The Littlest Hound: Cassie & Patrick Garber
We are a proud Air Force family. With two children, two dogs, and some backyard chickens, our days go by quickly — but there’s no shortage of adventures!
Patrick grew up in Colorado and holds degrees in Transportation Management and Human Resource Management. He joined the Air Force in '04.
He spent five years in the role of an Air Force First Sergeant before returning to his primary career field in the Logistics Readiness Squadron in '21.
Cassie grew up in Pennsylvania and has a Bachelors in Mass Communication / Marketing from King’s College. In '22, she obtained a graduate certificate in Nutrition Science for Communications Professionals from Tufts University. Currently, she runs a content marketing business. One of Cassie’s passions is yoga, and she completed yoga teacher training in '12. She finds great joy in pairing children with movement and has taught yoga at gyms and on installations across the country — as well as held “story-time yoga” for military children.
When we’re not writing books together, you can find us camping, hiking, biking, skiing, gardening, fishing, or exploring national and state parks.
HOW THIS BOOK CAME TO BE...
We got married in FL '08, and within a few weeks, Patrick received orders to deploy for nine months. Because we agreed life is better with a dog, we decided we'd drive six hours to meet a litter of Italian Greyhounds. Lola 'The Showgirl' stole our hearts from day one! Over the next few months, Cassie and Lola found ways to help cope with Patrick’s absence: they walked together, enrolled in obedience training, flew to visit family (Lola fit perfectly under a plane seat), watched reality TV, hung out at the beach, and spent countless hours socializing with new friends and other dogs.
Years later when we were stationed in AZ, we adopted Mia Tortilla (our sweet terrier-mix doggo). In '13, we found out we’d miscarried, and we will never forget the way Lola stayed near Cassie through some exceptionally dark days. It was as though she knew… Then in '16, the dogs helped us welcome home our rainbow baby! Lola immediately took to a little one in the house, and she’d frequently
climb into the stroller or the swing to snuggle. It wasn’t long after that we noticed her cataracts developing. Lola adored the AZ sun and its toasty temperatures! But in ’16, the Air Force moved us to ND. Arriving in December was a frigid shock to our systems (but especially hers)! We also welcomed another baby while there (Lola, riding next to her human brother in the stroller, even made it into our birth announcement).
Lola's vision is almost gone now. She recently developed glaucoma and had to have an eye removed. To our surprise, the ophthalmologist suggested she'd likely had vision loss before the cataracts ever developed.
Over the past 14 years, we’ve been writing this story in our hearts; for an animal so small, Lola’s impact on our lives has been profound. In late ‘22, we finally wrote ‘The Littlest Hound: A Lovable Italian Greyhound’s Tale’ with the military child in mind. While technically fiction, the story is rooted in truth and love.
FOR THE MILITARY COMMUNITY...
As we know, the military-family life can be wild. The nature of this lifestyle exposes us to frequent changes. When we lean into the diversity, culture, and new experiences we’re given, we can find incredible strength and connection to the world. We’ve PCSd three times, lived in four states, and adjusted to seven homes, and Lola’s sweet companionship has been one of our few constants. She has kept Cassie grounded through three deployments and countless TDYs. Our children have never known life without her by their sides. Patrick is frequently heard saying he "owes that little dog everything"; after recounting ways in which she's shown us love, enriched our lives, and supported us without ever saying a word. There is nothing quite like the unwavering love of a pet, and that proves to be even more true with the unpredictable lives we proudly lead as military families.
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