Nearly fourteen years ago, long before I arrived here at Stardock, some of my colleagues arrived to the office on a chilly morning. Tied to a post in the parking lot was a small poof-ball of a puppy, a little Shih Tzu mix, who would eventually come to be called Sophie.
Sophie, in all her little floofy glory, not long after she was adopted by Pat
Pretty much everyone here at Stardock is a major animal lover, so there wasn't any chance of Sophie being left out in the cold. Our manager of Tachyon and long time employee, Pat, scooped her up and took her home, where she lived happily with him and his family for 14 years until she passed away last month.
She came in and out of the office with him often during those 14 years, and that was how I met her: as a wiggling, happy little energetic dog who was all too enthused about running over to my desk to get treats from me. I am definitely the sucker here at the office - all of the dogs know where my desk is and who has the snacks, both human and canine!
A picture of Sophie from about a year ago.
She was deeply loved and is terribly missed.
And thus, the tradition of "Stardogs" was accidentally born. Sophie started coming into work with Pat from time to time, and as the years went on and other employees adopted dogs of their own, they would also come into the office and share the joy of man's best friend with everyone.
Since it's 2020 and everything has been a dumpster fire lately, I figured we were all due for a dose of cute - and dogs fit the bill! This is by no means a comprehensive list of everyone's dogs here at the company, just the dogs whom I've met and have visited over the years. And here they are, in no particular order:
CEO Brad Wardell's dog, Bailey, hanging out in the Stardock Cafeteria
Bailey is a 9 year old Entlebucher Mountain Dog who was brought home as a puppy by the Wardell family. She loves food and has no problem foraging for it (sometimes we think she's a Trash Panda masquerading as a dog!) and really loves her family. Bailey comes into work every day with Brad or his wife, Debbie, who works on our operations team.
Remember how I said that Bailey really loves her family? Well if she can't be with all of them at once, she certainly has her first choice, who happens to be Debbie. Debbie works on the top floor of the office while Brad works downstairs with the games team, which often puts poor Bailey into conflict. Fun fact? Bailey can open (disclaimer: some) doors.
It's not an unusual sound here at Stardock to hear a dog howling in the stairwell. If we do, we know it's Bailey - she's opened the downstairs door and has gone all the way to the top floor, but she can't open that door because it pulls rather than pushes. Eventually, one of us will usually go free her so that she can get back to one of her humans. She really is a funny dog!
Trixie loves people so much that she will come barreling toward you if she hasn't seen you in awhile and
all but knock you over in order to give you kisses and get your pets.
Trixie was adopted at around a year or so of age from long-time employee Paul, who has been bringing her into work with him every day since. Never liking to be far from Paul, Trixie follows him everywhere he goes, wandering off only every so often to seek out some treats (from me, the sucker) or some pets (from just about anyone, we all love petting dogs here).
Trixie is known for crying when she can't find Paul, and it's enough to break your heart. Her exuberance whenever they are reunited is definitely enough to mend that, though! Truly, this dog just has so much love to give that she hardly knows what to do with it all.
Cheesecake posing as a Beanie Baby for Halloween 2020
Cheesecake is an English Cream Golden Retriever and is just a little over a year old. She was picked out as a puppy by Ryan Wardell, who is one of our artists here. She started coming into the office with him at the end of last summer, and it's been a joy for all of us to watch her grow up!
Cheesecake is at her happiest when she is getting treats and pets - especially on the belly, which she is all too happy to present to you as soon as she sees you. She spends most of the work day hanging out in her nice soft bed near Ryan's desk, and I am always delighted to run into her when she's wandering around.
Remi, the newest and youngest Stardog to join the fleet! She is HR Operation Manager Amy's first dog.
Remi is a miniature Australian Shepherd and was adopted by Amy a little over 2 months ago. This little spitfire has only visited the office a couple of times, but it was more than enough to leave some serious pawprints on our hearts.
Remi's favorite activities include snuggling, dragging giant stuffed toys around the house, and running around with all of her puppy energy and greeting any humans she comes into contact with. She is a much needed dose of joy whenever she visits and we can't wait till she pops in again!
Paladin, pictured with his favorite stuffed animal: a squirrel, which Sarah says he is rarely without.
Paladin is a 4 year old mixed breed (some terrier, some pit-bull, and who knows what else!) that QA Support Systems Engineer Sarah adopted through a shelter exchange program. According to Sarah, Paladin loves to tug on ropes, play keep-away with tennis balls, and chew on bones!
He visits the office occasionally, and while he's a little timid at times, he warms up pretty quickly (especially if you have a snack to share). I mean, look at that face - how can you not just love it?
Scherzer's human assures me he's a hardcore Michigan State fan and was just borrowing his other dog friend's UofM bed.
Trust me, this rivalry is serious business here in Michigan!
Scherzer is another new addition to the Stardog roster along with his human, Max, who just joined the games team a few months ago! A shepherd mix of some kind, Scherzer is almost two years old and has been with his family since November of last year. According to Max, he loves balls (tennis balls are his favorite!) and will systematically hunt down and destroy the squeaker in any toys that dare to make noise, leaving a flurry of cloth and cotton in his wake.
I just met Scherzer for the first time last week and I fell in love (which, for me, really isn't hard. If it has four legs, a tail, and is soft, then I am immediately friends with it). He's so soft, like petting a cloud!
Indy at about 4 months old. I swear he was winking at me!
Indy belongs to long-time Stardock friend Kris, who picked him out when he was just a little puppy. This little golden cotton ball is super well-behaved and is very attached to Kris, whom he follows everywhere! He is always happy to come over for a little love and attention, and he will happily chase and (sometimes) bring back a ball for you.
He's much bigger now from when pictured above, but since Kris lives out of state and is employed elsewhere at the moment, we haven't seen Indy in person for quite awhile. We can't wait until they visit again, though!
Whew! So that's our current roster of Stardogs - and like I said earlier, it's by no means a complete list! A lot of us here at Stardock also have cats and other furry (or scaly, or slimy!) friends, so it's really just a big collection of all-around animal lovers here.
Share your precious pets - canine and otherwise! - in the comments with me, and don't you dare skimp on the pictures. Bring on the cute!