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Kelly Jo and Emmie Lou - A Story of Adventure

Article by Jessica Wayman

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Living in Franklin, Kelly Jo Mercer never missed an opportunity to capture her Cattle Dog-German Shepherd mix, Emmie Lou, hitting the trails with her all over Tennessee. She adopted what would become her best friend during her senior year of college, and they were destined to be adventure seekers for life.

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company solidified that when they made seven-year-old Emmie Lou a 2020 Adventure Pet winner. Just a few seconds of scrolling through Kelly Jo’s Instagram account confirms Emmie Lou’s love of nature and spending time with her beloved owner. She can be seen doing everything from
exploring state and national parks to seemingly captaining a kayak downstream with Kelly Jo.

Originally a Wisconsin native, avid hiker and beer lover, Kelly Jo was researching another contest when she came across the brewery’s search for their 2020 Adventure Pets. “If anyone is an adventure pet, it’s her,” said Kelly Jo. In previous years, only dogs were winners. Last year, the brewery opened the contest up to several different winners of different species. Out of over 2,000 entries, a panel of judges narrowed down the contenders to 100 pets on which the public
would vote. Kelly Jo turned to her friends and followers on Instagram and Facebook and urged them all to vote once a day every day. Funny enough, she even downloaded dating apps and requested that her matches please vote for Emmie Lou. Plenty of them agreed! Together, Emmie Lou’s supporters voted her into victory. She was officially announced as one of Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company’s five 2020 Adventure Pet winners. Two other dogs named
Shockoe and Bunker, a horse named Folly, and a rooster named Bock Lesnar are the other winners. 

Emmie Lou and her fellow winners were awarded by having their illustrated images featured on the brewery’s Gold Leaf Lager. Kelly Jo said that when she received all of the award merchandise and a large print of the illustration of Emmie Lou, she thought, “My dog has peaked in life before me!’”
Kelly Jo has been so inspired by her four-legged companion and seeing her in illustrations that the idea of a children’s book series based on Emmie Lou is currently in the works. If you can’t wait for that release, you can follow their real-life adventures on Instagram in the meantime.