Waggleview with writer Carol Cassara

The Dog Owner: Carol Cassara is a longtime writer retired from a 30-year corporate and consulting career. Besides writing, these days she’s preparing to start a business next year offering products and services to help people with cancer or chronic illness and pain heal. Her second true love is her blog, Heart-Mind-Soul at www.carolcassara.com, where she posts inspiration for creating our best lives. Her first true love is her nine-year-old maltipoo, Riley. Her husband falls in there somewhere up top, too, of course!


Dog type and Name: Malitpoo, Riley


Q: Why did you choose this dog?

I wanted a small dog adaptable enough for travel, since at the time I regularly commuted between coasts. Turns out, he’s a bit too reactively barky to be called “adaptable” and his flying days are now over.


Q: Do you talk to your dog? If so, what do you talk about?

Our conversations are pretty repetitive. I tell him how much I love him, that he is a very good boy and of course, to stop barking. 😉 Riley has a HUGE vocabulary and can understand way too much: subject, verb—he puts it all together. And he’s great at reading cues in our behavior. One day, years ago I told him to go to bed and he did—but we’d never taught him that command. That’s the norm for him. Way smart.


Q: If he could talk to you, what would he say?

I’d like a nonstop supply of kibble and treats and why can’t we go for a ride all day? Oh yes, and “throw that ball, Mom!”


Q: If your dog had a job or career, what would he be doing?

He’d be the King of some small country. He can be benevolent, but he’s also spoiled and likes to be waited on.



Q: What lesson in life has your dog taught you?

He’s taught me unconditional love. And patience. Boy, has he taught me patience!


Q: How does your dog inspire you?

He inspires me to keep learning. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! So taking a page from him, I’m in a graduate school program learning past life regression.


Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you?

Riley prefers a ride in the car to just about anything. He rides seat belted into a crate back seat, since holding him in the front seat risks an airbag death (which happened to a small dog of someone I know). He loves our two-day drive to Santa Fe every fall and we leave Oct 3 for 6 weeks.


Q: Who or what does your dog find the most interesting?

He loves learning canine scent work, a sport that is organized with an association and everything. He’s passed his first two odor recognition tests (birch and anise) which means he can start doing trials. It’s the perfect activity for smart, reactive dogs as they work independently and are crated in between.



Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do?

Walk their dogs off leash, which is against the law. Or use shock collars. Or hurt their dogs. Or leave them outside without shade, food, and water.


Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you?

It means spay and neuter, training, good veterinary care, high quality food, keeping him safe and considering your dog’s needs in everything you do.


Q: Do you ever dress up your dog? If so, as what?

He doesn’t tolerate costumes that well, per se, but he’ll wear a coat when it’s cold and a sweatshirt and some other outfits for practical purposes (outdoors).


Q: How has your dog changed your life?

I don’t have kids so I’ve had to learn to consider his needs first—pet sitter, potty, feeding—all of that weighs into our schedules.


Q: Does your dog have a philosophy of life?

“I want what I want and I’ll do what it takes to get it.”


Q: I love my dog because I can’t image not loving him. I love him because he’s mine.


Q: Have you ever made dog treats for your dog? If so, please share your recipe.

I make a variation of mutt meatballs with ground beef, an egg, chopped carrots, oatmeal and cooked sweat potato. Form into small balls and bake at 350 for 15 -20 minutes or so until cooked through. Any proportion. He loves them!


WAGGLEVIEW®: These interviews are focused on leaders in business, the arts, 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 Carol  for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview®.

What lesson in life has your dog taught you?

Please comment below.

Please follow Lori Pelikan Strobel on Facebook or subscribe, so you can learn about our next dog owner and her lovable pet.

To read other waggleviews, click Here for one with artist Cari Jansen or Here with freelance writer and blogger, Helene Cohen Bludman.

For more dog related posts, look for the Dog on The Street interview.




  • Riley wanted me to be sure to thank you for featuring him AND some of his best photos. He is just about ALWAYS ready for his closeup and he scrutinizes each shot carefully! After all, he has an image to protect! We appreciate you, Lori!

    October 18, 2016 at 11:40 am
  • Love this 🙂 It makes my heart smile when I read about the love between someone and their furry friend. I have an amazing doggy as well, she has literally saved my life. Beautiful.

    October 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm
  • He’s so adorable! I love Carol’s recipe. I can’t wait to try them for my spoiled granddog.

    October 18, 2016 at 8:09 pm
  • Carol has the most adorable dog (aside from Louie) on this planet. I love it when she posts photos of him.

    October 19, 2016 at 6:13 am
  • What a cutie! I’m a cat mom but can totally relate to the bond with Riley!

    October 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm

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