster dogs have all picked me for one reason or another, and even though they've all been adopted, a part of each of them will stay with me forever.

How did Otis get his name? Any nicknames?

Otis came with his name. I absolutely hated it at first, but now I think it totally fits him. His full name when he was looking for a home was Honey Bunches of Otis, and some current nicknames include Oats, Otie, Otie-potie, and dumbo.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

None of the above. To quote Otie's owner: "Otis almost chased a squirrel today. When it ran in front of him he walked a little faster for a few strides."

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Again, none of the above. Your best bet is to take any of those things and cover them with peanut butter before presenting it to him.

Does Otis have a favorite place to go for walk?

Anywhere his human goes - otherwise, he prefers the couch.

Who is Otis's best pet-pal?

He shares a yard with a really cute female mutt-something. They flirt all the time, but they're still in the awkward "I'm pretending I don't really like you" phase. He also has a great BFF relationship with a cocker spaniel who is about 1/3 his size.

What is Otis's best quality?

He makes you feel like you're the coolest person in the world!

And he doesn't destroy the house when I leave (a quality you learn to seriously appreciate when you're continuously getting foster dogs who aren't used to living in a home).

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

He would probably try to make it so that I never went anywhere without him.

If Otis could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Do you really think whining makes things all better?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Otis could speak, who should voice him?

Oh, definitely whatever actor played Napoleon Dynamite.

Visit the Peace, Love & Fostering blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

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