“There’s that old saying that ‘the best things come in the smallest packages’–Mia is my heart and soul bundled into one little 3.5 lb. ball of fur. Mia is a 6 year old Yorkshire Terrier and “graduate” of Shepherd (as she often accompanied me to class during my graduate program.) She’s my favorite sidekick through it all!”
“Our family has a cockapoo named Stossi. She is 2 1/2 years old and we bought her as a birthday gift for our toddler when she was just a puppy. She is the sweetest dog and hates car rides and baths.”
“Charlie Tyler Louis Parker (or “Charlie,” for short)—named by our then 13-year old daughter—stole the show (and our hearts) at Shepherdstown’s annual DogFest in August of 2015 in the Animal Society of Jefferson County booth. A Shepherd/Husky mix, he protects our house from invasions by aliens that only he can see and hear. He has been seen attacking his own back leg as if it were a toy, and he regularly displays other acts of pure goofiness that bring us great joy and delight as a family daily. His nickname is “Bear” because, when he was a puppy, strangers thought we were walking a bear cub on a leash.”
“I am a pet owner because I couldn’t imagine not having a dog. Also I prefer rescue pets, to give them a second chance.”
“Mingo is an 8 year old Australian Cattle Dog and the #1 hiking partner. My dog keeps me active and entertained and is a constant source of joy.”
“I have four cats, two dogs, three horses, and two miniature donkeys. These two mini donkeys were rescued from auction in August 2016. They are a mother-daughter pair. We learned last month that mom is pregnant—and due any time! I love animals of all kinds; really should have been a vet! Donkeys are very sweet and loyal pets. You can teach them to drive a cart and many horse shows offer classes for miniature horses and donkeys in a variety of disciplines. They are about the size of a goat.”
“My family has been rescuing dogs for as long as I can remember. These two cuties have been with us for almost two years. Dr. Virginia Hicks, Assistant Provost for Academic Community Outreach, saw them at the Berkeley County Humane Society and knew my daughters would love them. Lucy and Ethel are now part of our family forever!”
“I always had pets growing up and when I moved out to West Virginia on my own, I knew I wanted to adopt a shelter animal to keep me company! Penelope, adopted from the Jefferson Animal Welfare Society in 2015, loves to talk (meow), run, and play fetch with her toys. She is the very best thing that has ever been mine!”
“Scout is a Bergamasco, also known as an Alpine Italian sheepdog. Yes, she can see. Bergamascos are a rare bread of sheepdog from the Bergamo region in northern Italy. Her flocks form naturally and are made up of 3 types of hair (not fur). The long flocks protect her from predators as well as the climate of the Alps. The hair around her eyes protects her from snow blindness. Scout is my first dog, though my wife had several dogs growing up. Scout and I enjoy hiking in the Harpers Ferry National Park and on the Appalachian Trail. When we can’t get on the trail, we play soccer in the backyard together. We chose Scout because Bergamascos have a gentle temperament, are easy to train, and are hypoallergenic. They are also very good family dogs which is important to us!”
“Margo is my rescue mutt! I got Margo in October of 2016. She is only 9 months old. Her first few months of life were rough, as she was abused and left to die. She was rescued and nursed back to health and now she is loving life! Margo lives with me in Turner Hall and the students on campus are her favorite thing. She loves attention and she can’t get enough of people telling her she is cute. I walk her around campus and we visit with many people daily. She can frequently be found enjoying herself in the Turner Hall lobby, playing with snow in the amphitheater, or lounging around in my office. Margo is a happy pup and she LOVES to play with sticks!”
“Gideon, a mixed-breed dog of unknown ancestry, has lived with my husband and me for the past three years. He entered our lives as a stray and quickly became an important member of our family. In his free time he likes to nap, look out the window, and goof around. He is a strong jumper and a great friend.”
“I adopted Frankie in 2006 from a shelter in Gainesville, Florida. She has been my 6:00 a.m. alarm clock every morning and greets me at the door every night when I get home. She’s just as full of personality now as when I got her 11 years ago.”
“Jack is a rescue dog (purebred pug) that we adopted at Briggs Animal Adoption Center in Jefferson County. We had recently lost two of our senior dogs (also rescue animals) and were looking to adopt a new dog. Rescue dogs are so grateful, and being a pet owner is one of the most gratifying experiences of my life! Jack is a regular part of the family, greeting me each morning, when I return from work, sitting in on piano lessons, and even occasionally visiting my office and other offices at Shepherd. Although we rescued Jack, he has given us so much more in return!”
I’ve had dogs since I was a child and can’t imagine a life without one or more dogs. I share my home with my three Spanish Water Dogs – Z, Kai & Rain. Walking, playing, working and training with them adds balance to my life and the unconditional love I receive from them is clear when I come home to their boisterous, rambunctious greeting. In the words of Roger Caras, president emeritus of the ASPCA,“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
This is a picture of me with my favorite cow, Skittles, one of hundreds of animals on our family’s privately funded 60-acre rescue farm on the Piedmont. Skittles is expecting her first baby in February.
My husband and I did not choose the German shepherd, he chose us. An elderly, emaciated, mangy stray GSD showed up on our doorstep two decades ago and charmed us—Sabot is our fourth German shepherd (two adoptees and two puppies).
Zekey Pants is an 8 year old lab mix rescue that I have had with me for seven years.