The Pets of the Commons

This holiday season we thought we’d showcase some of our part-time team members. As a distributed team spread across two continents and three countries we generally meet online. One of the best part of virtual meetings is having our furry teammates show up and hang out. We’d like to introduce you to a few of them.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Project Director

Millie perched on top of a chair, looking longingly at the camera. Probably wanting a treat.

This is Millie, my sister’s family’s dog. She is a super chunk and did an excellent job of keeping me from falling out of my reading chair.

Annabelle Miller, Graduate Assistant

Han (left) and Athena (right). Han is a seven-year-old Plott Hound/Black Mouth Cur, and Athena is a six-year-old Pitbull mix. They love each other.

Han and Athena laying on a sofa, leaning on one another. Cozy.

Bonnie Russell, Product Manager

Mitro, a very cute cat, gazing thoughtfully into the camera.

Mitro (MEE-tro) is estimated to be about 12 and spent quite a bit of time outside before being rescued last year. His foster found him trying to find shelter during a thunderstorm and gave him the name Mitro as a play on the Assyrian word for rain, mitre. I adopted him in February and he’s a sweet and loving cat. If you have room in your home and heart consider an older cat. They have a lot of love to give.

Dimitri Tzouris, Infrastructure Developer

Mocha (left): Our first rescue dog. 7-yo female. Likes to cuddle and hates going out in the rain. Sleeps with us under the covers, no matter how heavy.

Zoe (right): Our second rescue dog. 3-yo and also a female. Still scared a lot when outside in an urban environment, but really enjoys running in the forest, during her daily walk with Mocha. She is full of energy and never says no to an extra treat.

Cookie: Our 9-yo female cat. Also a rescue. She likes company, but not too much. Looks puzzled when Zoe wants to play with her.

Mocha and Zoe, good girls who enjoy hanging out. Cookie, an orange cat, perched in a cardboard box.

Shel Vilag, Developer / User Experience Design

Torbjorn and Penny sitting on a sofa looking cozy.

Penny is a 10-year-old Pitbull who loves snuggles. Her special ability is being able to tell when food is done and letting her humans know. Torbjorn is a 4-year-old Corgi who is very good at playing fetch. He has very good hearing and loves to bark, especially at the furnace when it kicks on.

Zoe Wake Hyde, Community Development Manager

Meet Puck. He’s a sweet little rascal. Puck loves shoes, cuddling and assuming the loaf position in seemingly random spots around the house. The only human food he’s interested in is chips. He has been a constant companion throughout the early pandemic and several years of working from home, making his presence known in most video calls, demanding scritches. Zero notes. Perfect boy.

Puck, a big black cat laying on a shoe.

Larissa Babak, User Engagement Specialist

A Christmas wreath with a platypus stuffed animal perched amongst pine cones and poinsettia flowers.

The platypus is a native of Australia, but this platypus wandered all the way to the Detroit suburbs. Our team mascot has a penchant for anything that can be even vaguely categorized as “festive,” and despite the fact most platypuses build burrows near rivers, this one has created a much more merry home. In her spare time, she enjoys staying in touch with Millie, Han, Athena, Mitro, Mocha, Zoe, Cookie, Penny, Torbjorn, & Puck, as well as raising awareness for platypus conservation.

We’d love to see your furry team mates! Feel free to share them in the comments.

4 Replies to “The Pets of the Commons”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your part-time team members!
    They are beautiful and your warm words describing them, and their companionship brought me joy, so thank you very much!
    Best wishes for the holidays and the New Year!

  2. Love all the part-time team members! Gordie, Irish Wolfhound, and Molly, Treeing Walker Coonhound/American Foxhound, are my part-time help who give full-time love.
    Best wishes to the Humanities Commons team for a safe and happy holiday season.

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