Get to Know: The Pets of VLS

In this installment of the “Get to Know” series, we are meeting the pets of the VLS community.


Hi VLS! My name is Zander or Xander depending on which parent you ask. I’m pursuing my honorary J.D. from Vermont Law School and honorary D.P.T. from Franklin Pierce University. My favorite activities include dragging my toy mousey around the house and begging someone to play with me, Auntie Heather Francis playing hide-n’-seek with me and mousey, Auntie Ashely Monti catsitting (she spoils us with wet food!), bugging my brother, and assisting my dad with all sorts of tasks – my favorite being brewing beer! I’m excited for the warmer months because that means open windows and sunshine!


My mom asked me to do to this, so hi everyone. My name is Zeke, but I also go by Squeakums. I have an honorary BA in Political Science from UW-Milwaukee. I am also pursuing my honorary J.D. at VLS and my honorary D.P.T. from Franklin Pierce like my brother and parents. I’m also getting my PhD in World Domination from a school I cannot disclose. Unlike some of my fellow world-dominators, I do have a soft side and love to snuggle with most humans (we gotta work with them – ya know?) I consider myself somewhat of a foodie and find creative ways to eat all sorts of non-designated cat food. In my spare time, I like to meow at the top of my lungs around 3:34AM and sleep on my mom’s head. Catch ya’ll in class!


This is Fawkes! She was briefly the poster pup for Barristers Bookstore. She was featured eating a VLS frisbee. Her nickname is “Shredder” because she once shredded a box of Physics papers. She loves to catch snowballs, and do almost anything Jingo does. She is a Schipperke/(likely) corgi mix, and partially made of springs as she can jump almost anything. Worst/best of all she can climb virtually anything, and I have found her high up in the branches of trees. She also attends board meetings, environmental stewardship campaigns, and goes everywhere Jingo does. She is also the aww-factor in everything we do, and everywhere we go. She also loves to argue with me…


Jingo is the un-official mascot of the New Mexico State University Engineering Physics Program, and Dr. Teeth. He is corgi/red heeler mix and exceptionally intelligent. He understands multiple languages and prefers German where he will respond… or not… depending on his mood. Jingo is adept at chasing cattle, catching goats, and putting rabble-rousers in their place (aka: King of the Dog Park in Santa Fe, NM). Jingo provides public service by building (digging) trails with the US Forest Service, dug irrigation ditches and cleaned acequias, parks, and yards of miscellaneous critters. He is an academic in the sciences having grown up next to a state university, sat in Physics lectures and laboratories, and frequently visits NMSU Dean. Jingo attends various executive board meetings such as the Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and New Mexico State University, and has been involved in many environmental stewardship campaigns; Jingo provides the awww-factor as well as reminding us to take time to rest and play. Jingo has travelled New Mexico, and enjoys leisurely shopping in Santa Fe, swimming in the Rio Grande, chasing deer through the Lincoln National Forest, and sledding at White Sands National Monument, and catching snowballs in Taos.


Hi, I’m Desiree, a six year old purebred Great Dane. I have blue eyes and my coat color is called harlequin. I was born in north east Florida and my mom drove from southern Ohio to pick up my sister, Saphrya, and I. I’ve lived in FL, OH, MA, and now VT. I love my mom and am very protective of her, so I don’t go out on many walks, but I’ve always had a fenced yard and I love to run and play with my sister and adopted brother. I love fuzzy, squeaky toys, but I don’t like to share! I’m not good with cats or other small animals as I have a high prey drive, but so far, I’ve done ok with other dogs. I eat dry food, but since my mom adopted my brother, Bjorn, who won’t eat most of the time, sometimes I get some canned food that tastes so yummy! Mom has decided that it is past time to start training me, so I have learned sit, and ok to come to our food. I walk much better on a leash and don’t pull on it anymore. When I do well, I get a treat!


Hi, I’m Saphyra, a six year old purebred Great Dane. I have brown eyes and my coat color is called merle. I was born in north east Florida and my mom drove from southern Ohio to pick up my sister, Desiree, and I. I’ve lived in FL, OH, MA, and now VT. I love my mom and pretty much everyone, so I don’t go out on many walks because I want to say hello to everybody, but my size scares them. I love to run and play with my sister and adopted brother. I love all toys, but I don’t like to share – I’m a toy hoarder. I like other dogs that I see, but they don’t always understand that I just want to say hi and play. I eat dry food, but since my mom adopted my brother, Bjorn, who won’t eat most of the time, sometimes I get some canned food that tastes so yummy! Since mom started training me this winter, I walk much better on a leash and but I still pull on it if I see a squirrel!


Hi I’m Bjorn. I’m a four year old purebred Irish Wolfhound. I spent the first three years of my life in KY at the home of a backyard breeder. I’ve sired several litters of puppies and even been a show dog. Mom found me in January 2020, right before the pandemic hit. She had wanted a Wolfhound for 40 years, so she was ecstatic when she found me. She drove from MA to KY to pick me up and we had a great drive back to MA. I was originally born in Canada, so I’m an international boy! I am a very picky eater, so mom has to make me satin balls (special raw food recipe) every couple of weeks or I stop eating and lose lots of weight. That’s not too good for me as I should weigh close to 200 pounds and getting me to 150 is a challenge. I love everyone in mom’s family and get so excited when they come home! I give tons of kisses and know that I am in a much better home than I used to be.


MazelTuff is a sprightly young gentleman that loves the versatility of autumn weather, indulging in fresh tuna, and demanding his humans take him on long walks in forests.


Delphi is a German Short-Haired Pointer and she joined my family in 2010, while I was a student at Vermont Law School. Delphi is a pack animal! She loves to be with her pack (my family) at all times. When we are inside, she stays in whatever room we are in. When we are outside, she is right at our side. When we sleep, she is on the foot of the bed. She is fiercely loyal and amazingly protective. Since we moved to New Hampshire she has chased off turkey, coyotes, deer, and even bear (true story). Delphi’s only drawback is that she can’t be left alone with the chickens when they are free-ranging (not even for a second).


Boris is a grumpy-but-cuddly rescue cat. He’s about 8 years old. Boris knows a few tricks, has an instagram, and lives for eating out of cereal bowls when I’m not looking.


George is a rescue pup who has been with me for the last five years. In our five years together, George has become an avid hiker, brewery-goer, law school emotional support animal, and friend of all the pups in SoRo. George has loved every second of quarantine as he gets to spend all his time with his two humans with frequent walks to the beach! 


Loki is six year old house panther. She enjoys naps, chirping at birds, sun-spot yoga, and asking for treats. Her favorite activity is attacking loose pieces of paper and sticky notes.


Jake is a 5 year old golden retriever. He was born on a farm in Lancaster, PA. He likes to collect his toy balls and lay with them. His favorite passtime is sitting his head on dad’s lap and waiting for pets.

Joey B.

My name is Joey B. The B stands for Bean, except I don’t like Bean. I just like B and that’s all. My mom adopted me from a shelter from her home state when I was four months old. Now I am two, live in Vermont, and occasionally travel back home. My quarantine hobby is ripping the squeaker out of my toys and only playing with that. I am excited to get my JD to help other pups like me get the homes they deserve. When I am not attending class, I am zooming inside, running outside, begging for treats, and catching bugs. If you would like to stay up to date, you can follow me on Instagram @joeybkeelofficial.


My name is Bagheera.  I am a sweet and playful boy who loves cuddles and chin scratches.
My hobbies include head scratches, playing with my toys, running around the house, screaming, and food.  Did I mention that I love food!
I begin each morning by waking up my human to feed me.
Then I do everything I know that I’m not supposed to do because I am a rebellious teenager and my humans live in my house rent free.
Then I take my daily naps.
Then I help my human with his schoolwork.  I especially love meeting you all over TEAMs/Zoom. 
Occasionally my human will take me hiking. Kent’s ledge is my favorite hiking spot.
I am a big fan of living in South Royalton.
I like dressing up too.  (I am so spooky!)
My favorite activity though is spending time with my favorite human. 


She is beauty. She is grace. She is Sydney. Sydney is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie, born in Arkansas Sep. 11, 2013. Sydney was immediately fired from her first job as a farm animal herder, but it worked out well for her because now she lives a fabulous life of adventure, treats, and cuddling. Sydney is everyone’s best friend, her favorite color is purple, and she enjoys walks by the river.


Short and stout! Hank was recused from an abuse and neglect case in May 2020 and April adopted him in August 2021. Hank enjoys sleeping in April’s bed, chasing after squirrels, and getting belly rubs. Hank might have had a bad past but now gets to live his best life thats filled with love and treats.


Penny is a beloved pandemic pup breaking hearts in the Old North End of Burlington. Her likes include cuddling with her moms, playing fetch and tug with her moms, watching her moms do stuff, and corralling her moms when they are in different rooms. Also likes walks, chirping birds, cabbage scraps, and perching by the window to watch the neighborhood go by. Will consider friendship with new dogs who are as shy as she is. Will consider friendship with new humans bearing mozzarella cheese!


My name is Jessie and they say I’m a Jack Russell/German Shorthaired Pointer Mix. But that’s a guess. They also guess that I’m around 2 years old. I moved from Alabama to Vermont in October 2020.
I love snuggles. I love playtime. My mom buys me so many toys… But it’s way more fun to chew up her socks instead. I love belly rubs. I don’t like bicycles. I love playing with my friends (I think I’m friends with all the dogs in SoRo). I love peanut butter. I love bully sticks and treats.
I love being outside and going on walks around South Royalton. I also love going down to the river, running in the water, digging in the sand, getting as dirty as possible, and finding sticks.
But… I’m not a huge fan of rainy days. Or taking baths after I get muddy down by the river.
I REALLY love the snow. It’s one of my favorite things about VT.
Even though I love the snow, I also really love laying in the grass in the sun. I also like eating the grass, but my mom doesn’t really like when I do that and makes me stop eating it. Whenever it’s warm and sunny out I want to be outside all day.


A rescue from Texas, Banner (full name, Banner Frodo Baggins Sharkface Dingus Dunn) quickly won over his adopted parents’ hearts with his endearing overbite, obsession with chuck-it balls and propensity to snore louder than would seem possible for a dog his size. Banner loves going for long trail runs and hikes, snoozing in his beloved bean bag, bossing around dogs much bigger than he is and interrupting Molly’s Team’s meeting by randomly singing the song of his people at full volume. Dislikes include baths, being checked for ticks and not being allowed up on the couch when his feet are wet. Banner is looking forward to getting out and exploring new trails this summer and most definitely not making friends with any skunks.

Wilma, Papi, Kevin, Pedro, Jeff, and Koji

Wilma (pot belly pig), Papi (cat), Kevin (brown guinea pig), Pedro (black & white guinea pig), Jeff (the staffie), Koji (the chug)

Wilma is like having a three year old- she’s super smart & sassy. Papi rules the house and thinks he’s tough but he’s a softie. Kevin & Pedro LOVE bananas & screaming for food every time they think they hear the crisper open. Jeff is a goofy sweetheart. Koji has a very bad attitude but life wouldn’t be the same without him.


Hi, I’m Sylvester, but everyone calls me Svesty. I’m a 4-year-old Maine Coon mix who is always ready for a dinner party (hence the tuxedo). My momma rescued me from a barn where I was abandoned, and with lots of love and doctor’s visits I’m doing great! My vet says I have kitty autism, but that just makes me even more fun to be around! I get to spend time with lots of cool people like my aunties Arielle and Kayley, plus uncle Jerry. Uncle Jerry says I have no boundaries, but tu casa es mi casa, right?! Plus, I’m cute. I love everyone and everything, but especially food! TREATS? Heck yeah! Ham? You bet! Butter? My favorite! I have two siblings, Cleo and Odin. They’re cool, but they have some sort of twin telepathy so I spend a lot of time by myself. I love spending time outside! I’m pretty scared of wind, but I enjoy climbing trees, although sometimes I forget how to get back down. Oh well, that’s what moms are for, right? Also, whenever I catch squirrels they end up running away. I just want to play! My all-time favorite thing is just being the coolest cat around since I’m pretty good at that 😊


Antigone, or “Tig” for short, is a COVID puppy. Along with everyone else, we joined the fray last spring to find another dog and my son, Charlie, after a lot of searching, found Tig in Barre, Vermont. Born in March, 2020, she’s a Red Bone Hound, the first purebred we’ve had in a while, since we’ve adopted mutts and street dogs for the last 25 years. We have a street dog from Kyiv, Ukraine named Luna, who is 13 and cranky. She tolerates Tig, except during dinner time. 

Tig the hound is ruled by her nose, so it has taken some time to train her. She’s basically still in training. We had help from a great gal named Paula who runs a place called Good Dogma. Tig is headstrong and demanding, she talks a lot and when she gets going, she has a beautiful singing voice, which just cracks me up. She is also playful and loving. In the sunlight, her red coat is gorgeous. She goes to doggy daycare three times a week where she meets up with her buddies, plays like crazy, and comes home exhausted. On her days at home, she’ll sleep until noon.


Jacinda (named for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern) is the strong and compassionate leader of our group of four chickens and best friend to our toddler, Fern.

Maple Limoncelli

7-month goldendoodle who loves to go to the beach. His favorite toys are a toy doughnut, ropes, balls and Zippy Paws. His go to treats are Wellness Dog Bites, peanut butter and whipped cream! Maple is charismatic, independent and he truly loves everyone in this world! We got him from SC and now live with Maple and my husband in New Jersey.


When I came home from a long vacation, I walked into my dad’s backyard to find a cute, blond fluff ball with a cast on his leg and a fabric cone. I cuddled him as my dad told me he was the neighbor’s dog we were babysitting for the week. And as I played with the pup and said “lets never give him back,” my dad said the words I never thought I would hear – “Anneke, he actually is your dog.” My dad had rescued Keenan when his previous owners brought him into the vet hospital with a broken leg caused by the abuse of the male owner. From that day on Keenan was my best friend. We spent summer days napping in the yard, he kissed my cheeks whenever I was crying, and whenever I was at my dad’s house Keenan and I were inseparable. He never stopped letting me know how excited he was to see me and how he refused to leave my side. I truly had my best friend in furry form. Earlier this year my Keenan crossed the rainbow bridge. Keenan was the best dog and friend I could have ever asked for.

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon loved nothing more than to enjoy the South Royalton community and VLS campus during his time in Vermont. Adopted after being discovered in the forests of Barre, VT, he was truly a staple of the area and a true member of the VLS community as only fits considering his namesake’s administration founded the EPA.


Francisco is from TX. His favorite times of day are breakfast and dinner. He also loves eating leaves and rolling around in the dirt outside. He’s not too sure about snow yet, but he’s hoping to get more exposure in VT. When he’s not eating, or trying to get outside, he loves treats, cuddles and meeting new friends.


Ink is a wonderful sweet little girl who has made my life so much brighter. She is the longest dog I’ve ever seen and is the best snuggler (always taking up the whole bed).


Max is a 7 year old mega-mutt. He loves naps, peanut butter, and is a great study partner!


My name is Costa girl and I like to party


HELLO, my name is Alpine. I am a 3-year-old Coonhound Pointer mix. My personality is serious but funny and goofy. My owner adopted me from New Jersey, but I was found in Georgia. Living in Vermont has been a big change. I love my long hikes on the weekends and going on runs with my owner. I enjoy my overnight long camping trips because I get to be outside. In Vermont, I also experienced snow for the first time and I loved it so much. I am also notorious for looking out my window and the green. I love food. My favorite snack is Bully Stick’s and Greenies. 


Hi, my name is Nelly (aka Nelson or Nells Bells). I run the land around the old church near campus, spending most of my time fending off errant squirrels.

I have developed a belief that toilet paper rolls are revered objects, so a few times I day I ritually carry them to the person who lives with me and proclaim my arrival with a bellowing meow. Since moving into a church, I have come to practice this ritual several times a day. Please come speak with me if you would like to hear my gospel.

I will only take my water fresh from the shower, have been told I’m a witty conversationalist, enjoy the company of Chickadees, and I take ladybugs very seriously.

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