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PESOTUM - Earl and Pearl are punny and photogenic.

Well, maybe it's not actually Earl and Pearl who are punny, but rather their people, Cindy and Kirby Pringle, who have authored a book featuring the dog duo in people situations.

Earl and Pearl are rescued dogs, one a white boxer, the other a brown-tone boxer mix.

Though the much-photographed duo won't be coming to Woofstock 2006, their people will be on-site to participate in the all-day festival of pets at Progress City USA Saturday, May 6.

Their dog book, "Happy Tails: Earl and Pearl on the Farm," is an alphabet book "from A to Z, apples to zinnias," said Kirby Pringle.

Not only did the couple take all the photographs but they also wrote the text for the book.

That text is pun-filled, reminiscent of the lines popped during the old television show, "Hee Haw."

Q: Tell me, did you ever watch "Hee Haw?" (Hopefully that's not an age insult or any other.)

"Yes, I did watch 'Hee Haw,'" said Kirby Pringle, "when I was a kid but not with any regularity.

"But Cindy and I both grew up in small towns (Cindy is from Paxton, Kirby from Casey/Robinson) and we both have a love for small towns and rural areas, which is reflected in the humor and place in 'Happy Tails.'

"We are both proud hicks at heart, I suppose."

Q: You say Earl and Pearl are rescue dogs; can you tell us a bit about each, if they care to share?

Earl and Pearl live with us, he responded.

"Or you could say we live with them."

Earl, whose nonfiction name is Buster, was found in Southern Illinois where he had been a street dog for more than a year. At the time of adoption, Earl/Buster had a skin condition from malnutrition and "about every kind of worm you could think of."

Pearl, on the other hand, was adopted after being confiscated by a Paxton veterinarian because he had been being abused by his former owner. Pearl, too, is male and known at home as Barney.

"He plays the female role because he's more shy and reserved than Buster (and Buster really looks more masculine, so the choice was easy).

"We've always taken photographs of our dogs and this project grew out of that. Cindy created her first dog person about 10 years ago.

"It was a photo of our first boxer, Bobo, wearing a bathrobe. We have a lot of fun coming up with the ideas and then watching them come to life."

Q: Do the dogs travel with you?

Cindy Pringle doesn't like leaving the dogs in a kennel so they normally travel with the couple, even at vacation time.

"We don't usually take them to art fairs or book signings, though," said Kirby Pringle, "because there's not enough room in our vehicle - with the books and photographs.

The dogs are big boys, both at 80 to 90 pounds.

The couple specializes in humorous photographs.

Cindy Pringle, a University of Illinois graduate, has been a professional photographer for 16 years and is represented nationally by the stock photo agency, Corbis. Kirby Pringle, an Eastern Illinois University graduate, is a longtime feature writer for the Champaign News Gazette.

Arlene Mannlein can be reached at amannlein@herald-review.com or 421-6976.

About the book

'Happy Tails: Earl and Pearl on the Farm'

TYPE: hardback, all color, 32 pages

PUBLISHER: Dogtown Artworks

ISBN: 0977712605

LIST PRICE: $16.95

AVAILABLE: dogtownartworks.com or call 867-2486.

APPEARANCES: Cindy and Kirby Pringle will be at Woofstock, Progress City USA, Richland Community College, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 6.

The couple will also be at Borders Books, Champaign, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20; Casey Township Public Library, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 27; Okaw Veterinary Clinic, downtown Tuscola, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 10.

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