I know it might seem unusual to “meet” me, especially if you have been reading with us for a while now, but every so often Sam takes over the computer and gets to ask me a few questions. Here’s a more current interview…
Sam: How do you feel after your first full season of camping for the first time?
Cat: Unprepared! I feel like everytime we visit a campground we find something else we need to incorporate into our camping routine. But, I love seeing your face light up when we are camping. Plus, it was really fun having the kids on some of our trips too.
Sam: After 2 plus years of having Memphis in our lives, what do you take from all that?
Cat: I see you (Sam) become more comfortable in situations that we did not attempt to try or were not able to enjoy before. He doesnt like to be seperated from you (Sam). He really does look out for you (Sam) I take away that he is helping you through situations when then the kids and I cannot be there for you. He always has your 6. I really do believe he is your best friend and I know I have said this a lot, but when he is with you, I always think “that is really what being man’s best friend is like” and I can’t imagine life without him.
Sam: Is Memphis the most famous dog in Southern Illinois?
Cat: Yes!! I believe his online presence has capivated the hearts of many. He has been on the radio (thank you, Kent) He has been on TV multiple times. Before he came into your life, a lot of people were able to see him grow and receive training from This Able Veteran. He has his own Facebook account not to mention there is a website that was created in honor/for our life with him. http://www.walkingwithmemphis.com
Sam: In everything we have done together, which is a long list of amazing events, what is your favorite one? (You cannot count our marriage that is a given.)
Cathrine refused to answer this question, As I am writing this, she is telling me that she is not refusing, just not going to cough up one event. Hahaha!! Cat says that traveling is her favorite and that is where the majority of our adventures and memories come from.
Cat: I love spending time with our family. I love travel. You (Sam) mentioned some really fun trips we got to take due to my conference schedule, and exploring Portland, Seattle, and Eugene was defintiely a favorite. Remember going to Powell’s Bookstore? (HA!!) Plus, that was the first time that I flew with you and Memphis, and he rocked all those flights like a champ.
Sam: Since losing our baby, has trauma made more sense to you in a personal aspect?
Cat: Yes. I completly understand triggers and catch myself thinking about what could have been a lot. Since we decided to share that on the blog, I have come to know other people that have shared a similiar loss. Its an unfortunate bond to have, but it is comforting knowing there are people who understand what we have gone through. We have received so much love and support. It is making me tear up now. But yes, trauma is real, it happens, and it is something one works through in a variety of ways.
Sam: What is your goal for our family in 5 years?
Cat: I would like to think we would be a family of five. Possibly Memphis may be retired by then as a service dog. Maybe living in a bigger house (fingers crossed.) Also, I want to be a full time writing instructor. Maybe even complete my PhD.
Sam: Who has impacted you the most since you began writing on your website? In other words, due to your topics who or what has been most touching to hear or share since starting this website?
Cat: I am always touched by stories about or from Veterans. I would like to think that I am writing things that are relevant to military families, caregivers, and Veterans. Now, I know music and books and travel might not be super exciting to read about, but it shows our family, or our life. I would like for people who read and follow our story to see that we are very real family tackling a variety of issues in our lives from PTSD, trauma, loss, being in public with a real service dog; I want people to know that we have good days and bad days, we work together, and we try out best to cope with various situations. I’m inspired by a lot of people, and for fear of singling out and forgetting someone, I’ll just say that there are so many people who have touched my heart and opened my eyes, believed in me and insprired me, that I’m just super grateful for each and every one of them.