Wednesday, December 18, 2013

• "Meet the Bloggers" with Go Pet Friendly

Buster (L) and Ty. I think Ty is smiling.
Amy Burkert is one of the coolest women you ever want to meet. Amy and her husband, Rod, and their dogs, Buster and Ty, travel full time. Their passion is helping people travel with their pets. Check it out: Go Pet Friendly. Amy even asked me to write a guest post about traveling with a hamster. Meeting Buster and Ty was my highlight of BarkWorld 2012.

So when Amy announced the "Meet the Bloggers Hop", I couldn't resist. And today—my birthday—is the perfect day for this post! Amy posed questions for us to answer.

What's my favorite non-animal-related movie?
I'm tired of watching "Where the Heart Is," but I cannot for the life of me change the channel when it's on. I think it's how Natalie Portman is so alone, and finds community. It gives me hope. "To Kill a Mockingbird" moves me. When Atticus Finch loses the trial, the Blacks, in the balcony because they are not allowed on the floor, rise. "Stand up, Miss Jean Louise," says one man. "Your daddy's passing." I tear up every time.

Who is my favorite actor?
Meryl Streep is scary good. Liam Neeson is just about the hottest guy around. Sir Laurence Olivier ("Is it safe?"). Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is . . . unspeakably sexy and ethical. Sam Sheppard (oh, that snaggletooth!). Ed Harris. James Lipton. Jimmie Stewart. I can't think of everyone.

Butler was a partner in Equine Guided Discovery,
which is a blog post in and of itself.  :)
What makes me feel fabulous?
The Southwest. I don't know if its the heat, the terrain, the sun, or the freedom, but I come alive there like nowhere else. A locational geographer confirmed that several places would be ideal for me to live. And a great haircut makes me feel fabulous.

What's one thing I have to do every day?

What do I like to do in my free time?
Photography. My mother wouldn't let me take pictures with her Brownie, but I haven't been able to put down a camera since I was in high school. Recently I've taken classes in animal communication, TTouch, IET (Integrated Energy Therapy), and Reiki, and done energetic work with horses. Energy healing fascinates me. There's so much we don't know. And I watch reality TV. I'm not proud that Bravo is my go-to channel, but there it is.

What is one thing you've done that you're most proud of?
Getting clean and sober 21 years ago. This is as good a time as any to come out of the closet about this. When I was drinking I didn't mind who knew, but I feel like there's something shameful about having had a drinking problem. So. There it is.

If you didn't have your current pets, what pet would you choose to have?
A horse. Two horses so they'd have company. As Carol Bryant might say, my heart beats horse. I'm in Lancaster for my birthday, and today I drove 340, the Old Philadelphia Pike. Snowy fields and Amish farms line the road, which has wide buggy lanes on either side. You can see the horse's hooves when you're behind a buggy. Even though it was freezing (really—it was 30° F) I rolled the window down so I could hear the clip-clop when I passed.

I didn't say much about my pet. My dear hamster Charlotte passed away about a month ago. I still miss her. Winnie is my new baby. Winnie is painfully shy. I have to remember to speak and move softly around her. When I came home from a three-day pet sit last week I startled the heck out of her. But tonight Winnie got in the ball for the first time while I cleaned her cage. And she left me a birthday present: poop! On that note, I'll stop here.


  1. So glad to have found you blog because of this blog hop:) It's very nice to meet you and to read a little about you. Consider me a new member of your blog!

    1. Thanks, Rach. Do you plan to come to BlogPaws in 2014? It is the best conference I know.

  2. Oh Emmy, I think you're the kindest person I've ever met. Happy birthday to you! And thank you for your honesty. Perhaps you thought people would think of you differently if you revealed this secret about yourself. I do think of you differently ... I now appreciate you even more for your courage and perseverance. I so hope you find a way to move to the Southwest. You belong in this part of the country.

  3. Isn't it funny how people count their highlights? One of my highlights from my very first BlogPaws was meeting you. Oh, how scared and nervous I was that first day. So many people! SO MANY PEOPLE. I had never imagined there were that many pet bloggers IN THE WORLD, forget in one single room. When introduced yourself in the nail salon, I thought I was the luckiest ever for meeting someone so kind and funny. It broke the ice and kept me from hiding in my room the rest of the weekend. I'm not altogether sure I ever thanked you for that. Thank you Emmy.

    I also admire the courage it takes to admit that you fought and won a battle against addiction. There's no shame in saying you were smart enough and brave enough to change your world. It's actually quite admirable and you're such a wonderful, delightful person now that I can't imagine you any other way.

    1. I was so touched when you described how you felt when we met. I felt the same. When I first went to BlogPaws, in 2011, I met a lot of people but didn't connect the same way I did in 2012. Even though everyone is very friendly, it was hard for me as an introvert to make meaningful contact with so many people. So thank YOU. See you in Vegas!

  4. Emmy, so nice to meet you! Thank you so much for taking part in the blog hop! Sorry to hear about Charlotte :( Winnie looks like a sweet little thing. I was a pet sitter for many years and share a passion for photography - it's so great getting to know everyone!

    1. Thank you, Julie, for your kind words about Charlotte. Winnie is starting to come out of her shell. I look forward to seeing your photos and reading your blog.

  5. Congrats on being clean and sober for 21 years. That is a major accomplishment!

  6. Wow -- you should be soooo proud of yourself!! There is nothing shameful at all about having had a substance abuse problem. Keeping it in the past is a terrific achievement and is something to be celebrated every day =) Thanks for sharing, and I couldn't agree more with your choice of actors, although I could add a few more =)

  7. I just want to thank you for joining this hop and for being so very honest with your answers. You are obviously a brave and strong person with a huge heart. So pleased to have "met" you here.

  8. Being clean and sober for 21 years is TOTALLY something to be proud of! You sound like an amazing woman with a zest for living and a determination to do it right! We need MORE like you!

    And To Kill A Mockingbird is my favourite book and one of my favourite movies. Gregory Peck... mmm... I talked about him in my own post!

    Thanks for joining the hop!

  9. It's so very nice to meet you Emmy. I was a pet sitter for 3 1/2 years and loved it so very much. I am jealous of you being able to do it. I got burned out and went back to corporate america, but now I miss it terribly.

    Kudos to you for kicking the alcohol. I personally think there is no shame in once having HAD a drinking problem. I think it says a lot about you that you were able to find a way to remove it from your life. You should be proud of that accomplishment!

    I loved you're picture of Buster and Ty. Is there anyone Amy doesn't know? :)

  10. Emmy, thank you for such a brave and honest post - considering how many people struggle with sobriety, it's inspiring that you were able to get clean and sober. You are obviously one tough and awesome lady, and I greatly enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better.

    So glad you joined the hop - loved the photos of you too. :)

  11. Hi Emmy, first and foremost I want to Congratulations!! Getting sober and staying sober is truly an amazing accomplishment. Kudos to you! And thank you for sharing that, I'm sure it wasn't easy.

    Secondly, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Charlotte, our furry ones are with us for such a short time. I bet you work your magic on Winnie.

    Thirdly, happy belated Birthday! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get here, we had quite a turnout for this blog hop. And lastly (but not lastly) thank you for joining the blog hop, I suspect your post will inspire many.

  12. Hi Emmy. I found you through the hop. What a fun job to be a pet sitter! So cool. I agree with Amy, you need to find your way west. We are currently in Arizona. We hunker down here in the winter. I love the warm and sunshine.

  13. Emmy! I'll see you at BlogPaws again this year! Come to the Jones booth and see the chicks! I'm thinking maybe ducklings instead of chicks. We'll see. Ducklings are SO much more friendly.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there! So many of us animal bloggers are introverts. Funny, huh?

  14. Happy belated Birthday Emmy! And congrats on getting sober. My parents were big alcoholics when I was a kid and my Dad got sober *many* years ago (If I tell you, you will know how old I really am. Ha, ha).

    So sorry again about Charlotte but I am glad you and Winnie are having fun adventures. I think you are the first person I've known to travel with their hamster and I think it's awesome! It's something my Mom would have done I think :)