Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kristen Weber & Sampson

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Kristen Weber, and this is my 8-year-old male pug, Sampson. I'm a freelance book editor and I run Shelf Pleasure, a website for women who love to read.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Sampson is my co-editor and cuddling companion while I read. He'll take every chance he can get to sit on my lap. I usually put a pillow on top of him and then my computer or book on top of that.

What's brewing?

Chocolate is my vice over coffee, and you can usually find me drinking a hot chocolate whatever the season.

Any treats for you or Sampson on this occasion?

Sampson's favorite treat is cheese. We usually take a 2:00 break and share a piece. But don't worry, he gets plenty of exercise. Every hour or so we take a break outside and then we also take 2-3 bigger walks during the day. It is good to take breaks from lying down all day (Sampson) or editing / reading all day (me!).

How were you and Sampson united?

I always wanted a pug, but the obsession grew even stronger when my husband worked as an assistant on one of the Men in Black movies and came home every day sharing stories about the pugs who played Frank. In fact, I began talking about my future pug Sampson so much that my co-workers at Hachette Book Group thought he was real even before he joined my family - and gave me a collar and treats for him at a Christmas party. I had to confess he wasn't real yet! But as soon as I found a dog friendly apartment in NYC (nearly impossible!) I brought him home and he's been part of my family ever since.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

I thought Sampson was a good name for a breed that's a lot of dog in a small body. We call him Sammy for short.

You and Sampson are professional editors: what's the division of labor when you tackle a manuscript?

I do all the heavy lifting. He does the cuddling and the snoring.

Cat, postman, squirrel…?

Postman! There's a barking party when our mail is delivered.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Nothing that requires too much work, but he'll play with a squeaky-toy if there's a chance there's food in it.

Who is Sampson's best pet-pal?

Sampson's two best dog friends live a few houses down from us and he always stops at their house and stares longingly even if they're nowhere to be seen.

What is Sampson's best quality?

He's incredibly loyal. All he wants to do is be with his people.

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

He probably wants me to sit down on the couch for even longer periods of time, so he can cuddle in!

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

Are you really that tired?

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

That's a tough one. I imagine Sampson probably has his own voice itching to get out. He always looks at me like he has so much to say, if he had the voice to say it.

The only problem will be that he'll probably just demand more food. If I don't feed him right at 5:00, watch out!

Visit Shelf Pleasure and Kristen Weber's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 24, 2014

Michelle Larsen & Spokane

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Michelle Larsen, a small animal emergency veterinarian and field veterinarian for VPI. That's Spokane aka my Spokie girl. She's a 5 year old female Border Collie Mix.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Spokane joined me at work today while dad is out of town.

What's brewing?

Fall favorite pumpkin spice latte with soy.

Any treats for you or Spokane on this occasion?

A Puppicinno of course.

How did Spokane get her name? Any nicknames?

She was rescued on a Humane Society Veterinary Trip in Colville, WA, outside of Spokane, which also means "sunshine" in Native American.

While the insights on your blog Veterinary Brainstorm are generally based on your professional expertise, are you ever inspired to write about a subject by Spokane's experiences?

I am now.

How were you and Spokane united?

Spokane had been in animal control on the Colville Indian Reservation and her time was running out to find her a home, so we kept her at the mobile clinic to get her spayed and adopted. Luckily there was room on my airline to fly her back home. One look at her freckles and big ears and I fell in love.

Who are Spokane's best pet-pals?

Chester, a golden retriever and Max a Shepard mix - both live on the East Coast.

Squirrel, postman, cat....?

I love to chase little lizards and bunnies, and I am not frightened by coyotes.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

I have this really loud rubber squeaky football, love my collection of deflated soccer balls, and my dragon.

What is Spokane's best quality?

Her excitement for life.

If Spokane could change one thing about Phoenicians, what would it be?

Vaccinate against parvovirus and keep your pets on a leash, when they come up to me unexpectedly I get scared and crazy.

If Spokane could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

What do you want to do today?

Visit the Veterinary Brainstorm blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Meg Rosenburg & Simon

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Meg Rosenburg, and Simon, my 10-year-old mini schnauzer, hanging out on campus at Caltech.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Simon normally keeps me company at home while I brew myself coffee with our pourover setup, but Caltech's Red Door Cafe has a lot of outdoor seating and Simon's always up for a field trip!

What's brewing?

My go-to coffee preparation (when I'm not making it myself at home) is a piping hot Americano. Sometimes I just want the flavor of espresso but the consistency of coffee, so there you go!

Any treats for you or Simon on this occasion?

I brought a few treats for Simon to entice him to take a photo with me. He's much more interested in them!

How were you and Simon united?

My husband and I adopted Simon four years ago after my aunt and uncle rescued him from a shelter. He didn't fit in with the other dogs there as well as they'd have liked, and we were already discussing getting a dog, so it worked out perfectly! He even gets to go back and visit all the time.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

My cousins named him Simon, but before that, the shelter called him London (because he's foggy grey maybe?). I don't know what his name might have been before that. He has a million nicknames - everything from Si-guy to Simon-dogger to Fluffernutter (I call him that sometimes).

You're a planetary scientist. Could we assume Simon's favorite constellation is Canis Major?

Maybe! I also like to think he's fond of that asteroid that looks like a bone (Kleopatra).

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Squirrel for sure!

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky-toy, although he doesn't play much at all, and we had to teach him to play catch.

Where is Simon's favorite outdoor destination?

Simon is excited to go anywhere and he loves to walk (and drag you around, if you give him an inch!), but his favorite outdoor location is probably the dog beach. So many other dogs!

Who is Simon's best pet-pal?

Simon's best friend for the past few years has been my cousins' Doberman, Rex. Simon's never seemed to think of himself as a "small dog" - no reason not to wrestle with much bigger pals!

What is Simon's best quality?

Hard to pick one, but I think Simon's best quality is how much of a social creature he is - he knows which humans are in his pack, and he's always so happy to see us.

If Simon could change one thing about Californians, what would it be?

I guess he might change their driving habits, so there would be less silly traffic and his humans could take him places more easily and quickly. But otherwise, Simon loves California - and he's never been anywhere with snow or much precipitation of any kind.

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

I would ask him "What's the secret to living in the moment?" because it seems like such a good way to live life.

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

Maybe Jason Bateman? Or John Krasinski. When I imagine what Simon might be thinking (as if he were a person, which he's not), there's definitely a kind of innocent sarcasm that creeps in, especially when it comes to asking for more food!

Visit Meg Rosenburg's website and the True Anomalies blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 17, 2014

Kathy Hewitt & Lucy

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, that’s me, Kathy, in the photo. I live in San Diego, CA with my favorite canine companion, Lucy and my husband, Bill. I'm also a new author of the mystery-suspense: A Life Unbroken: The Alex McKay Series by K.M. Hewitt.

My dog’s name is Lucy, and when I come home I often announce: Lucy, I’m home! Those of you who remember the ‘I Love Lucy’ show will thoroughly understand! Lucy is our sweet, 14 year old standard schnauzer.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We are celebrating the release of my new paperback and ebook: A Life Unbroken: The Alex McKay series.

What's brewing?

First thing each morning, Lucy wakes me for her breakfast. I head into the kitchen to make a Nespresso coffee with coconut creamer and then prepare breakfast for Lucy. I also love to pick up vanilla lattes during the day! I just can’t make them as good at home.

Any treats for you or Lucy on this occasion?

Because Lucy is on a medication schedule, I try to make her treats a special time. Who likes to take pills? So I wrap (aka, hide) her pills in a bit of soft food, which she happily accepts, and then I follow up with a small treat. She used to try and ditch pill time but not anymore since I’ve learned how to disguise the pill taste. Now, Lucy reminds me when its pill-time because she knows two tasty treats are on the way. She never lets me forget that two treats are expected. What I didn’t expect and it came as a surprise, Lucy will stand in the doorway of my office to remind me its time for her pill, or should I say, pill-treats, and doesn’t run and hide anymore. It works for us! As for myself, I’m a born grazer and I love all the pastry treats that go so well with coffee!

How did Lucy get her name?

Lucy is named after Lucille Ball, one of the funniest comedians that always made me laugh. Her shows seem timeless with the same funny issues in life today.

How were you and Lucy united?

We adopted Lucy at 4 months of age and she been a wonderful, lively and engaging companion ever since.

Are there any Lucy-inspired dogs in your fiction?

Absolutely! Dogs, and animals in general, have been a part of my life from a very young age. Dogs especially, have always been there for me, through thick and thin. They love you endlessly and are always happy to see you walk through the door. I love so many things about dogs. In A Life Unbroken, Alex McKay has two canine companions that are very important in her life.

Does Lucy do more to help or hinder your writing?

Lucy actually helps my writing in a variety of ways. She reminds me to take a break from my work. She'll appear in the doorway and stand there until she gains my attention. Then, I'll realize it’s pill and treat time for Lucy, or she needs a bio-break, or both! Lucy quietly lays nearby wherever I am and checks in on me from time to time. Just knowing she is nearby is always a source of comfort to me.

Who is Lucy's best pet-pal?

Now, I’m Lucy’s best pal, although up until last May, her best bud and constant companion was a rescue dog named Schoobie. We lost him to bone cancer and we were all at quite a loss for him. Schoobie was a 1 year old standard poodle rescue when he arrived 12 years ago, and in very poor health. On the day Schoobie arrived, he stood in a corner of our yard, shaking with fear. He was pretty frightened of his new environment and as my husband and I were deciding what to do next, Lucy looked around, picked up one of her stuffy toys, and placed it at Schoobie's feet, sat down and nodded towards Schoobie as if to say: It’s okay, you’re gonna love it here! From that day on, a very shy and sensitive Schoobie never left Lucy’s protective side. She took Schoobie under her wing for his entire life. We all miss him very much.

Where is Lucy's favorite outdoor destination?

Each morning and evening, Lucy looks forward to a walk around the neighborhood so she can greet other dogs.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick…?

At 14 years of age, Lucy’s favorite pastimes are: treats, eating, sleeping and short walks.

Cat, postman, squirrel…?

Occasionally, Lucy has it in her to show the UPS man that she’s still on the job with a slight growl!

What is Lucy's best quality?

Lucy seems to sense dogs who have had a tough life. She is kindest and most gentle towards them but doesn’t tolerate ill-behaved dogs. Lucy also has a funny and endearing side and we nicknamed her ‘Hoover’ because she walks around scooping up food crumbs off the tile.

If Lucy could change one thing about Californians, what would it be?

Lucy would have the cars slow down since she has slowed down a bit crossing the street. Some drivers are too fast.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Lucy could speak, which actor should do her voice?

I could definitely hear Helen Mirren’s voice. Lucy has a certain dignity about herself. Schnauzer folks would understand.

If Lucy could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Are you enjoying life with us?

Visit K.M. Hewitt's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Laura Lane McNeal & Abby

Who is this in the photo?

That’s me, Laura Lane McNeal, author of the novel Dollbaby, letting my dog Abby have a go in my mother-in-law’s garden after her morning walk. I live in New Orleans, where in mid-October it’s still eighty-eight degrees, so we’re about to head inside and enjoy the air-conditioning and a cold drink. Too warm for coffee, I’m afraid.

Abby is a three-year-old West Highland white terrier. My family fell in love with the breed after visiting Scotland about fifteen years ago. We stayed on a farm outside of St. Andrews where sheep and Westies roamed wild on the property. My kids were three and six at the time, so they loved chasing the animals around. There were even horses for them to ride. While on the trip, I promised them we’d get a dog when we got home. Abby is our second Westie. Our first dog, Max, became ill and died about a year ago. I was glad that my youngest son talked me into getting a second dog to play with Max. Sadly, he was only around for a year with Abby. Now my son, who is in college, is trying to get me to get another dog to keep Abby company. I’m about to acquiesce.

What’s the occasion for Coffee with a Canine? Any treats for you or Abby on this occasion?

I just gave Abby her own copy of Dollbaby, my novel released in July by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking. Set against he backdrop of civil rights era New Orleans, Dollbaby unlocks the secrets of Old New Orleans through the eyes of five women whose lives are inseparably intertwined. Through their struggles, they ultimately reveal that family can be found where it’s least expected.

I failed to mention to Abby that there aren’t any canines in the novel. Do you think she’s enjoying it? I promised Abby that when she finished the novel, we’d go down the street to the dog park and let her play with her favorite buddies. I think she’s speed-reading.

How did Abby get her name? Does she have any nicknames?

Abby is technically my son Will’s dog, so he was given the opportunity to name her. I had good Scottish names picked out like Fiona, or Isla, but Will said they were too hard to say. Besides, Fiona would probably turn into Fi-Fi he noted, and he argued that he couldn’t see himself calling that name out loud for all the neighbors to hear when the canine let loose down the street chasing a cat. I have to say I understood his point. How he came up with the name Abby I have no idea, but it seems to suit her. She has lots of personality. As for nicknames I sometimes call her Too-too, don’t ask me why. I’m not sure which is worse, though, Fifi or Too-too. I’m just glad my son is off at college so he doesn’t know what I call her when he’s away.

Does Abby do more to help or hinder your writing?

Abby loves to sit at my feet under the table where I do my writing. She likes to snuggle against me, whether it’s on the bed, the couch, or on the floor next to my feet. I like having her close, so I’d say she’s helps me write, kind of like a writing buddy. The only problem, from her point of view, is that when I get in the writing zone, I can work for four or five hours without getting up,. After a while, Abby will come from under the table and sit a few feet away and start staring at me. That’s her signal that she needs to go out. If I’m not paying attention, she’ll either come over and paw my leg, or give out a yelp. At one point during the writing of Dollbaby, I had to start leaving the back door open so that she could go out at her leisure. That was fine remedy until birds and squirrels starting coming into the house. I’m going to have to find another solution, I guess.

Who is Abby’s best pet-pal?

Abby is a friendly dog so she has lots of pet-pals on the street.

The white dog [photo below left] is named Bijou. They often take walks together.

The black dog [photo right] is a labra-doodle named Bo.

Missing from the picture because she's camera-shy, is Ethel the English bulldog, who lives down the block.

What is Abby’s best quality?

Abby is a very friendly dog. She loves people, dogs, cats… any living thing that will give her attention. Except squirrels. She hates squirrels.

She also loves to ride in the car. I take her for car trips daily where she spends time staring out the window and wagging her tail. We drive to North Carolina every summer, a ten-hour car ride and she does just fine. If we go out to the driveway, she comes running out of the house and waits by the car. If you open the car door, she’ll jump right in. Her favorite spot is the front seat. She’s no back seat dog!

She loves water, but hates the rain. She won’t go out to play when it's raining, which in New Orleans is most likely a daily occurrence.

If Abby could change one thing about New Orleanians, what would it be?

Not a thing! Like Abby, New Orleanians are friendly people. We are known to carry a certain joie de vivre despite any given circumstance. That’s what I set to prove in my novel Dollbaby. Like Queenie says in the novel, ‘you got to dance even when there ain’t no music’! We love parties, parades. festivals, food, drink and life. And we love to help each other. Does it get any better than that?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, in which Abby could speak, which actor should do her voice?

Well, being the good native that I am, I’d have to pick a New Orleanian to do her voice. That could be anyone from the soothing drawl of Patricia Clarkson, to the esoterically funny Ellen DeGeneres.

If Abby could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Only one? That’s a toughie. I’d like to get her opinions on many things, such as where did I leave my keys, or my phone? Is it hot in here? What’s her favorite food? Does this dress make me look fat? Do you love me? Is it too hot outside to go play? Should I have this brownie or be good and pass on it? You know, all the same questions you’d ask your best friend and expect an honest answer.

But if I got to ask her only one question, I guess I’d ask her this -- do you want me to get you a new friend, a puppy, to play with?

I think I know what she’d say.

What is Abby’s favorite toy?

That’s a tough one! Abby is a toy hound! I’ll let this picture [photo right] speak for itself.

Visit Laura Lane McNeal's website.

My Book, The Movie: Dollbaby.

Writers Read: Laura Lane McNeal.

The Page 69 Test: Dollbaby.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 10, 2014

Karen Miller & Seiko, Wilson, and Millie

Who is in the photo at right?

So, the person in the photo not a zombie canine is Karen Miller, speculative fiction author. And the zombie canines are from left to right: Seiko (aka Psycho), cocker spaniel/poodle, male, 18 months; Wilson, Maltese terrier/jack russell, male, 5 years and Millie, Maltese terrier/poodle, female, 6 years.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Since I don't do coffee this was a post-workout pile on (hence the author's cherry-red face) because, hey, I abandoned them for an hour so I could exercise and have a shower after.

What's brewing?

Again, alas, being not a civilised person who drinks coffee, my intention after the photography was to indulge in a chocolate protein shake. Which I had no hope in hell of holding for the purposes of the photo!

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

No. We're all of us trying to lose weight.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Well, Seiko (aka Psycho) is only sort of mine, insofar as he's my father's dog technically but he travels so much that my place is his second home. Dad named him. Because he's a ... wait for ... watch dog. (I'll give you a moment to recover from the terrible pun.) Wilson's all mine, I named him, after House MD's best friend. Since he's my best friend! And Millie came to me with that name.

How were you and your dogs united?

Like I said, Seiko is kind of a step dog, but very much one of the family. Wilson's story is unusual in that I found him in a pet shop. Most of my dogs in the past (there have been a few!) were rescue jobs. But I'd lost my last dog, MacDuff (rescue from Mt Druitt TAFE college, where I was teaching) at the grand age of 19. I lasted 3 months as a dogless person. Then on the way home from an interstate trip to a convention I was seized with the notion that I had to have a dog, right now. So I got home, got in the car, drove down the road to my excellent local pet shop that only works with proper, registered breeders, and I found Wilson. Love at first sight. A year or so later, when I was thinking I needed to find him a doggy friend, I heard about a dog in a bad situation, and so rescued her. That's Millie. Instant love all around.

How do your dogs help--or hinder--your writing?

Whether it's just my two, or the terrible threesome, I can't be anywhere without the loyal escort. As I type this they're all sleeping at my feet in the study. We're a pack, I'm pack leader, so it's all for one and one for all. Seiko is young and very energetic, so sometimes he gets a bit pushy wanting to play ball. Otherwise they never hinder me, and when I get stuck on a sticky plot point they're always ready to listen as I talk my way out of it!

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?

Not yet. But I never say never!

Rabbit, postman, cat....?

As in chasing? None of the above. We chase balls and dog toys.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Wilson loves Millie, and Millie loves Wilson. Seiko loves Wilson, and Wilson loves Seiko. Millie quite likes Seiko but wishes he wasn't so boisterous. Seiko would love Millie if she'd let him, but she won't. And everybody loves Editor Barney, my cat who thinks he's a dog. And Editor Barney loves everyone.

What is each dog's best quality?

Seiko is a goof. He makes me laugh. Wilson is incredibly loving. He literally throws himself backwards into my arms for a hug. And Millie is so sweet and polite.

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

More time throwing balls and dog toys, less time in front of the stupid computer.

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

Patton Oswalt for Seiko, James McAvoy for Wilson and Joanne Froggatt for Millie.

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

Are you happy?

Visit Karen Miller's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Falcon Throne.

The Page 69 Test: The Falcon Throne.

Writers Read: Karen Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Peg Kehret & Lucy

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Peg Kehret, children’s book author and a long time volunteer with animal rescue groups. My biggest claim to fame is that my books have won fifty state young reader awards. My dog, Lucy, is twelve, a mixed breed rescued dog.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We’re celebrating the release of my new book, Dangerous Deception (Dutton Children’s Books). I have to confess that the dog in this book plays no part in the plot, but my heroine rescues a cat that the bad guy has thrown in a Dumpster.

What's brewing?

I am a coffeeholic. Any kind of coffee, as long as it’s hot and black. Even in the summer, I want my coffee hot.

Any treats for you or Lucy on this occasion?

Lucy does not need a special occasion to want a treat. For that matter, neither do I. Her treats are kept in an old tin Borden’s malted milk container and she can hear the lid being removed from anywhere in the house.

How did Lucy get her name? Any nicknames?

Lucy was named for Lucille Ball, because of the red tint to her fur.

How were you and Lucy united?

She was picked up by Animal Control as a stray and taken to a county shelter where they decided she was too afraid to be adoptable. A rescue group agreed to take her and I adopted her from them. Before we even got home, I discovered that she was in heat and had kennel cough. My veterinarian thought she was about one year old. Lucy was terrified of any man in a baseball cap. She cowered and hid when my husband picked up a yard stick. It took a long time for her to trust people but now she is a happy, silly dog.

Are there any Lucy-inspired dogs in your fiction?

I didn’t need to make up a fictional Lucy because I wrote about the real dog in my memoir, Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing, and Rescue.

Does Lucy do more to help or hinder your writing?

Lucy has a bed in my office and is good about sleeping while I work, as long as she has received a treat from the dish in my desk drawer as soon as I sit down. If I forget the treat, I get constant reminders.

Who is Lucy's best pet-pal?

Otter, my daughter’s dog, is Lucy’s special friend. They celebrate every holiday together [photo right] and happily share my lap whenever they can.

Where is Lucy's favorite outdoor destination?

There’s a nature trail on my property. Trail is one of Lucy’s vocabulary words and when I say it, she runs to the entrance, eager to go. She often rolls in the grass while she waits for me to catch up. I call that schnerkling.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Although I have a whole basket of squeaky toys, rope tugs and balls, Lucy has never learned to play with a toy. If I throw a ball she runs after it, then stops and waits for me to fetch it and throw it again. I am very well trained.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

She is diligent about warning me if a squirrel comes too close to the house – or a deer, or a pigeon, or Mr. Stray, the feral cat that I’ve fed for fourteen years.

What is Lucy's best quality?

Lucy is loyal. When she looks at me, her eyes shine with love light. Although she weighs only ten pounds, I have no doubt that she would defend me against any peril.

If Lucy could change one thing about Washingtonians, what would it be?

She probably wishes people would quit inviting me to go places so that I’d stay home with her all the time. When I pick up my purse and car keys, her head hangs, her tail uncurls, and her whole body droops. My return – even if I’ve been gone only half an hour – means joyous barking and running circles around the dining room table.

If Lucy could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Could you please let me have a little more space in the bed at night?

Even though she doesn’t speak English, Lucy and I do communicate. I’m glad she knows she will always be safe and loved.

Visit Peg Kehret's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lisa Russo & Lulu

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me and my shadow, having a morning snuggle and kiss. I'm Lisa Russo, a fine art photographer. You can find me at Lisa Russo Fine Art Photography.

My furry friend is Lulu, our little girl bulldog who turned 6 this summer.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Just saying goodbye before I head off to the gym before returning home for my workday.

What's brewing?

I'm so boring: Just regular old coffee with splenda and cream! I love my Keurig!

Any treats for you or Lulu on this occasion?

Lulu just finished her morning rawhide chewy, which gets her more excited than just about anything!

How did Lulu get her name? Any nicknames?

My kids (Aidan & Ava) picked it, but good gravy do we have nicknames! Lulubean, beaner, beanie, beanie bear...the list goes on and on!

How were you and Lulu united?

We were in search of our 2nd bulldog, after our first (Sadie) passed at the grand old age (for a bulldog!) of 11. The breeder was showing us puppies when out ran this defective, rumbly piebald 5 month old she planned to add to her breeding kennel. We decided to take her and give her a life of spoiled luxury instead. Best decision ever.

Who is Lulu's best pet-pal?

My neighbor's giant schnauzer Iba and my other neighbor's lab Joba. I think Lulu is a little in love with Joba...he sweetly tolerates her.

Where is Lulu's favorite outdoor destination?

My car for afternoon school carpool! She stalks me from noon on, and as soon as I put her in the car she lies down and falls asleep. Too much energy expended during that whole 'stalking' time.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

You name it! But only for about 5 minutes before it's naptime again.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

None of the above. She chooses to watch life go by from a comfortable lying-down position. Chasing requires way too much energy!

What is Lulu's best quality?

Everything! She doesn't bark, jump, bite, growl or wander. Friendliest dog ever. If I had to name one, it would be how lovely she is with children.

If Lulu could change one thing about Texans, what would it be?

The rude drivers. It wakes her up when I yell at them inside the car.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Lulu could speak, which actor should do her voice?

Brenda Vaccaro!

If Lulu could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Does anything hurt?

If I may, lest anyone read this and be encouraged to take on a bulldog, I wrote an informational blog post awhile back addressing the topic, as bulldogs are wonderful, but very (very) difficult to own. I fear many people get them thinking they're cute and full of character, but aren't quite prepared for the maintenance and expense. Wonderful dogs, but research is key. Here is a link: So you Think you Want a Bulldog?

Visit the Lisa Russo Fine Art Photography website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue