Teacher’s Pets


Izabell Mendez, Staff Writer


Mr. DA’s cat, Dorothy:

Dorothy, named for the Golden Girl, is a two-year-old Devon Rex.  Although she was named before joining Mr. DA’s family, they kept the name. 

“We just thought it was funny that, like, this kind of, like, old lady name for a tiny cat.” 

Mr. DA  describes her as super crazy and active, saying she will “get up so high that she’s too high up  to get down herself and she just screams and then we have to, like, climb stepladders to, like, get her down.” Mr. DA and his wife like to say that Dorothy has spent most of her life on someone’s lap. Once, when bringing his laundry bag down to the basement, Mr. DA found Dorothy hiding amongst his clothes, jumping out of his laundry bag when he opened it up. Thankfully, she was not harmed. 


Ms. Epstein’s dog, Snickers:

Ms. Epstein likes to say that she doesn’t know life without a pet. Growing up, she had a dog named Spencer. Currently, she has a 15-year-old Shih Tzu and bichon mix, Snickers, who she says brings a lot of joy to her life. 

“He’s my favorite thing on planet Earth. I’m obsessed with him […] He’s my therapy dog, my comfort dog.” 

After she and Snickers both had to remove their gallstones in 2020, Ms. Epstein started referring to her dog as her “stone mate.” She recounts the day she got Snickers as “the happiest moment of her life. Ms. Epstein even threw Snickers a Bar Mitzvah. 


Mr. Zimmerman’s geckos, Avon and Stringer:

Zimmerman’s leopard geckos are named after two of the main characters from the show The Wire. They are relatively low-maintenance and easy to take care of. 

“They don’t do that much.” 

Usually, he is feeding them crickets, worms, or baby mice once a week. Besides that, Avon and Stringer love to hunt and bask in their cages. Avon and Stringer began to fight each other, so Zimmerman had to separate their homes. The two geckos do not get along. 


 Ms. Grey’s cat, Matrix:

Matrix is a two year old black cat that was adopted from the ASPCA, and gifted to Ms. Grey from her husband.  Matrix lives up to his namesake: he loves to jump on the walls and “make Matrix moves.” When he isn’t scaling furniture, Matrix loves to cuddle. 

“He’s all that I can ask for in a cat.”

Matrix loves to lie on the floor like a pancake: flattened out, with his feet turned up towards the ceiling. His other signature position is tucking his feet in to look like a loaf of bread. 


Ms. Ross’ dog, Ozzy:

Ozzy is a rescue originally from Alabama. Ms. Ross isn’t sure of his age, saying,  “I think he’s five, and he’s real cute.” Ms. Ross’ family describes him as an “aggressive lover” —  he only shows signs of “aggression” when he wants extra love. Ozzy prefers people to other dogs, and is fond of sleeping on people’s beds with his head on their pillow. 

“I don’t think he has any idea that he’s an animal.”

Ozzy loves people — for the most part. Ms. Ross was out on a run with Ozzy, and a man began jogging in her direction.. Ozzy freaked out immediately, and since then, Ms. Ross wonders if that man could have harmed her, and Ozzy knew it. 


Ms. Nardacci’s cats, Nuncio and Giovanni:

Nuncio and Giovanni are new brothers, since the latter just recently came into Ms. Nardacci’s life. With time, she hopes that her cats love each other, but at the moment, they are still getting to know one another. 

“Giovanni is younger. He wants to play a lot, and Nuncio still doesn’t know what he thinks about that.” 

Giovanni knocks things over and will jump on Ms. Nardacci’s face in the early hours of the morning, but he’s still calmer than Nuncio. He likes to have his personal space. 

“He wants to be in the vicinity, but not that close.”

Ms. Nardacci originally thought Nuncio was local, but he is actually from Tennessee. 

“I was thinking we were going to be the only ones picking up a pet in this random diner parking lot, but when we pulled up there were all these families waiting.” 

The van carrying Nuncio had lots of other pets that had made the trip to the Northeast. He was easily spotted, sitting right in the middle, meowing and desperate to escape.

“It was like a scene out of a movie.”


Ms. Oldenburg’s dog, Summer:

Summer is a two year old Beagle and Mini Doberman mix. Ms. Oldenburg adopted her during quarantine, so Summer is constantly attached to her owner. 

“She’s my best friend.” 

Summer loves to play, spend time with others, and give kisses. 


Mr. Sparrow’s dog, Suki (2007 – 2017)

“Suki was a beautiful — troubled — but beautiful soul.” 

Suki was a Pitt mix rescue. Mr. Sparrow was originally going to get a different dog, but when he found out Suki was going to a kill shelter in 2007, he decided to adopt her instead. Suki was immediately attached to her new family. 

“She pretty much just fell into our laps.” 

In pre-K, Mr. Sparrow’s son drew Suki on his family tree, calling her his sister. His teacher, however, told him he couldn’t have his dog on the tree, and his son was very sad. Despite this, Mr. Sparrow continued to reinforce that Suki was his son’s older sister.