Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Morris Ardoin & Hugo

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Morris Ardoin, a PR practitioner in New York City and writer in Cornwallville, a little town in the Catskill mountains. My pooch is Hugo, an 18-month-old Vizsla.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

The only time that Hugo respects my humanly need for consumption without his begging is coffee time. He seems to get that he needs to let me fully awaken so I can devote the rest of my existence each day to his needs. So he lets my have my coffee in peace.

What's brewing?

I use a French press to brew my coffee each morning. Community Coffee, shipped from Baton Rouge, La. is my preferred brew, but when I run out of that, I like a blend of French and regular roast whole beans I get from the Russian market down the block from my apartment in New York. No matter the brew, I take my coffee with whole milk and sugar.

Any treats for you or Hugo on this occasion?

No treats for him or me accompany coffee time – it’s all about the coffee. On big-breakfast weekends, however, that rule goes out the window. And then anything is possible.

How were you and Hugo united?

We got Hugo from the same breeder that sold us our previous pooch, Moby. She only breeds vizslas. Hugo was one of 14 puppies. When we got there, there were only three of the siblings left. Hugo rushed right up to me (the other two were otherwise distracted) – and I said, “This one is Hugo,” and that was that.

How did he get his name? Any nicknames?

After having Moby for 13 years, we were very familiar with the breed; it’s quirks; attributes; and physical aspects. Those all played a part in our brainstorming for names that would work with such a dog. Hugo quickly rose to the top of about 25 names we considered. At first, when he was just a wee little thing, I called him “The Nugget” because of his rich golden color, but he soon owned the name Hugo – and has been called only that ever since.

Is Hugo more of a help or a hinder to your writing?

Unlike Moby, who sat attentively near me as I wrote my book, and genuinely seemed to be interested in what I read back to him, Hugo is aloof – he is not one to listen to reading. If he is not tired, he starts fidgeting pretty quickly, so he has been a bit of a handful to deal with while I write these days. But he’s a love, so I do my best.

You dedicated your new memoir to your late dog Moby? Please tell us about him.

Moby was wonderfully laid back and, like most vizslas, a “Velcro dog” – always clinging to my side. Moby was totally loyal and took commands very readily. It was very difficult to let him go when it was time. He lived 13 too-short years with us and I miss him every day.

Does Hugo have a favorite place to go for walk?

Yes – Hugo loves to walk around our pond in Cornwallville, New York. He actually prefers running to walking – so it is good that we have several acres of property for him to run around on up here in the Catskills.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

All of the above. He has not yet learned that he can’t jump up on the postman or delivery people. He has a knack, though, for putting them at ease with his friendly disposition. He does not come across as menacing. With cats, he’s very playful – but with birds, his hunting instincts kick in, so we have to keep an eye on him.

Who is Hugo's best pet pal?

Hugo’s best pal is Clover, a pit bull mix belonging to one of our close friends. The two of them can spend hours together without tiring. The mention of her name gets him jumping.

What is Hugo's best quality? What was Moby's?

Hugo’s best quality is his gregariousness. He loves all other dogs – has no issues with certain breeds, like some dogs can. He also loves humans. In a group situation, he tends to be the ring-leader. Other dogs love him.

Moby’s best quality was his quiet way of showing affection. He did not jump around like Hugo does; and he was very loyal – and took commands readily. That said, he could be very skittish around certain breeds of dogs.

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

I’m sure Hugo would love for me to quit spending so much time on my laptop – or on anything that takes my attention away from him.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Hugo and Moby could speak, who should voice them?

Hugo would be voiced by Jim Carrey.

Moby would be voiced by Adam Sandler.

What advice would Hugo give if asked?

Lighten up and play more. Life is short!

Visit Morris Ardoin's website and learn about his memoir, Stone Motel: Memoirs of a Cajun Boy.

The Page 99 Test: Stone Motel.

--Marshal Zeringue

1 comment:

  1. Aww, Hugo is one handsome fella! Always good to have a 'fur-iend' to run around with in the woods.