Thursday, September 11, 2014

Monica Medina & Henry and Oliver Twist

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Monica Medina, with my boys. I'm holding Oliver Twist, a one-year-old Maltipoo street urchin I literally found on the streets of San Diego. On the bench is Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who recently was traumatized when he turned seven and heard the vet refer to him as a "senior dog." Henry, who claims he descends from royalty, insists he's not a dog, he's a noble canine.

I love to write. I work for public media in San Diego, and am also a freelance reporter for the local paper. Last month (August) I celebrated four years of blogging, too. (Monica’s Tangled Web).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We're outside the local Starbucks, celebrating the start of the weekend and that we get to spend more time together.

What's brewing?

I am enjoying one of my favorite summer bevs, Java Chip Frappuccino, nonfat, no whip.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Not now, but later these critters will enjoy their favorite dinner feast: boiled chicken and rice. They gobble that stuff up like there's no tomorrow.

How did Henry and Oliver get their names? Any aliases?

Henry is named after a famous King of England, though this Henry has not married eight times, let alone once. Oliver Twist is an orphan from the gutters. He looked like a ragamuffin, infested with mites, fleas and worms. Calling him Oliver Twist made perfect sense, though most of the time it's just Oliver or Ollie. When I call them both for a walk, or to eat, I say, "C’mon, Buddies!" And they come running. Well, Oliver comes running. Henry being royalty, takes his own sweet time. Doesn’t want to appear too eager, if you know what I mean.

How were you and Henry and Oliver united?

Henry came into my life when he was eight weeks old. He was trembling and nervous, but I was even more fretful, as he was my first dog and the fact that he’s of noble blood didn’t make it any easier. But as long as I bow when in his presence, he makes do. Oliver, the little rascal that he is, is the total opposite. Runs amok, gets into everything, and loves to chase—and bite into—Henry’s feathery tail. Henry just sighs, and often, so do I.

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

These boys go bonkers whenever the UPS truck comes by. It’s their way of saying they think I spend too much time shopping on Amazon.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

Both of them are crazy about tennis balls. I take two with me when we go to the park, one for each. But seems like Ollie always gets both balls and hoards them. Ollie also plays with plastic water bottles, chew toys and discarded carton. He’s my personal shredder.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other, is what Ollie would say. Henry says it’s “undignified” to have pals, but he loves when my son comes to visit. They’re thick as thieves.

What is each dog's best quality?

Henry is calm at all times. Ollie can zip through the house like a road runner. Henry is very independent. Both are cuddly, sweet-natured and love hugs.

If Henry and Oliver could change one thing about San Diegans, what would it be?

Henry and Oliver would want everything in San Diego to be more open to dogs. They hate when they see a sign outside the grocery store or movie theater that says, “No Dogs Allowed.” They find it demoralizing and “Dogist.”

Henry, especially, thinks exceptions should be made for canines of royal ilk. His words, not mine.

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

Ralph Fiennes would do the voice of Henry; Chris Rock, the voice of Ollie.

If Henry and Oliver could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

What is the meaning of life? I think they know. I can tell by the way they look at me. They know, all right. All dogs know. It’s the one thing they keep to themselves.

Visit Monica’s Tangled Web.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog. It was so much fun to do! Oliver and Henry were tickled pink, too!

  2. Real cutie-pies. They look like they have fun.

    1. They sure do have fun. That is, when they're not sleeping. Thanks for reading!

  3. Sir Henry, you look absolutely royal! I know I am not of royal descent, but I am still an English gentleman, so if I ever visit San Diego, I'll make sure to look you up and pay my proper respects.
    And, Orphan Oliver, aren't you glad you were found by your Mommy? Even though I was not out on the streets like you, I thank my lucky stars every day for being found by my Mommy and Daddy. Secretly, I think mommies are best because they feed us home cooked meals.
    Cheers, Gage

    1. On behalf of Sir Henry, he gallantly thanks you for recognizing his royal peerage. As might be expected, his luggage is packed in the event the Queen commands his appearance at Windsor. In the meantime, should he still be here in San Diego when you venture for a visit, he'd be "pleased as punch" (his words, not mine) to offer you a most hearty welcome, worthy of any royal nobleman. We are most delighted you found your Mommy, but you should know Henry doesn't refer to me as Mommy. To him, I am Cook, the one who prepares all his meals (and makes sure they're poison-free!) Sigh.