Staff Picks – Pets and Plants

Hello! As we lean into fall, we wanted to celebrate the pets and plants of the ASC & Writing Center team. These beings have made us laugh, helped ground us, and given us something to look forward to. We hope they delight you, too!

Almond, dog friend of Carl Conner, Assistant Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction

A photograph of Almond the dogMy dog is named Almond or Almo for short! He is such a quirky and goofy boy. He wiggles his entire body every time I walk through the door and he takes long naps in sunny spots like a cat. Almond has been my emotional support animal since 2017, and I’m his support human. He came from a really rough background of neglect and abuse, but he has made enormous progress since he first came into my life. He’s one of the most facially expressive dogs I know, and makes incredibly funny faces all the time, but in this picture his expression is one of pure love and contentment 🙂

Carolina Reapers, plant friends of Anna Bentley, Administrative Program Assistant for the ASC & Writing Center

A photograph of Carolina Reaper chilisI don’t have any pets, but I do love my garden. During the growing season my housemates, family, and I try to make the most of our two raised beds, containers, and the perimeter of our backyard to grow all kinds of produce. Chili peppers have always been my favorite thing to grow, and this year I’m particularly proud of growing Carolina Reapers, the world’s hottest chilies! They require a lot of sunlight, which has been challenging in my shady yard. I’ve given them a lot of love and care and even spent the earlier part of the growing season moving their container all over the yard to chase the sun. Seeing the [literal] fruits of my labor was so rewarding!

Dessa, cat friend of Anika Lautenbach, Coordinator of the ASC Strategist & Academic Coaching programs

A photograph of Dessa the catI have a tabby named Odessa (Dessa or “the Bubs”). She is, as her previous veterinarian said, a sassy redhead. We adopted her from a friend who moved to Germany. I am not responsible for her name, though I know she had two siblings named Osha and Ophelia. She’s an extremely vocal and cuddly companion whose primary interests are eating, sleeping, and jumping on things she’s not supposed to. She brings me great joy, especially when she flops on the carpet and lets out an audible “oof” sound. She’s sweet sixteen and I’m hoping she’ll be around a lot longer.

Gatsby, dog friend of Chris Gasser, Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction

A photograph of Gatsby the dogThis big golden doofus /shedding-machine is Gatsby. We rescued Gatsby about 6 years ago, and he’s the best! Gats loves food, and if you put your food at Gatsby-level (floor to back of the counter-height) you better watch out! He might trick you with the grey face, but the second you look away, you realize it is just a disguise. Gatsby is always calm, always friendly, and always there just when you need him. We could not ask for a better friend.

Lulu & Hazel, rabbit friends of Chris Ervin’s family, Coordinator of the Undergrad Research & Writing Studio & Online Writing Support

A photograph of Lulu the rabbitA photograph of Hazel the rabbitOur kids have two rabbits. Lulu is a bribery rabbit. When we told our daughter Maia that we’d be moving to Oregon, we promised her a rabbit when we arrived, so Lulu was adopted from Safe Haven in early 2019. Hazel, our juvenile male, belongs to our son Noah and was named after Hazel-Rah from Watership Down. We brought Hazel home from Safe Haven when he was the size of a large hamster. And we can’t talk about the rabbits without mentioning the neighborhood Red-tailed Hawks, who hunt above the aforementioned rabbits’ backyard hutches. The hawks would have to work really hard for a meal, as the hutches are very secure, but if crows can pick locks . . .

Mango & Hugo, cat friends of Kelley Calvert, Multilingual Support Coordinator at the Writing Center

A photograph of two cats: Mango and HugoWe have two yellow tabby cats, brother and sister, who look exactly alike except the female is smaller. Their names are Mango and Hugo. We rescued them when they were sickly and abandoned kittens in Thailand, and they made a quick recovery. Today, they put up with all kinds of indignities, such as being carried around in baskets (by kids), slung over shoulders (by kids), and dragged away from sunny naps for rough playtimes (by kids). They lovingly put up with it all.

Pete the Cat, dog friend of Clare Creighton, Director of the ASC & Writing Center

A photograph of Pete the Cat the DogPete the Cat is named after the character from the children’s book series. He’s a mixed-breed rescue from California, and at 105 lbs he’s a sweet oaf that tolerates a lot of snuggling. He’s currently recovering from knee surgery so his hobbies are lying around, trying to get his cone off, spitting out pills, and giving wistful looks from his bed.

Ripley, dog friend of Sarah Norek, Coordinator of Outreach & Education at the ASC

A photograph of Ripley the dogRipley has bird dog in him somewhere, but has a terrible sense of smell, so tends to do his best work tracking squirrels, who he can hear and see. He wears a very wiry beard that gets wet on water breaks, and loves to sunbathe, tiptoe, has recently learned how to sustain a soulful howl, and believes he should be able to fit all 75 pounds of himself into anyone’s lap. Much of the time, we agree.

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