Chief Animal Officer (Alumni)
Bandit was a gentle Border Collie who left a warm impression on anyone he met.
As the very first official VetStrategy office pet, he was our ‘stealthy wanderer’ – you would never notice he was there until you felt his breath on your knee, probably because he was looking for a treat. Sometimes he would even walk away and come back hoping that you had forgotten that you had already given him one. Every so often, he would get lucky if he gave people his ‘puppy dog eyes’.
This photo shows Bandit with his favourite toy in the office. Sadly, Bandit crossed the rainbow bridge in 2021 but his legacy lives on in the minds and hearts of all those who were privileged to meet him.
Mom: Ruth Hendershot
Chief Feline Officer
My name is Rupert and I am a 9-year-old Himalayan adopted from the Midland OSPCA. I came with the usual rescue cat issues – eye problems, constipation, litter box is optional, vomiting, you name it – I have it!
Since coming home, I have two favourite pastimes – eating and sleeping. I enjoy yelling in the morning for my breakfast, then yelling again for my morning cookie. Then it is time to begin work. I enjoy sitting on the mouse and when that gets boring, I sit directly in front of the monitor. If humans decide to ignore me, I use my paw to gently remind them that their time would be better spent paying attention to me. When I am ready for my nap, I climb into the “associates chair” and go to sleep. I will wake up for brushing and will roll over like a dog for tummy strokes.
Later in the day, I ask for my afternoon snack and then return to one of my many sleeping spots to rest until dinner. At night, I spend time sitting up like a person before climbing into the center of the bed and stretching out to human size to sleep until morning.
Mom: Amanda McIninch
Chief Challenge Overcomer
My name is Hugo and I am a 14-year-old Yorkie. My mom calls me her Titanium Puppy because of my fighting spirit and child-like energy! I overcame many conditions through the years such as a rare form of epilepsy, herniated discs, as well as skin, teeth, and stomach issues. I was also paralyzed for about a year when I was 8-years-old. Shout out to the wonderful team at North Hill Animal Hospital (Bolton, ON) for always taking good care of me! Through all this, I learned to cherish every moment and make those around me smile and laugh whenever I can.
I am definitely a social butterfly and my Mom will tell you that this has not always worked to my benefit! When I was a puppy, I was kicked out of Obedience School because I spent too much time mixing and mingling with my classmates. Apparently, I was too much of a “distraction” or “bad influence”. Oh well. I’ve always had excellent manners anyway – I never bite and I always generously share my food and toys with both my human and furry friends.
In 2020, my mom started working from home full-time. Aside from being the Chief Challenge Overcomer, I also now act as her Personal Career Coach. She is definitely a better student than I was. She follows all of my not-so-subtle suggestions and we have our routine down pat. I let her know when it’s time to take a break, eat lunch, and log off at the end of the day by barking and chewing at her socks until she listens. I have made many guest appearances at her Zoom meetings, especially when she forgets to give me my snacks!
Although I enjoy having my mom all to myself, I cannot wait to go back to the office and see my old friends. I also miss entertaining guests at home! One of my favourite things to do is lead them to the fridge so they can help themselves (and me) to our yummy goodies. My favourite, by the way, are my mom’s homemade pumpkin and oatmeal cookies – minus the medication and pills that she tries to hide in them. (Please don’t tell her I know about that!)
Mom: Teresa Soda
Lead Food Inspector
My name is Dylan and I am a 11-year-old Basenji with a big appetite and high energy.
When I walk into the office, everyone seems to put their garbage bins in places I can’t reach. You would think pulling out their scraps from lunch was a bad thing!
One time during a birthday celebration, they decided to hide the cake in a locked room so I couldn’t get to it. Lucky for me, someone left the door open, and I knew that was my chance! When it came time to sing happy birthday, my secret about taste-testing the cake was out. My mom was less than impressed, but everyone else thought it was funny! As Lead Food Inspector and comedian, it’s never a dull moment at Head Office.
Mom: Stephanie Bruno
Bandit #2 & Buddy
Mentee and Mentor
Our names are Bandit and Buddy, two 8-year-old Springerdoodles ready to keep you on your toes every moment of the day. We came from the same litter of pups and have been together since day one. Although you can often find us twinning, we couldn’t be more different in our personalities.
Buddy: “I’m the shy one. I always listen to my mom and follow her everywhere she goes. When she walks to the kitchen, I walk to the kitchen. When she goes to the restroom, I sit outside, waiting to see her again. I’m considered the A+ student at home, especially compared to Bandit. I’ve learned the more you listen, the more treats and head pats you get. Mom tells me I have to lead by example and hope that my brother will follow suit. I love him, but he never listens!”
Bandit: “You could say I am a curious canine. Whenever mom brings me to the office, I like to wander around for food and belly rubs. Mom thinks I rebel against her, but who doesn’t love treats and belly rubs? I should be looking up to Buddy as a mentor, but I am proud to be on a Permanent Performance Improvement Plan! With my big personality and mischievous ways, they tell me I am a rule breaker, but I like to keep things entertaining.
Food tends to get me into the most trouble. I’ve had my stomach pumped twice in 3 months. On Valentine’s Day, I stole an excessive amount of chocolate and ate it all. Mom wasn’t sure which one of us ate it, so they pumped both of our stomachs. Only I had eaten it though – sorry, Buddy! I can’t help it. I LOVE food, and I will stop at nothing to locate it, consume it quickly, and pretend I did nothing. If I get questioned, I give my sweet ‘what did I do’ look, and all is forgiven.”
Mom: Maura Richardson