Waggleview® with Katie Mueller, nurse and dog lover
A waggleview® reveals the incredible bond between the human and animal connection. These special interviews remind us to mindfully live in the moment, as our pets do every single day. Read our featured waggleview® to find out her dogs philosophy on life and how her dogs inspire her.
The Dog Owner: Katie Mueller RN. Katie’s love for animals developed at a young age in New York City. Her family always had an adopted stray or two living with them. Katie quickly became interested in dogs and became a volunteer for Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.. She can’t imagine her life without a dog.
Dog type and Name: Milo, German Shepherd; Ella, Shih Tzu
Q: Why did you choose these dogs?
Years ago, I was lucky enough to adopt a German Shepherd dog that had been rescued by a young women whose mother owned several show dogs. The mother was unable to keep the German Shepherd named, Dylan, so, I was offered this dog. I had grown up with mixed breed dogs and had never owned a pure bred dog. It was my first experience owning a GSD and it proved to be the best experience of my life. After, Dylan passed away, I became a Fidelco volunteer and learned much more about the breed and how to train these dogs. A few years later, when I had completed the mourning process, I was given Milo as an early Christmas present.
Ella was a gift from my daughter.
Q: Do you talk to your dogs? If so, what do you talk about?
I talk to my dogs all the time.
Mostly I ask Milo questions like, “Do you want a treat?, Do you want to go out and play?, Do you want to go to the park?”
I talk to Ella mostly by teaching her commands.
Q: If they could talk to you, what would they say?
Milo would say, “Why have we stopped hiking together?” When Milo was younger, we went on hikes regularly. He ran into my leg and fractured it. I stopped taking him hiking and my husband took over after that. He hikes every day with my husband.
Milo watches television all of the time and barks at every animal he sees on TV, especially cats. He recognizes the sounds of the commercials and if he hears a cat commercial, he will run into the living room and bark at the TV. I bet he would ask me if the cat is in the house somewhere. I see him look inside the cabinet and run into the next room sometimes to look for the cat or any other animal he sees on TV.
If Ella could talk, I think she would be happy to talk about Milo. She adores him. He just tolerates her.
Q: If your dogs had a job or career, what would they be doing?
Milo would be a police officer or a corrections officer. I was a Correctional Managed Health Care Nurse and I witnessed, first hand, how fearless and intelligent those dogs were. They were also extremely devoted and loving to their handlers.
Ella would be a therapist. She is very attentive; although, she can be a bit stubborn when it comes to listening.
Q: What lesson in life have your dogs taught you?
Milo went lame at an early age. He is six years old and has knee issues. He has the spirit and heart of a puppy. He is unstoppable in spite of his challenge to move about in the same way he did when he was younger. I’m 60 years old and I have some of the same issues…….knee pain, arthritis, etc. He’s taught me to keep going and to be unstoppable.
Ella has taught me patience. I’ve trained large breed dogs but, this small breed dog is very challenging to train. She’s very smart but has a stubborn streak.
Q: How do your dogs inspire you?
Milo’s ability to connect is the most inspirational thing about him. He is very obedient and intelligent.
Ella’s a big dog in a little dog’s body. She believes she can do anything and she often surprises me at how much she can do.
Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you?
However, Milo mostly loves to walk around the neighborhood. He also loves to go into neighbor’s homes if I am visiting them.
Ella loves to go to the supermarket, for a car ride, for a walk around the block, or to a friend’s house.
Q: Who or what do your dogs find the most interesting?
Milo is captivated by the television. He doesn’t miss a beat and there is no fooling him. As I said, he barks at every animal and the animal doesn’t have to be real. He will even bark at animated animals. He can’t be fooled.
Ella loves Milo. She also loves her fur cousin, Summer, with whom she has sleepovers. She loves people and she loves to follow me everywhere!
Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do?
Yell at or scold their dogs.
In the case of small dog owners, I would say that the most annoying thing is to treat a small dog like a baby. They aren’t toys and you have to give them challenges and expose them to other dogs and people. They need discipline just like a large breed dog so that they don’t develop small dog syndrome.
Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you?
Having good control over your dog. Training your dog to be highly socialized. Picking up after your dog. Exercising your dog every day. Exposing your dog to new experiences, new people, other dogs, etc. Paying attention to your dog’s nutrition and weight. Keeping your dog healthy and well groomed. Spending quality time with your pet.
Q: Do you ever dress up your dogs? If so, as what?
Milo’s had a life-vest on while my husband attempted to teach him to swim. He didn’t like it.
Ella wears a harness so there is no pressure on her neck while walking. She also wears a collar with bells on it so that I can find her (otherwise she is silent). I have recently purchased a raincoat and two hoodies for her since we keep the house cool and she shivers if she’s not dressed.
Q: How have your dogs changed your life?
Milo’s helped me to build on my dog training skills. I take ownership seriously and I have good control over my dog.
Ella makes me laugh a lot. I think that was missing in my life. I have a great sense of humor and love to laugh. She is such a clown and she has me laughing all the time. She also keeps me going because she gets up often to go to the bathroom. She doesn’t always sleep through the night, so I have to be on my toes.
Q: Do your dogs have a philosophy of life?
Milo’s – Never, ever give up! Take every opportunity to have fun!
Ella’s – Everybody should love me and I can’t relate to anyone who doesn’t find me adorable.
Q: I love my dogs because he means the world to me and she’s a lover!
Q: Have you ever made dog treats for your dogs? If so, please share your recipe.
Milo has a minimal amount of treats and is allergic to so many foods. He eats an all raw meat diet and has special supplements. I buy treats for him but, it is not the mainstay of his diet. It is a special occasion when he gets a treat.
The one thing my dog can count on as a treat is his weekly container of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream. It takes him about 20 minutes to eat a one-pint container of ice cream. He knows that when my husband and I go out for date night, he is guaranteed to get his ice cream. He skips one meal a week and gets ice cream as a replacement.
Ella gets more treats than Milo because she doesn’t have the best appetite. She gets high quality treats that are store bought.
WAGGLEVIEW®: These interviews are focused on leaders in business, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected people in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about pets and what these people do? This is a platform for people to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their pet!
Thank you Katie for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview®.
How does your dog inspire you?
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