Emmaville Store, circa 1969

Friday, May 23, 2014

Meet Mabel and Buddy

If you've stopped by Emmaville even once you were probably greeted in the parking lot by either a blonde mop on legs or a tricolor bundle of energy or both. In either case you were instantly their new best friend. Since our dogs make up 50% of Emmaville's population of 4, we thought you might want to know more about them.


Mabel is an 8-year-old cockapoo and came from a breeder in the Staples area.  However, Mabel believes she is really from the manors and courts of old Europe. She thinks she is descended from royalty, like her great-granddog was the lap dog of the Grand Duchess of Lichtenstein, or something like that. She believes she should be treated accordingly, and that she doesn't belong here among us commoners.  And she certainly doesn't think she should have to share food and water dishes with that disgusting other dog. That's why she's always running up to our customers and leaping up on them.  She wants them to take her away from all this.

Despite her royal blood, Mabel is not above begging. She practically invented sad puppy eyes, and knows that if she whines enough, Mel will give in and share her dinner. Mabel also refuses to wait until Mel is done with her shift and is always scheming new ways to escape the house to find Mel in the cafe. She stands watch near the gate, waiting for us to slip up and leave it open. Her latest gambit is begging to go out in the backyard, and then running around to the front of the store, hoping a customer will let her in.

Mabel is equally adept at finding ways to sneak in the car when we're going somewhere.  Sometimes we have to trick her, which isn't easy to do because she's pretty smart and she doesn't forget. So now trying to get her in the car is tricky.

Mabel has been riding in the car with Mel ever since she was a pup. They've put many a mile on together. She loves to stand on her hind paws in the front seat and watch the world go by.  Mabel also loves her some cheeseburgers and can spot the Golden Arches from miles away.


Buddy came from a breeder outside Bemidji and an AKC-registered line of springers.  Buddy would be AKC registered if Mike ever got around to sending in the paperwork. But this doesn't matter to Buddy, who just wants his human to come out and play. In fact, Buddy seems to think that is what Mike was put on this earth to do - play with Buddy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Buddy is still training Mike to play his favorite game,Fetch/Keep Away. Mike still doesn't get the concept: he is supposed to chase Buddy down and grab the stick (or ball) and then throw it so Buddy can retrieve it and then Mike gets to chase him down again.

But whenever Buddy approaches Mike with a stick in his mouth, Mike picks up another stick and throws that instead. This disruption forces Buddy to drop the stick he was carrying and go get Mike's stick so he can show Mike which is the right stick. But when he returns with Mike's stick, he finds Mike throwing the stick Buddy brought! Since this stick is the original game piece, Buddy has to go get it in order to resume the game.

Unfortunately, Mike keeps disrupting the game by throwing sticks so they never get to the Keep Away part. Frustrated, Buddy finally retrieves his stick but doesn't drop it, hoping Mike will gave chase. But then Mike says "you win" and goes back to work. This is why Buddy keeps approaching our customers with a stick in his mouth, hoping to find a smarter human that knows how to play Fetch/Keep Away.

Unlike Mabel, Buddy doesn't like riding in the car. Whenever he is told to "load up" he stalls for time, sometimes picking up a stick and trying to get Mike to play. When he finally approaches the car door, he acts like he's paralyzed, forcing Mike to pick him up and throw him in. When in the car, he always assumes the same position: sitting up, leaning against the back rest with his eyes glazed over and not moving a muscle.  Sometimes he squeezes his eyes shut and looks like he's praying "please God don't let me puke."

In addition to playing Fetch/Keep Away, Buddy's favorite things to do are flushing grouse, seeing how many cockleburs he can collect with his ears, chewing on a bone when Mike and Mel are trying to sleep, and eating Mabel's poop.

If you like our dogs (or even if you don't) please come to our 1st Annual Centennial Celebration, when our customers will have the opportunity to vote for the official "Ambassador of Emmaville". Should it be Mabel or Buddy?  We'll ask you to donate $1 per vote, with the proceeds going to the Headwaters Animal Shelter.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Excuse us while we brag up our kid.

Some of you probably met our youngest daughter Hannah, who worked parts of two summers here until she moved to Seattle in 2012.  Hannah is part of the "Gen Y" generation, and like many of them, struggling to make her own way.  She is finding it tough to find a good job - her BFA hasn't opened many doors yet.  We told her that kids her age need to create their own job if they can't find any out in the world.

So Hannah is doing just that, by starting her own on-line comic.  Here's the link:


It may be a while before Cowboys and Indie Kids (or the Surly Girl and Tubby Cat Detective Agency) can pay her bills, so Hannah is working at a coffee shop/shipping service.  These are tough times for the younger generation, but we know Hannah is tough and resilient, and resourceful, and hard working, and really hard not to love, and...we know she's going to make it!  Please enjoy and share her comic - thanks!