Monday, February 10, 2014

Dave and Marcia & Skruffy and Bubba

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Dave, my wife is Marcia, and that is our wedding picture with Skruffy [left] and Bubba [right] inserted into the picture. We united as a family of four in February 2011. I was a Public Library Director in Arkansas with Skruffy, Marcia was a retired widow living in Florida with Bubba. We met online playing a war game, of all things. Skruffy is a rescue, the vet said she has a lot of Dachshund in her, didn't know what else. A Google image search of German Wire Haired Dachshund brings up other dogs that look like her. Bubba is Cocker Spaniel, the runt of the litter. Bubba is a male, and nine years old. Skruffy is female, has been with me for over four years, and is probably close to six years old. You can follow our travels at

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We travel in a motorhome about nines months of the year. We have coffee every morning, and I have a Bagel with my coffee, which I dunk into the coffee. Both Skruffy and Bubba sit right by me awaiting a small bite of the Bagel. Gotta start the day with at least 16 oz of coffee and a Bagel, which is happily shared.

What's brewing?

We use the Mr. Coffee machine while on the road, but at home in our Condo we normally use our Pressed Coffee maker. Gotta have sugar-free Hazel Nut liquid creamer in the coffee. The problem with the Pressed Coffee in the motorhome is getting rid of the grounds...can't really dump them down the sink like you can when a garbage disposal is attached. Sometimes, if we are close to a Flying J / Pilot Truck Stop, we will get a special brew where I put 1/3 Cappuccino and 2/3 Bold or high caffeine coffee along with a mixture of liquid creamers. Sometimes we will share it, sometimes we get two and then I normally drink 1 1/2 cups.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Of course the Bagel, but after the Bagel they get their peanut butter treat (pill time, a bit of peanut butter lets the pills go down without a fight), and their morning "Arny Treat." You see, for the past two years we have spent a few months in California in my sister's backyard, and every morning Uncle Arny (sister's husband) would open the sliding glass door and say "Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning", and the dogs would dance and Skruffy would bark, and they would get their morning treat. So we carry on the tradition....sometimes with Arny on speaker phone. Their number one treat is Beggin' Strips.

How did your dogs get their names? Any nicknames?

Bubba was already named when Marcia got him, and she did not want to confuse him. Arny called Bubba "Shop Dog" because Bubba would always follow him to the garage that Arny was always finding some sort of work to do.

Skruffy....well, that is a long story, you might was well pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy....

I was working at my desk in the Library one day and my Assistant Director walked in and said, "I think I have a dog for you." Heck, I didn't even know I was looking for a dog. She told me about seeing a little dog on a Saturday near her house alone behind a locked gate of a construction company. Skruffy was hiding under the large dump trucks and heavy equipment. She stopped by the company Monday morning and they told her that the dog, Skruffy, had showed up a few weeks ago. With the heavy October rains, she was wet and Scruffy looking, so they had been feeding her and called her Skruffy (my spelling, not theirs). She told them if they ever caught it, she had the perfect person for this dog...and that is why she was in my office.

Ten days later my office phone rings. It is a man who has caught a dog at work, and he was looking for that lady who worked at the Library. I called her, told her I would be by her house in a few hours, and she went down to get Skruffy. When I showed up, she waited about five minutes, then brought Skruffy over to me. Ten minutes later she came back to take her back, and Skruffy growled at her. I have been owned ever since.

Quickly found out the Skruffy did not like to be alone, so she came to work with me every day. When I took her to the Vet, found out that she had heart worms, she had had a litter, and she needed to be fixed. They asked me her name, and I said Skruffy. "How do you spell that?" she asked. For some reason, I spelled it with a "K".

Skruffy did very well in my office...until I had to leave to take care of business elsewhere inside the Library. She would give it around ten minutes for my return, and then she would let out this single bark, wait 20-30 seconds and let out a another single bark until I returned or another staff member came and got her. If I had a meeting or had to go somewhere that she was not invited to, I would leave her with a staff member who worked behind the scenes away from the patrons, and she did just fine. Anyway, that is how she got her name. Sometimes we call her "Little Girl".

How were you and your dogs united?

Marcia saw Bubba in the window of a grooming shop next to a restaurant she ate at. Skruffy, well, you already read about that.

You've traveled all around in your RV. Where have the dogs seem to have enjoyed it most?

The dogs enjoy anywhere and everywhere that other dogs have been. Many RV'ers have dogs, as do Truck Drivers and people just traveling down the highway. Rest Areas are where they seem to find the most scents. Truck Stops are a close second along with RV Parks. In two years we have traveled through 28 states, visited a number of National and State Parks, and nearly always found places we visited to be very dog friendly. Because Bubba is a runner, I have had Skruffy in pictures where wonderful landscapes are behind her as she sits on top of a stone wall, the hood of the car, inside a hollowed out Redwood Tree...although I have used both of them on leashes for some shots of walking along a shoreline, or wandering on a path or grassy field.

Do the dogs have any non-canine pet pals?

I don't know if you can call them "pals", but both dogs really enjoy the Squirrels in Sandy and Arny's backyard. The Squirrels literally toyed with both of them.

Have the dogs encountered any exotic critters on your travels?

The dogs have seen, up close, Buffalos, Bears and Elk...although I think Bubba slept through the Buffalo encounter.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Bubba has some squeaky toys, but Skruffy does not get into them much.

What is each dog's best quality?

Bubba is the most mellow dog you have ever seen. He rarely barks, and if he does bark, it is a quick "roar" and then he is quiet...even when trying to play with Squirrels where his bark is more of a frustration bark. Skruffy is an active barker, but her best quality is her willingness to sit on anyone's lap and be loved....but if "dad" tries to leave the room, she'll jump right down and expect to go with me.

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

Bubba will not use the house or motorhome as a bathroom...instead he will barf. This does not happen too often, sometimes it is right when he wakes up from a nap or a nights sleep. Wish we could get use to that, but it is almost as bad as peeing in the house. Skruffy, well, she has already changed me. One can say did I rescue her, or did she rescue me.

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

Bubba -- Carlton, the doorman in the '70s sitcom Rhoda.
Skruffy -- Her bark is like a Roseanne Barr, her affection is like a young Shirley Temple.

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

Bubba: Why do you think it is acceptable to barf in the house, but not pee?
Skruffy: Wish you can tell me what it is you want. Sometimes you look at me, you paw at my arm, you have my attention but I don't know what you want.

Visit and click on the tab for Bubba & Skruffy where you can see more pictures and read more about them.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Hi everyone.

    Nice to get to know all about you and your adventures.
    Happy Travels.

    XO Cinnamon

    1. Thank you Cinnamon. One thing I forgot to mention was all the many nice places we found to eat that were also "dog friendly", like this place way up in Northern Idaho called "Mugsy's Tavern & Grill" in Bonners Ferry. Danielle, the owner, urged us to take a patio seat and bring our dogs out on the patio with us because it was 80 degrees and it was better than leaving them in the car with the windows rolled down.

  2. Very exciting to see you here! You did a very nice write-up of your pups and their family. :)

  3. So nice to 'meet' you, Bubba & Skruffy! Sounds like you've had so many adventures...
    I wish my humans would take me traveling like that. I am a really good passenger, but lately, they have not been inviting me on outings with them. Any tricks you can recommend to get them to take me places again?