Connected \\ February 7, 2018

EmBARKING on a New Year

Someone alert the Baha Men – We’re letting the dogs out! Chinese New Year falls on the day of the new moon closest to the beginning of spring. And while cats may own the internet, this is the Year of the Dog.


John Van Antwerp MacMurray (1881-1960, American). Portrait of the Artist's Dog Ting, early 20th century. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Joan Palmer, Hugh Starkey and Alison Starkey in honor of their mother, Lois MacMurray Starkey.

The dog was one of the earliest domesticated animals in ancient China and their significance in both life and the afterlife is often represented throughout art. It was thanks to a wonderful piece of mythology though, that the dog made its way into the Chinese zodiac.

Studied in detail, the Chinese zodiac holds an extraordinary place and significant influence in the beliefs of a quarter of the world’s population. For those born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and those being born in 2018, you all are repping the sign of the dog – marked as friendly, loyal, active, determined, with an unwavering sense of responsibility. And you are in good company with the likes of Elvis Presley, Benjamin Franklin, David Bowie, Steven Spielberg, Cher, Freddie Mercury, and Neil deGrasse Tyson all born under the dog zodiac as well!

Chinese New Year is the perfect opportunity to both embrace tradition and ignite new beginnings. Even Gucci has gotten into the spirit, designing a paw-sitively fetching Chinese New Year collection dedicated to dogs.


Lunar New Year Festival 2017. Photo credit Allison White/PEM.

If you are looking for more bark than bite, join us starting at 10 am on Saturday, February 17 for our Lunar New Year Festival highlighting everything dog! This year’s festival features music, art making, performances and other traditions – including the always popular lion dances – as well as a special treat: demonstrations, games, and hands-on interactions with the certified canine companions of ColdSprings Healing Paws Therapy Foundation.

Much like this pup, our excitement can’t be contained. We thought we would start the celebration a bit early by giving you a dose of dogs! As a feline fanatic and proud cat owner, I enlisted the help of our staff to celebrate the Year of the Dog and show off some of their beloved PEM pooches. Whether it’s their favorite personality traits, what they have learned from their dog(s), or their doggie New Year’s resolutions, one thing is certain: PEM is crazy for man’s best friend (but don’t worry cats, you know where you stand amongst the staff)!


Cats of PEM 2018 calendar. Photo courtesy of Sarah Otto.


Kahuna and Tugboat

Human: Sarah Denny Golab, Internal Communications Manager

Favorite Traits:
“My favorite trait of Kahuna (a 1 year-old Mastiff mix) is simply how good natured he is all the time. He is happy to be playing, relaxing, eating, going for walks, hanging out with other dogs, or relaxing by himself on the couch. Whatever he’s doing, he’s happy about it. He's a good boy. Tugboat (a 4 year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog) is extremely lazy. My favorite personality trait of his is how sincere he is about finding the most comfortable napping spot at any given moment. He is a creature of habit, and his habit is being cozy.”

Lesson Learned:
“Having dogs has taught me to be more patient and loving in the most frustrating moments. Tugboat ‘Trash Dog’ Denny Golab has taught me to make sure the closet door we keep the trash in is always closed when I leave the house.”

New Year’s Resolution:
“Our number one priority this year is for us to learn how to share our space better. Technically, we can all (two dogs, a husband, and myself) fit on the couch together, but do we really want that? We are working on reclaiming the couch for humans – It isn't going great.”


Inderson McNally Facelton Pants McGee (Indy, Pet, or Doug for short)

Human: Emily Larsen, Graphic Designer

Favorite Traits:
“She is majestic, spontaneous and dogmatic. She is fierce.”

Lesson Learned:
“How awesome dogs are. She's the best!”

New Year’s Resolution:
“Kill a skunk. And to not get skunked in the process.”


Juno and Jackson

Human: Allison White, Assistant Photographer

Favorite Traits:
“I mostly love the personality differences between my dogs. Jackson is very serious and calculating before he makes a move; Juno on the other hand is more playful and just goes for whatever she wants, whether or not it will get her in trouble.”

Lesson Learned:
“Mostly that dogs, like people, have different personalities and quirks. Jackson was really easy to train because he lives to please, so we were expecting Juno to be the same, but she has proven to be more stubborn and gets distracted easily so we’ve had to change our entire approach to training her. What worked for Jackson doesn’t interest Juno as much.”

New Year’s Resolution:
“We want to find new places to walk them and let them explore and exercise those beagle noses!”



Human: Jay Finney, Chief Marketing Officer

Favorite Traits:
“Pepper is chill. And, he doesn’t bark in the house. All he wants is a belly rub.”

Lesson Learned:
“When you add more members to a household, love multiplies among the members, not divides.”

New Year’s Resolution:
“We hope to train the dog not to go haywire or bonkers or utterly uncontrollable when he sees a squirrel or rabbit.”



Human: Dinah Cardin, Special Projects Writer

Favorite Traits:
“My ten-year-old blondy Cockapoo cozily sighs while sleeping if she hears someone else sigh or yawn. She has so many different facial expressions. Apart from the usual dog smile, sometimes she has a goofy half grin. Sometimes when we're walking down the street, she looks up and makes eye contact and smiles, as if to say, ‘Told ya so...This is exactly what we should be doing right now!’”

Lesson Learned:
“To love her dearly, even on her barky days, her stubborn days and no matter how many times she has locked herself in the bathroom when no one is home, only to thoroughly destroy the door with her sharp claws.”

New Year’s Resolution:
“I'm getting her out in the snowy woods as much as possible and, when walking her on leash, trying to stay off my phone and be present in the moment!”



Human: Gareth Benshoff, Annual Giving Assistant

Favorite Traits:
“Brady is the friendliest dog we have ever had. He loves our other two dogs and my cat. He also is hilarious and loves rolling in the snow. He always tries to be friends with all dogs, cats and humans.“

Lesson Learned:
“Brady has taught me how important is it to be able to laugh at yourself. Brady does some crazy things, like falling in the pool, leaping into too deep snow and running so fast he falls down. He always gets up no problem, shakes it off, and normally does it again!”

New Year’s Resolution:
“I would really love to teach Brady not be afraid of my skateboard because I really think he would like it if he was not so afraid of it. I also would love to be able to take Brady to more dog parks because he loves making friends!”


Mr. B (aka Brady/Muffinface/Doghead/Mookie)

Human: Leeann Leftwich, Senior Designer

Favorite Traits:
“He is crazy. He still acts like a puppy and needs constant love and attention. He loves people but is a little indifferent to other dogs. I love his independent spirit!”

Lesson Learned:
“Patience and unconditional love.”

New Year’s Resolution:
“Well, this was supposed to be the year I made him sleep in his own dog bed instead of in my bed, next to my head. That has not happened yet… haha!”



Human: Beth Williams, Associate Director of Marketing

Favorite Traits:
“My favorite trait is her snuggle ability.  She is happiest curled up on a blanket, bed, couch with her people.  She finds the softest blanket, YOUR pillow and a person and would stay there for days.  Her love for our boys I'm always in awe of- she was our first 'baby' but after minor adjustment, she made room for 2 little boys in our world and loves them and protects them fiercely.

As long as you are people, she doesn't have a mean bone in her body-  just don't be a rodent, small mammal, amphibian, or bird in her yard- she'll kill you.  I love how unsuspecting of a trait that is. No one ever suspects she has it in her.”

Lesson Learned:
“Dorothy has taught us about loyalty and unwavering love.  Her needs are so simple, we can all benefit from remembering that food, water, love and play go a long long way (and where to bury the bodies of her kills... that was a hard lesson).”

New Year’s Resolution:
“At 11, she's slowing down just a tad, so our priority is to love her long and hard and play as much as we can. Squeaky toy, anyone?”


Lunar New Year Festival 2017. Photo credit Ken Sawyer/PEM.

For more details about PEM’s Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, February 17, 2018  visit

Keep up with the day’s happenings by following us on social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your experiences with us by using the hashtag #peabodyessex!

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