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Meet the Regional Partnership Team’s Pets

By: Rachael Driscoll on March 29th, 2021

Team Members Share Stories about Pets

From Tik Tok videos to zoom filters, our pets have helped us get through a year of isolation and social distancing, they are our constant companions, full of entertainment and unconditional love. When our team had its first virtual happy hour last April, we spent the majority of the time meeting and introducing each other to all of our beloved furry family members. I am now thrilled to introduce them all to you.


Erin Whittle

  • Dog: Dottie Whittle (aka: Dottie Wottie, Dottie Dummy Dog)
  • Breed: White English Lab
  • Smartest trick:  Dottie knows when the school bus is coming into the neighborhood, and she alerts me that the time is nearing for the girls to get off of their buses.  Her ‘job’ is to watch the girls get on and off the bus each day, and she takes it very seriously.  
  • Favorite human:  Dottie doesn’t discriminate.  She adores all of her humans.

Rachael Driscoll

  • Dog: Roger Dodger Driscoll (aka: Sweet Boy, Bud, Mr. Roger)
  • Breed: Half lab/boxer mix/rescue pup from the Allen County SPCA
  • Funny trick:  Roger rests his chin on a bed or chair, this is his way of asking for permission to come up and cuddle
  • Favorite toy: Chuck-it balls

Sonya Snellenberger-Holm

  • Dog: Norma May aka: Baby Bop or Normie and Lucius Lunes aka: Lubaloo or Lulu boy
  • Breed: Both pups are adopted pitbulls, shout out to Fort Wayne Pitbull Coalition
  • Funny story:  Lucius plays hide and seek by hiding behind the bathtub. It would be fairly hard to find him except that he sticks his head out from under the shower curtain but keeps his eyes covered. He can’t see you, and he thinks you can’t see him, but his red nose is there peeking out from under the curtain. It’s pretty cute.
  • Favorite toy: Norma is a big fan of stuffed toys. We call them her babies. She takes them everywhere she goes.
  • Favorite human: Both of them love me the most. Between them and my husband, it’s a race to see who can sit next to me on the couch at night. Lucius always wins.

Sierra Rush

  • Cat: Skitch aka: Mouse, Princess Platypus or Stinkypants
  • Breed: Mutt kitty cat from the shelter
  • Funny Story: Skitch prefers to drink out of a crystal drinking glass that must be topped off and freshened several times a day.

Ashley Miller

  • Dog: Koba Miller (his name comes from the Planet of the Apes)
  • Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Nicknames: Poopy Boy, Poo Poo, Dog, Koba Bear
  • Smartest Trick: We play a game with Koba where we have two stuffed toys in our hands and we tell him which one he has to go find. We go hide both toys in separate locations and he has to find the correct toy and bring it back. He does it every time without fail.

Vanessa Hurtig

  • Dogs: Laci (right) and Annabelle or “Belle Belle” (left), they collectively answer to “Girls”
  • Breeds: Laci is a maltipoo and our best guess for Annabelle is chocolate cockapoo as she was a stray.
  • Funny story:  Fetch Your Friend! Laci knows the names of her favorite stuffed animals, her “friends”, and will retrieve them for you on command from wherever they are in the house. George, Steve, Woodstock and puppy are a few of her favorites.
  • Favorite toy: Annabelle shifts from toy to toy, but always loves small toys, cat toys being her favorite. She tosses them for herself and pounces on them like a cat. The longest-standing favorite is her “Moose.” 

Brandon Noll

  • Dogs: Airlie Mae and Macie J.
  • Breeds: Both are German Shorthaired Labs
  • Funny Story: When you take them somewhere and get out of the car they both move to the front seats, people walk by or drive by and just die laughing because it looks like they are driving the car.
  • Favorite Human: They adore my wife Laura, that’s who they want to cuddle with in the evening.

Jaclyn Goldsborough

  • Dogs: Napoleon or Nap Kirchubel (right) and Teddy or Teddy Bear or Teddy Roo Kirchubel (left)
  • Breeds: Even though they look identical, Nap is a lab and boxer mix and Teddy is a boxer and pitbull mix
  • Funny Story: Napoleon loves to go tubing with his dad, Mason, behind the boat during the summer on Northeast Indiana’s beautiful lakes. Teddy Bear had to retire his football career (that’s a joke!) when he tore his ACL chasing a squirrel. Since 2020, he’s will have both knees replaced! I’m sure the squirrel is hardly bothered by the fact. Teddy is enjoying the extra attention and love.

Stephanie Waikel

  • Cats: Lucky James (left), found on the side of the road, and Penny Grace (right), was adopted from the Humane Society of Whitley County and fostered by @britts_babies
  • Funny Story: Penny hides under blankets and coats so if a coat is on the floor, she surprises us A LOT. 
  • Favorite Human: Lucky is a Daddy’s Cat

Elisia Dupre

  • Dog and cat: Nora Sadie Dupre (left) and Django Reinhardt Dupre (right).
  • Breeds: Nora is a lady pit bull and Django is a rescue cat…a very large 20lb rescue cat. We think he’s part lion.
  • Smartest trick: Nora can do all of the tricks (sit, lay down, rollover, wait, and jump up) with only hand signals and no verbal commands. 
  • Favorite toy: Django’s favorite toy is a paper ball. If he hears you crinkle paper he will sprint into the room and wait for you to throw it. Sometimes he will bring it back to you and play fetch.

Amy Hesting

  • Dogs and cat: Tupelo, Rocky, Luna and Bean
  • Breed: Bean is a boxer mix with webbed feet and loves everything edible and will spin in circles, perform all of her tricks and commands just to get a snack!
  • Favorite story: Rocky the boxer is a very gentle soul who loves his people and his cats. Not sure if he loves his dog sister, Bean, yet but he tolerates her. Luna is Instagram famous. She was thrown from a car as a kitten, which resulted in 2 broken legs that have not healed straight. She walks, runs and jumps with no problems though and was fostered by @kitten_faces and adopted through the Humane Society of Whitley County. She is an aggressive snuggler and loves to hunt for finches. Tupelo is also IG famous. His mother was found with two newborn kittens and fostered by @kitten_faces, so the world got to watch him grow up and into his personality. He’s silly, sweet and breaks all the house rules. He’s also a gentleman because when we fill the cat food dish, he lets Luna eat first.

Chad Ruston

  • Dog: Remington Steele Ruston
  • Breed: Bernedoodle
  • Smartest Trick: Barks at animals on tv
  • Favorite Toy: Louis I, Louis II, Louis III, louis IV (all squeaky toy pigs that he has destroyed), we are currently on Louiss IV

Nicole Satalino

  • Dog: Gigi  
  • Breed: Cavapoo
  • Favorite Trick: Her favorite trick is hiding bones! She likes to do it when she thinks no one is looking!
  • Fun Fact: Gigi is an avid Tom Brady fan and wears his jersey all the time!

Nick Darrah

  • Dog: Henry Hansen Darrah (aka: Hank) named after the WWII Marine who was a flag raiser on Iwo Jima. He was later killed on that island.
  • Breed: Saint Bernard
  • Smartest trick: Hank likes to sit with his butt on the furniture and paws on the floor. It’s not his fault that he’s a big as a person
  • Favorite Human: Hank is a momma’s boy. He loves to snuggle with Emily and tries to squeeze his big self into the couch or bed, especially when she’s already cuddling with our girls – he doesn’t want to be left out!

Kate Virag

  • Dog: Bernard (aka: Bernie)
  • Breed: Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix, OR Gerberian Shepsky lol (seriously, it’s a thing). At 15 weeks old, he is the newest Partnership Pet and a very curious, sweet and energetic puppy!
  • Smartest trick: Follows our robot vacuum around the house. Mixture of fear, curiosity and amazement!
  • Favorite Human: Dad (but also loves his human “siblings” who are 10 and 6),
  • Favorite pet sibling: Sunny, the one-year-old orange cat. The feeling is not mutual.
Categories & Tags Quality of Life