Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Caetlin Benson-Allott & Frisco

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Caetlin Benson-Allott, assistant professor of English and Film and Media Studies at Georgetown University. And that's Frisco, my Shih Tzu. He's three and a half years old. My partner Seth is not pictured because he took the picture, but he's Frisco's second in command (that is, the second person Frisco is in command of).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

First beautiful summer day of the year, so we shaved Seth's head. Then Frisco insisted we all go out for cocktails.

What's brewing?

I'm having a Hendricks and tonic, Seth is having a Saranac Pale Ale, and Frisco is having water.

Any treats for you or Frisco on this occasion?

Frisco broke into a bag of apple-flavored rice cakes earlier, so no more treats for him today. Seth and I are having mini fish tacos.

How were you and Frisco united?

My friend Irene brought us together. She told her good friend at San Francisco Animal Care and Control that I was looking for a shih tzu. When my little dog Joe died of old age, I desperately wanted another shih tzu to replace him, but I had to wait until the new dog wouldn't just be a replacement before I adopted again. After two years, I was finally ready. Well, less than I week after Irene told her friend to keep an eye out, she sent us a picture of the most terrified little shih tzu I'd ever seen. In twenty-four hours, I got permission from my landlord, lined up daycare with my sister, and called to say I wanted that little puppy. Unfortunately, I had to teach the next day, so it was another twenty-four hours before I could go pick him up. I was terrified Frisco would disappear before I got to the shelter! We met on the sidewalk outside ACC, then went inside to play ball and get to know one another. After about ten minutes, Irene's friend asked, "Well, do you think it's a match?" I was dumbfounded. It had never occurred to me that Frisco wasn't the one for me. I had been worried they'd think I wasn't the one for him.

That was three years ago. We've been "pair bonded" ever since.

How did Frisco get his name? Any aliases?

He came with it! I considered it my duty to get little Frisco out of San Francisco as quickly as possible. So we moved to Washington DC. But now when I tell people his name I have to tell people it's "Frisco, as in San Francisco" (not Crisco). His nicknames are Fritz Co Co, Little Man, and Little Boo.

Does Frisco do more to help or to hinder your scholarship?

Help! He sits on my lap and prevents me from leaving my desk. He also keeps me company while I am watching movies for work (although he tends to fall asleep).

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Squirrel (but I doubt Seth's cat would agree).

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Ball. In fact, he's kind of a tennis ball miser at the dog park. If there are any balls to be found, he carries them away from the other dogs and refuses to play anymore.

Does Frisco have a favorite place to go for outings?

Ithaca Falls park in Ithaca, NY. He doesn't like to swim, but he's very interested in watching the water from afar. He loves Rock Creek Park in Washington DC for the same reason.

Who is Frisco's best pet-pal?

He thinks it's Seth's cat, Baker, but she's been trying to dump him since day one. His best doggie pal is Derby, who belongs to a colleague of mine at Georgetown. He likes to chase Derby through Rock Creek Park.

What is Frisco's best quality?

It's so easy to make him happy. One used tennis ball or a fifty-cent Greenie, and it's best day ever.

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

I would give him scraps every time he asks and take him to class with me. He believes he's earned both by just being cute.

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

If I take you you to class with me, do you promise to sit still and be quiet until class is over? No flirting with the undergrads?

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

Jack McBrayer, no question!

Learn more about Caetlin Benson-Allott's Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens at the University of California Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens.

--Marshal Zeringue

1 comment:

  1. So happy you found Frisco and rescued him! Sounds like he's got a really great life with you now! Great post!
    Max and Max's Ma