What do you do when your dog learns to open your mini fridge and steals your mac and cheese? Maia Casterline ’25 has the perfect answer to this question as her dog, Maggie,  has done just that. Maggie, an energetic, brilliant, and beautiful American basset hound, turned two this April and has been with Casterline since the beginning of her sophomore year. She is currently an emotional support animal (ESA) and will get trained this summer to become a service dog, specializing as an anxiety and asthma-attack alert dog.

Maggie has been there for her human sister, encouraging her to get out of bed on rough days and helping her cope with anxiety. Whenever Casterline feels bad or low, Maggie becomes aware of it, and just hangs out with her until she feels better. A combination of stubbornness, perceptiveness, and compassion, Maggie has become the perfect companion.

“Maggie is the best companion,” Casterline stated. “Sometimes I joke around that she is supposed to help me with my anxiety, but she gives me anxiety instead because she is a little troublemaker. But she really does help.” She continued: “Maggie has a really good nose, both for good and bad reasons. One time we were out on a walk and my inhaler fell out of its holder. Maggie and I realized that after a while and we went back and retraced our steps. Maggie found it and picked it up by mouth and brought it over to me. She's so amazing and such a smart [dog].”

She elaborated on how Maggie's presence at DePauw has increased her social life and enhanced her overall quality of life. Casterline mentioned that she runs a small business called Bobo’s Tough Toys, where she creates dog toys from recycled fire hoses. She added that selling their toys together at stores and local markets is one of her most cherished moments with Maggie. 

As Maggie is easily distracted when out in public, she is currently being trained to be socially and behaviorally responsible.Maia shares that Maggie loves being around people and that she is a social butterfly. Therefore, if you see Maggie around campus, do not forget to say hi. Additionally, there is a secret to win her affection: she loves belly rubs.

“I always knew I wanted a basset hound, they are known for being very lazy dogs… When I got Maggie I realized that she wasn’t like a typical European basset, like the big droopy lazy dogs. Turns out, she is an American basset and they are commonly known for hunting and sports. But she is the exact opposite,” Casterline explained. Despite Maggie’s supposed hunter instincts, she loves and adores the cats on campus. She even tries to befriend them, which the cats do not really appreciate. 

Maggie is very energetic, very smart, likes to sniff a lot, and loves food just as much. Her love for food combined with her powerful nose helps her find sticks on the ground, snacks in Maia’s friend's backpacks, and also mac and cheese inside the mini-fridge.

So what do you do when your dog learns to open your mini fridge and steals your mac and cheese? You buy a container with a secure lid to store your mac and cheese for the future.