Hoos Pets are These? Pt. I

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

              Recently, I’ve noticed a trend among my peers. Everyone looks a little brighter, a little happier. Is it the relief of being a 3L? The joy of being back in Charlottesville, surrounded by beautiful, lovely law students? Or the happiness of not having to put on a suit to go to work anymore? While all of these factors may contribute, I have a different theory: the rise of the 3L pet. Many pet-obsessed law students take advantage of the easier workload in 3L getting a furry friend. 3L is considered the perfect time, since students have less schoolwork (or at least, have a better idea of how to do their schoolwork) but also don’t have to deal with the demands of the workplace yet.

              With that theory in mind, I wanted to spread this joy across the school, and also distract myself while I wait until Friday to go pick up my own 3L pet (the most adorable little kitten I’ve ever seen). I spoke to several peers about their furry friends (and one particularly hardworking good boy) and collected some advice for those contemplating getting their own 3L, 2L, or even 1L pet. There are so many cute furry friends to be featured that this article is part one of at least a two-part series. If you have a furry friend to be featured, please send me an email: tke3ge@virginia.edu.


Brand New 3L Pets

Abbey Thornhill and Sully

              Abbey got Sully, her mini goldendoodle puppy, last Friday, September 6. According to Abbey, “I've always wanted a dog. Last winter I decided that it was sort of now or never—if I was going to get a dog in the next few years, it should be while I was still in school so I could have the flexibility to come home and hang with the pup during the day between classes. So, I decided it was time to get myself on the waiting list with the hope of the puppy coming home 3L fall!” Since getting Sully, Abbey hasn’t really slept much or done any reading, but she’s hoping life with Sully will get easier as he gets older. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re contemplating following the pet trend. Thus far, Sully’s favorite thing to do is play with leaves. For more Sully content, follow him on Instagram: @sullytheminidood727.


Jackson Myers Argo.jpeg

Jackson Myers and Argo

              Jackson and Maddie Roth, Jackson’s girlfriend and a graduate student at UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy, adopted Argo from the Augusta Regional SPCA on August 9. Jackson said, “I grew up with dogs at home and Maddie had always loved them from afar; our Instagram feeds are both predominantly dog accounts. We knew we wanted a dog, and decided that there would never be a better time to get a puppy than this August, when we both had about three weeks before classes began in order to get the puppy acclimated to us and to start doing training.” Jackson also got Argo as a way to encourage himself to care about schoolwork less and give himself a new organizing principle. Jackson said, “Playing with, cuddling with, or even just looking at Argo is like an automatic happiness injection—she is just the cutest, sweetest dog, and every moment I spend with her is better than that moment would have been without her.” For anyone contemplating getting a pet, Jackson said, “Getting a dog (since I can’t opine on cats or any other kind of pet) can add a ton to your life, but it’s also a lot and has to be taken very seriously. That said, 3L is a great time to get a dog, because for most people a lot of the academic pressure is off (so a furry distraction is fine/welcome) but you also still have a flexible schedule so you can be with the dog as much as possible.”


Law School Pets

Sarah Iacomini, Onyx the Adventure Cat and Norbert the Wolf Dragon

              Sarah adopted Onyx the Adventure Cat just before starting law school. Norbert the Wolf Dragon joined their cat family in August. Sarah decided to get her cats for companionship and to support her local animal shelters in Florida. According to Sarah, “Onyx loves watching squirrels visit the bird feeder at Sarah’s house and Norbert delights in playing with a piece of packaging paper that came from a shipping box.” Since becoming a cat owner, Sarah loves the stress-relieving snuggles provided by her cats. The biggest difference from pre-pet life, Sarah says, is the way the cats have taken over her photos, videos and conversations. Sarah advises anyone contemplating getting a pet in law school to support their local animal shelters by adopting from there. For more Onyx and Norbert pictures, follow them on Instagram: @onyx_the_adventure_cat & @norbert_the_wolf_dragon.


Ben and Grace Bevilacqua and Baker[1]

              Ben and Grace got Baker, a standard poodle, during 2L—the day after their Sooners defeated the Mountaineers (November 24, 2018). Ben and Grace had wanted a dog within the next five years, and decided 2L was the best time to do it. They love Baker’s frivolity and curiosity. Ben noted that Baker is particularly good at playing fetch, which is her favorite hobby (particularly in the woods). Ben advised anyone contemplating getting a pet to plan ahead and get the pet sooner rather than later, so they can be trained by next summer. If you want to follow Baker, check out her IG: @baker.the.standard. 

Pre-Law School Pets

Jenny Lewis and Millie

              Jenny got Millie, a one-hundred-pound Newfoundland/Great Pyrenees, right after college graduation. Jenny always wanted a dog, but her dad was allergic. So, when Jenny realized she wasn’t going to live at home anymore, Jenny “made my puppy dreams come true after 22 years of non-dog life.” Jenny loves never coming home to an empty house, particularly because Millie is so excited to see her when she gets home. Jenny said, “It’s her favorite part of the day (except breakfast.  And dinner.  And any other time food is available.” Life with a pet requires more planning ahead so you can take care of them, and it’s more expensive—but way more fun. For anyone contemplating getting a dog, Jenny advises, “It’s hard, but you can do it!  Get some good friends to be available to pet sit.”


[1] Congratulations to the newlyweds!  Grace and Ben, both 3Ls, got married over the summer.