Friday, July 26, 2013

Kristie Blevins & Lula Mae Belle

Who is in the photo at right?

I am Kristie Blevins, a simple mountain girl from Piney Flats, Tennessee. I earned a BS and MA at East Tennessee State University and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. I am currently Associate Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. My research interests include crime prevention, corrections, and wildlife crime. I admittedly spend a lot of time in prison and jail, but I do so to interview inmates about their experiences. The information I get from them helps me to learn more about their risk factors, motivations, and target selection techniques. I have published the results of some of my research in several academic journals and books. Aside from my research endeavors, I teach three classes each semester. I love working with the students! Outside of work, I love participating in outdoor activities and hanging with my dog. I am also an avid (some might say rabid) University of Tennessee football fan.

Lula Mae Belle is my baby girl. She is a bloodhound, weighs about 105 pounds, and is almost five years old. Although she is definitely a house dog, she loves being outside.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I’m getting a caffeine boost before we go for a nice long walk.

What's brewing?

For me: Green Mountain Island Coconut with Splenda and a splash of creamer.

For Lula: Cold water in a coffee mug to make it feel special.

Any treats for you or Lula Mae Belle on this occasion?

For me: A peach turnover from a local orchard.

For Lula: A pig’s ear and a couple bites of my turnover.

How did Lula Mae Belle get her name? Any nicknames?

Because of her breed and my background, I thought my pup definitely needed a name that sounded a little country. Her registered name is Duchess Lula Mae Belle of Volunteer Nation. We primarily call her Lula Belle or Belle-Belle, but she responds best to “look here.”

How were you and Lula Mae Belle united?

I was living in North Carolina at the time and was looking to adopt a large dog. The local large breed rescues required that applicants have fenced yards before they could adopt from them. Since I didn’t have a fence, I was browsing online for dogs available in the area. I came across her litter and fell in love. I adopted her from a wonderful family as soon as she was weaned.'re a criminal justice scholar and your dog happens to be the breed most commonly associated with sniffing out crime--is that a coincidence?

I get asked this question quite a lot. The truth is that it really is coincidence. I was actually looking for a great dane or mastiff when I found her. I think it is true that everything works out for the best! As for sniffing out crime, I would never put Lula in a dangerous situation. She is definitely a pet rather than a working dog, though we have no problem volunteering on occasions when there is a local missing child or other lost person.

Who are Lula Mae Belle's best pet-pals?

Her best friends Fozzie and Krimpet were our neighbors in North Carolina. We visit with them every chance we get. Here in Kentucky, she loves Sammy, Brownie, Marlin, and Warning. She gets to hang out with them when her Aunt Tina or Uncle J.B. babysit for us.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Lula loves pretty much any toy or stick, but she is obsessed with Air Dog squeaky tennis balls. She plays with them every night, usually instigating a game of keep-away from me. She also loves to chase the red dot (laser pointer).

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Cats for sure. She is borderline neurotic when it comes to cats. The problem is she wants to play with them, and they don’t necessarily want to play back. Once a cat is used to her, she whines at it if it doesn’t want to play or simply sits still.

What is Lula Mae Belle's best quality?

Of course, I want to say everything about her because I think she is the best dog in the world. If I have to choose just one quality, I have to say it is that she shows her love. She is a cuddle bug and gives big hugs—paws on shoulders and nose nestled in my neck. And, you definitely notice when you have been kissed by my slobber monster.

If Lula Mae Belle could change one thing about you, what would it be?

She would request that I spend less time at the office. I think she would prefer that I be at home to cater to and spoil her (as I always do when we are together).

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Lula Mae Belle could speak, which actor should do her voice?

I think Dolly Parton should do Lula’s voice because her dialect is similar to my family’s. I like to think that Lula as picked up our style.

If Lula Mae Belle could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Given that you seem to love all people and animals, why do you act like a big, bad, mean, growling monster until they get right next to you?

--Marshal Zeringue

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