Pet Showcase A COLLECTION of furry, scaly and slimy friends

Photo by Margaret Debenport

By Phoebe Neff, staff writer

Right now, millions of people are stuck in their house. For a lot of people, their preferred company during this time is an animal. Whether that be a dog, a cat, a snake or anything in between, pets are a large part of what’s keeping folks happy. Below, students share what they love about their best, adorable animal friends.


Antoinette is sophomore Fen Ruff’s Australian shepherd. More commonly referred to as Anne, she is an excitable, goofy pup. She is very loving and hyper as well. Something that Ruff loves about Anne is how soft and fluffy she is, making her the perfect cuddly friend.

“I think I would say [my favorite memory was] when I taught her how to shake. She learned so quickly, and I was so proud of her,” Ruff said.

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This good boy belongs to sophomore Madison Frost. His name is Beardog, and Frost lovingly describes him as a 3-year-old toddler. He’s a curious yet timid boy, but when he comes out of his shell, he is incredibly sweet and loving. At the vet, he loves giving kisses to all the other cats and dogs. He’s a quiet dog too and hardly ever barks unless he gets lonely. Beardog has come a long way since the Frost family first adopted him.

“I really love how much he’s grown a love for discovery,” Frost said. “He’s grown so much, and I really love to see that process. I feel like in a way, his confidence gives me confidence.”

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Tia is the eldest of sophomore Devon Pennington’s pets. She’s an American shorthair with a mellow temperament. A loving lass, she adores being pet and snuggled. Tia will find a way to lay on you no matter what you’re doing. Not only that, but she’s got a playful streak as well.

“My favorite memory with Tia is when one day, me and her went outside, and she played around with a beetle and jumped after a butterfly,” Pennington said.

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Jasmine is another kitty belonging to Pennington. This girl is a gluttonous attention seeker, but a sweetheart nonetheless. To prove it, she will purr at anything you do. For example, you could just walk up to her, and she’ll be purring like a sports car.

“When we first got her, she would always jump on top of Tia,” Pennington said.

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Belle is the youngest of the Pennington cats and now resides with Pennington’s brother. She was rescued from the streets and is a bit of a rascal as one might expect. She’s a trouble-maker through and through, running all over the house. Not only that, but she’s a loudmouth all the way. However, that has never stopped her from being an incredibly sweet kitty. She loves to follow people through the house and stay with them for hours.

“[My favorite memory with Belle] was when she slept all stretched out on my bed and wrapped her paws around my arm while she was asleep,” Pennington said.

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Although Stark may appear villainous to some, you'd truly be hard pressed to find a cat sweeter than this one. Stark is sophomore Ethan Pirkey’s sphynx. His kindness and affectionate nature is difficult to miss. He loves the company of people, and more than that, he’s completely hypoallergenic due to his lack of fur, which makes him the perfect pet for Pirkey.

“[My favorite memory is] when we first got him and he peed on me,” Pirkey said. “I feel like it was just the first true experience I’ve had with a pet in my life.”

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This is Ziggy, one of senior Max York’s young geckos. She is a leopard gecko. While she gets moody when she’s annoyed, she’s still a very sweet gal. Ziggy loves to lay on you for warmth and hide in dark places when you handle her. Moreover, she’s quite curious. She enjoys exploring her enclosure and digging.

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Hubert is York’s other gecko. He is a crested gecko, and he’s a few months younger than Ziggy. His youth makes him a fearless, curious little guy. He’s also got a hint of playfulness in him. As a gecko native to the tropical trees, he loves jumping from leaf to leaf and climbing up your arm when handled.

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Senior AJ Reed’s leopard gecko, Edward, is an explorative boy. He’s constantly wanting to search for new and interesting things. No matter what he does, he doesn’t just go through the motions. He genuinely invests himself in his activities, and enjoys it, be it eating, sleeping or basking.

“When I made the current cage for him, he ran around all happy and excited,” Reed said. “I also bought him 100 crickets for his birthday, so he had a great time.”

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Pippienne is my pacman frog. These little guys are notoriously lazy, yet ferocious eaters. When I first got her, I struggled for many weeks to get her to eat due to stress and fear. However, with heaps of effort and help from my boyfriend, we were finally able to get her to eat. My favorite memory with her was the first time I was able to hold her in my hand and feed her a worm. Although she doesn’t do much, she is still one of the cutest and one of my favorite pets I’ve ever had. There’s something so indescribably lovable about Pippienne.

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A snake of her size may look intimidating, but sophomore Julia Ryden says her ball python Lemon is a very shy and kind friend. Although she gets a bit defensive sometimes when Ryden holds her, she immediately becomes sweet like a puppy. The adorable Lemon offers a very fun and interesting experience when it comes to handling.

“She [had a shedding] that was stuck to her when I first bought her. My favorite memory is when I was able to get it off and she immediately looked relieved,” Ryden said. “She kept rubbing against me after that as if I was the solution to getting the rest of it off of her. It was a really special moment for me, and I think about it often.”

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Fresh is a young milk snake belonging to sophomore Ben Whitaker. He’s another shy one, oftentimes hiding in dark places. Fresh seems to be a bit of a curious one as well, as he likes to explore and stare at things that interest him. He’s already over a foot long, but he will continue to grow and calm down as he gets older. Fresh also has an Instagram account! (@freshest_snake)

“I’ve always enjoyed showing him to others,” Whitaker said. “There was one time a while back when we first got him when he crawled into my hoodie sleeve and just decided to stay there for a while.”

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No matter the size, fur or scales, pets are an important part of many people’s lives. With these friends by their side, people are united by a love for animals. This love of animals is helping people across the world through difficult times.