Monday, January 11, 2016

Kate Barker & Molly and Duke

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, I’m Kate Barker. My Sweet Husband and I own Oregon Street Antique Mall in Redding, California. We’ve been married forty-nine years this January. We’ve had three boxers. This gal’s name is Molly…she’s a fabulous guard dog and gentle companion to her little brother and all of our grandchildren. She’s five. The little guy I’m holding is Duke…he’s a Chiweenie (Doxie-Chihuahua mix). He’s the baby…only three years old, very alert, fun-loving and affectionate…and loves playing with Molly.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We’re getting ready for a trip to Portland, Oregon. Takin’ our tea and coffee and our doggies! Oregon is a dog-loving state! They give doggie treats at all the gas stations…and most hotels do not mind if you have your dog with you. (Best to check first though, ‘cause there are some that aren’t able to accommodate dogs.

What's brewing?

My Sweet Husband is a fan of straight-up coffee…no flavors. I love tea…some flavored, but mostly just a robust black tea. In summer, we both devour lots of iced tea.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

We usually make a stop in Central Point, Oregon to pick up some delicious handmade chocolates at LillieBelle Farms Artisan Chocolates.

No chocolates for the puppies, of course! We carry our own goodies for them…but Molly doesn’t like to eat on the road…only after we settle in someplace. Duke eats any where, any time! Once, at an outside restaurant in St. Helens, Oregon, he had his own doggie version of spaghetti and meatballs [photo left].

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Our older boxer’s name was Max…and when we got the boxer puppy, Max and Molly just sounded good together. The Chiweenie was so tiny when we got him, we thought he needed a big name. Oldest Grandchildren thought of Marmaduke, but I was thinking of John Wayne. The puppy must have read our minds, cause he doesn’t know he’s a little dog! He’s got a big personality!

About how many times per year do you hear that you've got a great last name for a dog-lover?

Oh, Lots! And our entire family loves dogs…so it sure fits!!

How were you and your dogs united?

We were looking for a boxer puppy for our older Max to help raise. He was such a calm, quiet dog. Don’t know what happened…. Molly’s not like that at all…but she’s lots of fun. And a great guard dog…. Max cared more about making friends than standing guard.

Our little dog was born to a rescue long-haired Doxie. The gal who rescued her had no idea she was pregnant. Duke was one of those puppies and we offered to take him. We were happy to have a small dog again. He’s a joy…and added lots of laughter to our lives.

Cat, postman, squirrel....?

Molly loves other creatures…she’s curious about most and wants to make friends. But, she’s not keen on people she doesn’t know. Once we give the OK, she’s usually fine, unless they’re wearing a baseball cap or a hoodie. Then we have to work a bit harder to assure her they’re friends! Duke loves all people and most critters, except he’s decided his job is to keep birds out of our yard!

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

Both dogs love to play…catch balls, fetch or chew up squeaky toys or chase one another…sometimes they just entertain one another.

Where is your dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

They are both great travelers and seem happy wherever we go. Probably, they love our ranch the best. Wide open spaces, many different smells and critters and lots of exploring. In the winter, coming inside to lie down near the wood stove is tops!

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

They’re crazy about our daughter and son-in-law’s two Labs, Dozer and Emma and little Gracie. They also love to play with our son and daughter-in-law’s Lab Sandy, German Short-Hair, Mickey, and little Dachshund, Spots.

[photo left: Duke and Spots]

What is each dog's best quality?

Molly is loyal and loving and fantastic with children of all ages. We always know when a baby has pooped, cause Molly follows him/her around until someone changes the diaper! If a baby is crying, she won’t leave it’s side and whines until someone comes and picks up the baby. Duke is friendly and playful and everybody loves him!

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

Slow down already! Smell the roses, enjoy the sunshine, have some fun!!

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

Maybe Katherine Heigl for Molly…kind and loving, but could be ferocious if necessary!

For Duke, of course, John Wayne, but since he’s no longer with us, maybe…Sam Elliott or Hugh Jackman…(as the Drover in the movie Australia).

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

Are ya happy?

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

Molly:You all should play more-chase me!

Duke: Have some fun-let's explore!

Visit Kate Barker's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Love the photo of all three of the dogs curled around each other!

  2. Everybody needs a best friend. Glad you have each other. Lady Caroline