Monday, July 15, 2013

Lauren Atkins & Winston and Maggie

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Lauren Atkins, instructional technologist and food blogger at My canine companions are the very distinctive Winston, a five year old basset hound-shad pei mix. His "little" sister is Maggie, thinks she is a tiny kitten but is actually a 3 year old English Mastiff.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's stormy out and when it rains, we like to curl up with a cup of tea and watch tv together while I work on recipe ideas. Maggie in particular is a very snuggly dog. Winston just really enjoys naps and very much hates rain.

What's brewing?

This occasion is technically Chai with a Canine. Iced chai tea latte in the summer; hot chai in the winter. I like to make it super frothy and add a lot of cinnamon on top. Winston and Maggie get water…preferably (for me) clean water from their bowls, preferably (for them) water from a puddle on the patio.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

They get wheat-free dog treats (Maggie has allergies) and occasionally, when they look just far too cute to turn down, cubes of cheese.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Winston just looked like a Winston, even at the tender age of 8 weeks, when he was all wrinkles and skin. His full name is actually Winston Churchill, and occasionally he goes by Sir Winston or The Prime Minister, depending on how lordly he feels that day. Maggie's full name is Margaret Thatcher [photo left], though "Maggie" fits her pretty well.

How were you and your dogs united?

We got Winston as a young puppy. We were looking to adopt a pair of lab puppies but stumbled upon him and he was too cute to pass up. He was so adorable that people would pull their cars over on the street just to ask us what kind of dog he was. Maggie came a couple years later, after we'd bought a house with a yard. We got her from a mastiff rescue at 9 months old.

What role do your dogs play at your Have Fork, Will Eat blog?

My dogs are my editors, but their grammar is atrocious, so really it's just in name only. Otherwise, they are a soundboard for ideas, keep watch over me while I'm cooking and provide companionship while I write. They're negotiating for a taste-testing role but so far that deal hasn't panned out.

Squirrel, postman, cat….?

While they are interested in both the neighborhood cats and the postman, their true nemeses are the squirrels and the walnuts they throw.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Laser pointer. Really.

What is each dog's best quality?

Winston [photo left] is extremely smart, while Maggie is just the sweetest thing ever.

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

We'd feed them table scraps.

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

Winston: Patrick Stewart.

Maggie: Frances McDormand doing the accent from Fargo.

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

To Winston: How exactly did you know it was going to rain?
To Maggie: Why do you hoard all the toys?

Visit the Have Fork, Will Eat blog.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Hari OM
    Have just discovered coffee with a canine blog and have loved reading the interviews. Laura - your dogs are gorgeous and my goodness, so is your food blog - I just lost half an hour over there!! As a vegetarian I was delighted to find things I could take from it, but thoroughly enjoyed browsing everything. ...I do think there is space for a doggy recipe or two though!!!

    Thanks to Marshal Zeringue for putting together this great spotlight blog!! YAM-aunty xxx

  2. What handsome creatures! So what you're saying is, if I come over and make a cute face and puppy dog eyes, you'll give me cheese cubes? Gouda? Havarti? Muenster? And where do you live in relation to Tulsa, because I'm a fiend for cheese.

    1. That's exactly right! I'm in Michigan, but I ALWAYS have tons of cheese because I'm a fiend, too! My favorite is goat cheese.