I am so pleased to be able to introduce myself as Trupanion’s new public relations intern! What other company offers a learning experience and the chance to come into work each day with a few dozen canine co-workers?
Growing up in California, I have always had pets in my family. Some of my earliest childhood memories include playing with our aging bull terrier, Max whom my mother always referred to as “her first child.” Max and I would spend each summer waddling around in our terraced yard, both falling into a heap of giggles and happy panting – me because I was an unstable toddler on my 3-year old legs, Max because in his old age his blindness meant he didn’t always notice where pathways ended and bushes or hills began. Max was considered the fourth child, – much more than a dog; truly a member of the family. My parents instilled this attitude in my siblings and I as we grew up with our animal companions and for that I am still grateful.
After Max died, we continued to keep our home full of pets. We had an assortment of cats; from a one-eyed stray named Scratch to a pair of Himalayan princesses named Sasha and Snowball, true divas who ruled the house for years. My brother eventually fell in love with all things reptile, and soon Sobe the Iguana and Dynamite, the bearded dragon came to live there, too. Just as we went to the park some days, we would also make day trips to the Humane Society and the Cat Shelter because my mom loved to take us there to walk the dogs and play with the cats awaiting adoption.
When the time came to get a new dog, we welcomed Max’s successor into the house, another bull terrier named Scooter. Luckily, Scooter lived up to Max’s legacy as a loyal companion. Once again, we had our 4th child! Scooter took part in every road trip, every jaunt to Starbucks, and all of our vacations. The very idea that he may be left out of a family activity makes him go out to the driveway and nap behind the car to make sure we can’t back-out and leave him behind. The only time Scooter doesn’t in fact tag along is when we head out to the stables, bringing me to the latest additions to our brood of pets. (Bull-terriers aren’t exactly the biggest fans of livestock.)
Three years ago our little animal kingdom expanded by two miniature horses when my family decided to start a pet-therapy non-profit called the Little Star Pony Foundation. A combination of my mothers work with Hospice and my own brief equestrian endeavors, created the foundation to serve disabled and terminally ill children in the community.
Now the two little horses, Zorro and the aptly named Little Star, are a part of our near daily routine. I would have never thought that so much personality could be packed into such little guys but the two of them have brought hours of entertainment in our time training for their pet-therapy certification.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, my current residence in Seattle means that quick jaunts home for a dose of puppy love or good horse sense, aren’t so common. While I pursue my degree from the Foster School of Business at the UW, I miss my pets just as much as I miss my siblings for they are as much a part of my family as my brother and sister. Just with more hair! It’s been amazing to find a company with a similar mindset about loving pets. Now all I have to do is convince one of my co-workers to bring a mini-horse into work!