SM&P Employees Plan to Celebrate National Pet Day

Our staff here at SM&P has a reputation for caring — for our clients, our team, and the community at large. It’s no surprise they are a group of pet lovers, too. Several of them were eager to tell us about their fur babies and how they will celebrate them on National Pet Day, April 11, 2023.

Training and development manager, Audrey Bergner, rooms with her two-year-old Golden Doodle, Dallas. For National Pet Day, she will be getting extra treats and a walk in the park.

Audrey worked hard to bring Dallas into her life. “It took some convincing. I was persistently annoying my husband for over a year to get a dog. I finally broke him down, and he said we could get a dog. All I ever wanted was a Golden Doodle! When we found her, we jumped up the same day and drove two and a half hours to get our girl. She is 10,000,000 percent a COVID dog!”

“She has the personality of a human child,” Audrey said. “Her not-so-hidden talent is her — as we have coined it — ‘broken bark.’ She sounds like a hyena. She has completed our family. She is the happiest dog and spreads her love. She fills our hearts with joy!”

Account manager, Lisa Craig, shares her home with two fur babies, both rescues. Calico Tippytoes is 15 and was named that, Lisa explained, “because she stands on her tippy toes when you pet her.”

The other is Yuki, which means snow princess. “I brought her home from my old office because it was going to snow. She is seven and not supposed to be on that table or drinking our water. Every day is pet day at our house, but since I know it’s National Pet Day, maybe they’ll get some extra treats.”

Maltese Mix, Cotton, is part of paralegal Nathalie Mendez’s household. On Pet Day, Cotton’s family will be celebrating his 13th birthday by taking him to the park and singing ‘happy birthday’ to him while he enjoys a birthday treat.

“I rescued Cotton,” said Nathalie, “adopting him in Mexico and bringing him to his forever home with us in the States 13 years ago. I still remember watching him learn to run as a puppy and how he couldn’t help but run a bit lop-sided.

“Cotton loves to run and jump high, and I think he’s convinced that, if he had thumbs, he’d be a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He loves to bring a smile to all the people he meets and especially enjoys giving his parents, his fur cousin, Mini, the Chihuahua, and his grandparents a lot of love and tons of kisses. We are lucky to have him and are grateful for every day with our ‘Cotton Doodle’.”

Senior paralegal Heather Morrison’s dogs are all rescues. “Buddy is the oldest,” she said. He was rescued from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. He is Chihuahua and we believe part terrier (or terror, whichever works). “He’s about 13 years old. Buddy is the most lovable little guy and loves people. He’s always up for head scratches.”

Tilly is about four. “She is part Chihuahua and Pomeranian,” said Heather. “Don’t let the white fur fool you – she’s a youngster! When we got her, she was jet black and we couldn’t see her when we took her outside at night. Someone literally threw Tilly away in a dumpster during a very cold February near a vet’s office. They did not think Tilly would make it through the night, but she did because she’s a little scrapper! Tilly will sit on the center console on the loveseat and watch everything and everyone, including the TV. Her favorite show is Live PD.”

Sadie is about two years old. “We rescued her from an irresponsible breeder/owner,” Heather explained. “She is supposedly a full Chihuahua and we got to meet both of her Chihuahua parents, but we suspect there was cheating that went on somewhere in her family’s past. We got Sadie for Tilly because Tilly needed a playmate, and poor Buddy was getting too old to play. Sadie looks up to her big brother Buddy and loves to learn all of Buddy’s bad habits. My sister and I will probably ‘love on them’ and give them big cuddles and treats on National Pet Day. Though, really, every day is National Pet Day in our house.

Giant schnauzer Murphy, two and a half years old, was a COVID baby,” said Brittni Delk, account manager. “Marty is a one-year-old sheepadoodle. We got him to give the other brother company and a playmate. They are my support team while I work from home. Both are very demanding, wanting treats throughout the day but otherwise lying right on my feet under my desk all day.”

Oliver “Ollie” Wendell Long (named after former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.) is a six-year-old Chihuahua with possibly some terrier blood. He is a member of attorney Megan Long’s family.

Their plans for April 11th, said Megan, “include starting the day with a morning car ride to pick up his favorite breakfast treats – a Pup Cup from Starbucks and chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. Since it’s a weekday and mom has to work, he’ll spend most of the day lounging on the couch and basking in the sun on the porch. He’ll end his day with a walk around the neighborhood alongside mom and dad and then snuggles and receives excessive tummy pets.”

Ollie changed Megan’s life. “Ollie came into my life during winter break of my first year in law school. He was a tiny six-week-old pup, who immediately stole my heart and has kept it close ever since. Law school was tough but the late nights studying, and the early morning classes were much better with a furry, brown-eyed pup at my side.”

She says Ollie has many names. “But the most appropriate moniker comes from his grandpa – ‘Hound of the Baskervilles.’ The name is quite fitting since he often howls at certain sounds and even knows how to use his ‘indoor voice’ – a quiet, almost whisper-like bark.”

Ollie is a real support to Megan. “There’s no bad day that snuggles with Ollie can’t fix! He always knows if I’m feeling down or stressed and, whether it’s his quirky personality or his insisting on snuggles and demanding to be petted (thus distracting me from my worries), it’s practically impossible to be upset when he’s around.”

Megan returns the love. “He knows I am a total pushover for those brown eyes, big ears, and crooked smile, so he can always count on me spoiling him with love, treats, and toys.”

Senior paralegal Kristi Culpepper is grateful for her good friend, Hammer, a 14-year-old black mouth cur. “I got him when he was eight weeks old from a breeder at Lake Sinclair in Georgia,” she said. “We have been through so much together. He has been through break-ups and moving with me. We very much need each other and love each other so much!”

They are very best friends and do everything together. “That includes shopping, going to eat Mexican and at many other restaurants, going on walks — short ones these days — and sitting on our balcony watching people walk the trail. On National Pet Day, we will probably go eat at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate.”

Editor’s note: Prior to the posting, Hammer (pictured left and on the front) crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Our condolences go out to Kristi and her family on their loss.