Who is in the photo at right?
Me, I’m Cassie. I have a boring 9-5 job during the week, but on weekends I grab my oxygen and adventure, and then blog about it. I have an autoimmune disorder that caused lung damage, so I get rather breathless sometimes, hence, the oxygen. My dog is Emme, a three-year-old lab/hound mix. You’d never know to look at her, but her mom was a 90-pound black lab/bloodhound mix. Obviously, Dad was something completely different.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Today we’re having a home brew on the go because we’re on our way to a hiking trip in southern Indiana. I really have to watch my coffee cup because she will drink it if I don’t keep my guard up!
I brew Folgers Colombian at home; I’m so not fancy with my coffee. I’m pickier about my creamer. Today, we’re having International Delight’s Cold Stone Creamery in sweet cream flavor.
Any goodies to go with the coffee?
Since we’re about to burn some calories, I feel less guilty about actually having a doughnut with my coffee, so I’m having a chocolate glazed. Emme will probably mooch a bite; she’s a notorious beggar.
How were you and Emme united?
I adopted Emme from Kyle Animal Shelter in Ohio. Her mom, Lexi, was picked up outside Lexington, Ky., by a kill shelter down there. They knew Lexi was about to give birth to at least nine puppies and they couldn’t handle that at the shelter. So instead of putting Lexi down, they found someone to take her. Kyle’s had two hours to come pick her up or they were putting her down.
The next day Lexi had not nine, but 12 puppies. Only one in the litter didn’t make it. Two weeks later, my then-roommate went to pick out a puppy. I went with her, not intending to get a dog until I was out of college. But then I saw Emme curled in a ball at the bottom of the puppy-pile and knew I had to bring her home. She still sleeps curled in a ball snuggled up to someone, and she still grumbles when you try to move her.
Any treats for Emme on this occasion?
Emme is having her current favorite: Duck jerky and cheese and peanut butter crackers. Plus a bite of whatever is on my plate. (Bad habits are hard to break.)
How did Emme get her name? Does she have any nicknames?
While I’m great at naming electronics and inanimate objects, I’m terrible at naming living things. I haven’t actually named either of my pets. My dad named the collie I had when I was a kid, and my best friend named Emme. I just thought it was a pretty name. But nicknames? That’s a whole other story. She has about eleventy billion, including but not limited to: Rabid Hound (because she likes to bark at everything), Flea Bag (because she got fleas when she was a puppy and too young for Frontline), Lazy Bones (because she is your stereotypical lazy hound), Betty (because that’s my Dad’s term of endearment), Emme Lou (not to be confused with Emmy Lou Harris), Cuddlebug (because she’s not happy unless she’s smushed up against someone), Muttblood (like “Mudblood,” when she’s bad) … and so many more. She basically gets called everything but her name.
Who is Emme's best pet-pal?
Emme’s best friend is, conveniently, my best friend’s boxer, Lola. They’re just days apart in age, but Lola is at least twice her size. They’re hysterical when they play together of their size difference, and because Emme is super-jealous of Lola’s long legs. Lola runs like a graceful deer and Emme tries frantically to keep pace.
Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy...?
Chewy bone, definitely. She loves squeaky toys – a little too much. They have been banned from most rooms of the house. Her favorite toys are the edible ones, or the ones that dispense treats with a good whack of the paw.
Postman, cat, squirrel...?
Postman, cat and squirrel. And neighbors, children, other dogs, deer, bison … you get the idea. She will take off after anything she gets a whiff of.
You're quite the traveler. Where is Emme's favorite destination of the places you two have visited?
Emme is such a hound dog and she loves following her nose. Her favorite thing to do – other than laying on the porch in the sun – is getting out in the woods and putting her sniffer to the ground. She took her first hiking trip when she was about six weeks old and was following trails and playing in creek beds in West Virginia. She loves trying to catch squirrels in Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana and barking at the bison in Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. I think she really believes she can bag a bison. I can’t convince her that at 40 pounds, they’re just a little out of her weight class. She’s scrappy though, so maybe I underestimate her?
What is Emme's most endearing quality?
Her most endearing quality can also be her most annoying quality, but I can’t help but love it. She has that whole sad, hound face down and turns it on when I’m busy and she wants a good ear-scratching. She lays her little head down and looks up with those big houndy eyes and gives a whimper. I can’t resist. When I lean down to pet her, I get the tiniest little nose touch on the tip of my nose in gratitude. If I ignore the whimper, I get a barely-felt, tiny little pinch of a bite on the back of my elbow followed by a tail thumping on the floor.
If Emme could change one thing about you, what would it be?
If she could change anything, she would take away any and all responsibility so she could command all of my time. Never-ending belly rubs!
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Emme could speak, who should voice her?
Emme is a strong female, very vocal and never shy about speaking out. (I also suspect she has kind of a potty mouth.) I think a good voice for Emme would someone like Meryl Streep.
If Emme could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
If I only have one question, I’d really have to make it good, because there are so many things I’d love for her to explain. But I think the burning question is this: “Why are you so anxious?” Everything seems to stress her out.
What advice would Emme give if asked?
Emme is a take-charge kind of girl. If she wants something – she takes it, whether that’s her bone or your sandwich. I think Emme’s advice would be to grab the world by the throat and wait for nothing to come to you.
Visit Cassie's Breathless Adventurer website.