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Archive for the ‘Speak!’ Category

It certainly has seemed like the longest winter on record… so we welcome the first day of Spring with a celebratory chat between Cooper and his favorite little Jack Russell Terrier in all of the the Lone Star State, Bella.

She’s got a big family to look after: Randi (one of the best darn equine photographers we know!), her husband Greg, daughter Abbi and their 4-legged family: Alex, Miss Texas, Uncle Fluffy, Swirl (yes, there’s another Swirl! meow) Baby and Smokey. With so many to look after, Bella doesn’t have a moment to dally, “Hey Coop — y’all ready to chat?”

Cooper: Bella, you were sure a little cutie pa-tu-tie! Should we all call you Bella, or do you have a nickname you prefer?

Bella: Now don’t tell, Coop, but at first I thought Miss Naughtiness was my name… I look innocent, so I can get away with murder! But now that I don’t bite ankles quite so often (have you tried them, Coop, quite tasty!), I prefer to be called Bella.

Cooper: I, too, am trying to resist the urge to nibble on shapely ankles, Bella… So, what do you chew on instead?

Bella: Uncle Fluffy. That sweet cat is my fav chew toy. Nothing compares! Tho once in a while, Miss Texas will tell me to take it easy on the cats…

Cooper: Miss Texas? Who’s that?

Bella: Miss Texas is our watch dog supreme, but she has a warm and fuzzy side, especially when she calls me LLC: little, loud & clueless… isn’t that sweet?

Cooper: Hmmmm…. Miss Texas could be right!

Bella: What? … I have another favorite toy, Coop–my green rope! Do you play tug-o-war? Come and  play–I’ll share! Alex is always too busy to play…

Cooper: Now, who’s Alex? Such a big cast of characters!

Bella: At 11-years-old, Alex is our elder statesman. He speaks with an Australian accent, and definitely is the ‘smart one.’ Alex trained me to jump up into the back of the truck. Isn’t that cool?

Cooper: That patch over his eye is quite dashing, don’t you think?

Bella: Sure is, Super Coop! Got to run–spring & Uncle Fluffy are calling me!

Coop: Nice talkin,’ my pint-sized Texas friend with the 10-gallon personality!

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Because Cooper has so much fun with his kissin’ cousins Domino and Kelso in Texas, Swirl’s felt a little left out—until now! Our friends in Ohio, Ginny Telego and her husband, have generously offered their three Australian Shepherds to be Swirl’s honorary cousins. Swirl is thrilled–and Cooper, too!

Swirl is busy interviewing Cody, that handsome black tri-colored Aussie, whose father was the top Aussie in the nation in 1998; Annie a gorgeous red-tri, whom they rescued in 2005; and little mini Jada, whom Ginny says reminds her of Dory, the blue fish, in Finding Nemo—what a fabulous trio!

Swirl is excited to meet her very own kissin’ cousins–we bet you’ll love them, too.

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Yesterday, we left our chatty harlequin look-a-likes, curling up on the couch with what appeared to be a squeaky duck! We’ll pick up the fun where we left off….

Cooper: Now let’s see, Domino, the last I remember is watching you curl up with a duck (zzzzzz……) followed by some very sweet dreams. Is that duck somethin’ magical, or what?

Domino: It’s my most treasured possession. I am a bird dog (FYI — appreciate your heritage, little Coopster!), and of all my toys I treasure my squeaky bird most, followed closely by my squeaky ball.

Cooper: I’m rather partial to green squeaky balls myself, Domino. That squeak just gets my joy going! Yesterday, you were about to share a favorite story from your therapy dog files. Please do!

Domino: My favorite lady was Miss Ann. Not everyone loves dogs as much as they should, so when you’re doing your therapy dog work, you always have to be careful meeting new people until your handler says it’s OK. But when we first met Miss Ann, I walked in, took one sniff and just knew she loved me, so I jumped right up into her lap! Mom was horrified. But I KNEW! Miss Ann had to explain to Mom what I already understood — that she’d raised Cockers her whole life and loved them the most of anything. I’d lay in her lap for hours and we’d watch TV as she petted me, because she knew all the best spots. Mom says she still doesn’t understand how I knew all that so fast. But I told her, I’m a professional!

Cooper: That’s awesome, Dom! Think of all the joy you brought Miss Ann… I’d sure like to earn my therapy dog stripes! I’d also like to do agility. And I’ve heard you called the Agility King—How’d you get that royal nickname?

Domino: Agility is great. I like doing the jumps – it makes your ears and your skirt (kilt for us guys) fly up like Superman! However, I think running real fast is silly – I like to take my time and just jog between the obstacles. Those dogs that go hell-bent around the course are just asking for a sprain! So, I guess the name is from being king of the course, don’t you think?

Cooper: Yes! You & I have a terrifical resemblance, don’t you think? Are you sure we’re not long-lost brothers, separated at birth?

Domino: Now that you mention it, hmmm… If we’re brothers, may I be the dashing and debonair one?

Cooper: You are already, my brother! Domino–one last question–what do you know for sure? I mean… do you have a motto?

Domino: The greatest thing we can do to be happy is to make other’s lives better!

Fab fotos courtesy Domino’s very cool Mom, Andrea Caudill

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Cooper had such a doggone good time when he interviewed Kelso, aka Special K, he could hardly wait to talk with Kelso’s big bro, Domino. Those 2 lucky dogs have such an active life with their Mum, Andrea (she’s an authentic dog whisperer!), that it took a while to catch the devastatingly handsome Domino with a spare moment. Let’s just say, that when Coop & Dom got started, they didn’t want the fun to end!

Cooper: Jeepers, creepers, Domino, where’d you get those peepers?

Domino: They came free with my tuxedo suit! Many folks think they’re my best feature… but not those neighborhood kids who came to visit one day. They saw my eyes and ran away screaming!

Cooper: Ha! Wish I’d seen that! What’s your story, you handsome creature?

Domino: Well, as pound pups, we don’t like to talk about our “before” lives. Suffice to say I was a young buck out on the streets starving, dirty and cold, and ended up finding the loop of an animal control officer’s catch pole. A few hours later, shivering in a chilly, loud cage, I looked up and saw…. my new Mom! She said I looked like a starved cow with my bones and spotted coat, but adopted me anyways.

Cooper: You lucky dog! What do you love best about your forever home?

Domino: When I first moved in, I liked the mirrors and door springs. They were so fascinating! Now, I like Mom; warm, comfy beds; my toys; and regular meals. In that order.

Cooper: Tell me about your very important job, Dom…

Domino: I’m a licensed therapy dog, and let me tell you, it is truly a calling – 24-7 and no vacations! My main job is to keep Mom’s blood pressure at a healthy level. I jump in her lap and roll around and act silly until she laughs, then I push my head under her hand until she pets me and de-stresses. This is exacting work – many dogs try this as amateurs – but I’m a trained professional! I encourage her to exercise – upper body workouts (throwing my toys) and cardio (taking me for walks). I also like to take Mom to visit our local senior home. Every Saturday when she goes to pick up her keys and my leash, I do my happy dance. I love going and seeing all my peeps!

Cooper: I’d sure like a therapy dog gig — any advice?

Domino: First, no biters allowed, little Coopster! When you master that you, too, can study hard and join this honorable profession… It’s SO rewarding! When folks see me, they holler “DOMINO!” Of course, they’ll holler your name, and that’s when you need to start doing a happy dance! When your owner lets go of the leash, run to them–that makes them feel happy. Then you sit down (still do the happy dance if you can), and smile at them. Then let them pet you.

Cooper: Gee, I think I do that naturally!

Domino: But the real trick, Coop, is to work the crowd so no one feels left out. Make sure everyone has a ‘hello’ and a pet! And take note: Many of them have treats, and they’ll give you lots of treats if you do a few tricks.

Cooper: This is so much fun, Domino, could we continue this interview tomorrow?

Domino: Sure–I have loads more good stories to tell… like the one bout Miss Ann! That’ll give me time to snooze with my favorite duck pillow… there’s room for you on the couch, too, Super Coop! zzzz……

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FUN alert! If you enjoyed Cooper’s Speak! interview with his Cocker cousin, Kelso (aka Special K) , you’ll love where the conversation goes when Cooper chats with Kelso’s brother, Domino! That super-talented Dom is a therapy dog extraordinaire, an agility king, a thorn in Kelso’s side and his mum’s pride & joy–well, three out of four isn’t bad! It’s 100% Cocker fun, it’s comin’ tomorrow and you’re invited!

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Cooper is fascinated by the legendary Denini, the horse-herding cat. You see, the fluffy marmalade feline rules his barn and all the creatures therein with his velvet paw. It is one peaceable kingdom.

Cooper: Honored to meet you, Mr Denini! What’s your secret to creating sucha bit o’ heaven?

Denini: Respect, my little black-eyed Sweet Pea. I give respect to all creatures great & small, and it just comes right back in return. Try it sometime!

Cooper: Even those massive big horses? Wow! How’d you keep them in line?

Denini: Those buxom babes are really marshmallow-soft inside, and sensitive. You know, they feel a tiny fly on their sides, and swish it away with their tail. Brute force is for brutes—I just make what I want them to do (the right thing!) easy, and everything else (the wrong thing!) hard; and those big ol’ mares make the right choice every time! Use your mind, Little Grasshopper, and you’ll never have to use your claws.

Cooper: Hmmmm…. I noticed you didn’t run when I offered to chase you. What’s up with that?

Denini: I’ve evolved beyond the fright-flight response, silly—it’s so ancient history! When I flop down and smile, it’s pretty much impossible for you to maintain that big, bad attitude. Now, isn’t it? Meow.

Cooper: When you put it that way, I can’t disagree! Is it true, that you taught the great herding Kelpie, Banner, everything she knows?
Denini: Let’s just say, we shared notes. Many days, we herded horses, then rested in the tall cool grass together. Remember little Coopster, never claim all the credit, ’cause you’re always standing on the tall shoulders of those who went before!
Cooper: Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Nini Beani! I’ll remember our time together forever.

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For Cooper’s latest interview feature, Speak!  he chats up Uno Mas Cerveza a sassy, young Sheltie that takes care of Phil and Ann of Myers Horse Farm, and their famous Quarter Horse stallion, Zips Chocolate Chip, aka Chip. Since Chip’s birthday falls on May 5th–fiesta day, Cinco de Mayo–there’s a lot of celebrating at the farm in May. And for a lively pup with a name like Cerveza (his older sisters’s name is Tequila!) every day is a fiesta…. Ole!

Cooper: How’d you get that radically cool name, Cerveza?
Cerveza: I’m proudly upholding Myers’ family tradition. Once-upon-a-time, Ann had a Sheltie named Budweiser. His color was like a golden beer, and he had a big white collar that looked like the foamy head on a beer. I look a lot like him, so, they named me Uno Mas Cerveza (One More Beer!), as a wag of the tail to him and to honor Chip’s Cinco de Mayo birthday, too.
Cooper: What’s with that gorgeous sombrero?
Cerveza: You know Ann–she loves her props. I’m just lucky she didn’t dress me up in a chocolate chip cookie costume!
Cooper: Must admit, a sombrero is quite the dashing accessory!
Cerveza: Everyone–Chip, Tequila, even the cat–was trying to show me how to wear it… Personally, I think blue is Tequila’s color.
Cooper: Speaking of Chip, what’s that famous Zips Chocolate Chip really like?
Cerveza: Awesome! We play dress-up a lot, and he really looks swashbuckling in a sombrero, don’t you think, Cooper? Ole!
Cooper: Who’s dat cat, little Cerveza?
Cerveza: Gunner, he’s 20-years-old and quite the party animal. (Tho please note, Cooper, that Gunner has obvious sombrero issues, too!)
Cooper: Tell us a little bout your job at Myers Horse Farm…
Cerveza: My job is to herd yearling colts. OK, OK, most of the time they just stand and look at me through the dog fence, but I work really hard, that is, unless I’m napping… zzzzzz….
Cooper: Hey, wake up, pint-sized pup! Just two more questions, baby face!
Cooper: What do Ann & Phil love most about you?
Cerveza: I think what attracted them at first, was my cute factor–it’s off the charts! But now it’s my devotion that really tugs at their heartstrings. (sigh)
Cooper: Are you old enough to have a motto, o-youthful-one? Please share!
Cerveza: Life is a Fiesta! Ole!
Ridiculously cute photos courtesy Zips Chocolate Chip. Thanks, Chip!

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