Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Last week, I began my deep-dive investigation into why my peers generally seemed so happy and found the reason: Pets. There were so many wonderful furry friends to be profiled that the article had to be split into two parts. This week, I got to put the finishing touches on this article while my new kitten, Lucy, ran around my room like a crazed monster. I’ve had Lucy for a little less than a week, but I can now officially confirm my hypothesis was correct. My life is immeasurably more fun with the addition of a three-pound little fluff ball. I don’t even mind cleaning the cat-box. For anyone contemplating joining the ranks of pet ownership and who’s ready for the financial and time commitment, read up for some advice from the experts and hit up the CASPCA.
Ellie Riegel and Stevie
Ellie Riegel got her puppy, Stevie, on Thursday, September 5. According to Ellie, “I had been hoping to get a dog for over a year, but when I met Stevie I knew I had to adopt him! He has an adorable personality and loves to play. We hit it off the first day I went to look at dogs at the SPCA.” Since getting Stevie, Ellie’s schedule now revolves around him, but she enjoys it. Ellie has to get up early with him, take him for walks and trips to the park, and, of course, nap time. Ellie particularly enjoys the puppy cuddles and seeing Stevie happy and comfortable in his new home after having a tough start to life. Stevie loves to play with his toys, particularly his Kong, which Ellie fills with peanut butter. Stevie also really likes his bones, which he hides in the couch cushions for safekeeping. Ellie advises anyone who’s contemplating getting a dog to go to SPCA, because they have a lot of wonderful dogs in need of good homes.
Lydia Parker and Harvey
Lydia got her puppy, Harvey, on August 16. Lydia wanted a dog for a long time, and “figured 3L was a good time to raise a puppy because my schedule isn’t too demanding.” Puppies like Harvey require a lot of time and training, since his current favorite activities include biting, gnawing, and chewing. Since getting Harvey, Lydia has loved meeting new people everywhere she goes. She said, “I love how Harvey brings so much joy to everyone around me.” As part of her new dog-mom lifestyle, Lydia has had to rearrange her schedule. She told me, “I can't spend my days in the library and at the gym like I did 1L and 2L. This is really good for me! Harvey forces me to appreciate the present moment and connect with my community instead of constantly working towards my individualistic goals.” For anyone contemplating getting a puppy, Lydia said, “Make sure it's a well thought out decision. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time, flexibility, and money in exchange for unconditional love. For me, it's 100% worth it!”
Eleanor Schmalzl and Maysie
Eleanor got her cat, Maysie, during fall 2018. Maysie was born in Eleanor’s aunt’s basement when a stray cat came in through the window and had kittens. Eleanor’s family found homes for the kittens when they were old enough and had received the appropriate vet care. Eleanor loves “waking up to her snuggles! She is so sweet at night and in the morning and it is so nice to have a purring kitten on your chest every morning.” Maysie likes to attack feet and play fetch with hair ties, which Eleanor appreciates as a good way to tire Maysie out. Eleanor said she does feel bad about not being home more, because it’s hard to stay out late knowing you have a little critter waiting for you to come back. Eleanor had some advice for anyone contemplating getting a pet soon: “Don't get a big dog if you're going to live in a tiny apartment in a big city. If you do/already have, become a morning person and a runner to give them some exercise. But really, just get a cool cat––they sleep a lot and don't require half the attention, but are perfect company at the end of a long day.”
Will Tucker and Maple
Will got his dog, Maple, between OGI and the start of fall classes last year. According to Will, “I was lucky that the rescue I got her from let me wait until between OGI and the start of classes, because I could get her up to speed on Bluebooking, basic FRCP principles, and Westlaw terms and connectors before things got busy. She's been an ideal research assistant ever since.” Will decided going into 2L was the ideal time to get a dog. He had wanted one for a while and finally had enough predictability as to his living situation and schedule to add a four-legged roommate. Since getting Maple, Will’s favorite thing about her is “her unrestrained joy. Maple gives me a reminder every day to appreciate simple things and not let this or that external stress get me down for too long. It's one of the best parts of my life having an endlessly enthusiastic running buddy, morning meal companion, and friend who is (presumably) neuro/physiologically incapable of talking about law school. She makes me happy every day, no matter what.” Maple likes making new friends, “be they canine, feline, human, bird, gopher, butterfly, tree branch moving slightly in the wind, or otherwise. Specifically, she's a big fan of climbing onto the back of the couch when you sit there and licking your ears and kinda generally crawling onto your shoulders until she's as close as possible to your face.” Will advised anyone thinking about getting a pet to “consider all of the factors very seriously—it can be a huge amount of work added to your life. It's especially important that you time things well. For example, if you know you want to get a puppy, get her at a time when you'll be able to be vigilant about housetraining and be okay with losing a little sleep here and there (sorry Bev, thanks again, pal). And remember that traveling with a pet can be VERY difficult! Plan ahead for that too. But so long as you're taking the pragmatic side of things into account, do what will make you and your potential pet happy! Maple is excited to meet you both!”
Lena Welch and Draco
Lena got Draco in August, 2014, right before her senior year of college. Lena said, “I love cats. My friend’s mom is a vet and was volunteering in a shelter when a cat had a litter. She took in the litter to find homes for the kittens. My friend knew I was interested in getting a kitten, and so Draco came into my life.” According to Lena, cats are pretty easy to take care of, but she definitely has more scratches than before she got Draco. Lena likes to snuggle with Draco and bump her forehead against his. Draco also likes to meow until Lena or her mom gives him treats. Lena says that getting a pet has reduced her stress, because she loves him.
Brooke and Christopher Swann and Lucy and Loki
Brooke and Christopher, Brooke’s husband, have two pets, dog Lucy (a miniature dachshund) and cat Loki, who they got last year. Brooke’s favorite thing about having pets “is that no matter what happens during the day, they're always going to love me and be happy to see me when I get home. They're the best company for late night reading, and they're the best listeners when it comes to life chats.” Lucy likes to hide her treats around the apartment for later while Loki likes to sit in the window and creep on people until he falls asleep. Brooke advises those contemplating getting a pet to “be prepared for planning your days and life around them! They're such blessings, but they're also a lot of responsibility. I can't just stay gone all day or drop everything and leave town for the weekend. With that being said, I wouldn't trade them for anything! Also, your new furry friend may be free to adopt, but vet visits are never free and neither is all of the gear you'll need to get before bringing them home.”
Matt Simpson and Lacrosse
Matt got Lacrosse, his guide dog, during his sophomore year of college about ten years ago. Matt applied to a guide dog school in California. The process was lengthy—it required interviews, mobility assessments, and assessments of Matt’s living environment. After being accepted, Matt went to two weeks of training with Lacrosse. Matt’s favorite thing about Lacrosse is the way he makes his life easier, because he’s a conscientious guide dog. When not working, Lacrosse likes to sleep (as anyone who’s ever been in class with Lacrosse can attest), chew on bones, and lounge in the sun. Matt thinks that Lacrosse particularly likes law school, because class gives him plenty of time to sleep. Matt advises those considering getting a pet to think carefully about the responsibility and time commitment—not all pets get to take their owners to class.
 If you want to see pictures of her looking like a dragon or adorable model kitten, hit me up.
 They have a ton of cute animals who just arrived from St. Croix. If you’re interested in fostering or adopting, visit the CASPCA today!
 Lydia was kind enough to let me play with Harvey as part of my very serious pet investigation, and I can confirm he’s the cutest, fluffiest Golden Retriever I’ve met in years.