February 20 is Love Your Pets Day. While most pet owners don’t need a reminder to love their furry friends, we thought this would be a great day to get to know Broadspire CEO and consummate dog-lover Danielle Lisenbey a little better. We asked Danielle to tell us about her dogs.
I have three dogs. Yes, three — and my parents have one that I take care of often. So on many days, there are four rambunctious pups in the house. So you can quickly guess that I’m a dog fan! I’ve almost always had a pet. Growing up we had rescue Great Danes, and when I moved out on my own I got a Golden Retriever puppy.
Now, our oldest dog is Caine, a black and white Siberian Husky with cobalt blue eyes. He is a rescue that we got from another family when he was around six months old. Now that he is 12, we call him “old man,” because he acts like a cranky (yet endearing) old man some days! He is the alpha dog and makes sure all the other dogs are aware that he is the king.
The middle dog child is Maxx. He is a brownish-red and white Husky with one brown eye and one blue eye. Like Caine, he is also a rescue, from the South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue where the kids and I volunteered when we lived in Florida. When we got him, they estimated Maxx to be about three years old, so he is eight now. He is the lover of the family, who happily cuddles with anyone that will give him attention. Maxx does not like to be left alone at all, so he is always with someone from the family or with his big brother Caine.
The baby is four-year-old Cooper; he is a chocolate Lab. I got him as a Christmas gift; I picked him from a litter that we had put our names in for before he was born. I’ve always loved Labradors and Golden Retrievers and always wanted a chocolate Lab. Cooper is my outdoor dog. He loves to swim, hike, kayak and play, play, play! So he torments his older brothers into playing with him just about every day; they chase each other or the ball for hours.
My parents’ dog, Bailey, is a six-year-old mix. She is also a rescue and as sweet as Maxx. Her favorite playmate is Cooper. They run and chase each other for hours.
Although Maxx is typically the sweetest dog, he has also been responsible for the most destruction. We truly believe it is out of anxiety when he feels left alone. One of the first times we left him alone (and not in his crate or with his brother Caine), he found one item from each of our family members, something that had the scent of each of us on it, such as one of the kids’ yearbook and a pair of my favorite shoes (of course!). He brought everything out of our respective rooms and into the center of the family room, where he proceeded to chew on each item. It was hard to be mad at him when we walked in and saw him sprawled on top of the pile of our shredded belongings, as though he was letting us know how much he missed us.
Maxx was the star of another funny story at our house. During my son’s birthday party, the kids were swimming in the pool, and I went into the house to get the cake ready. I got it all set up on the counter and went outside to bring the kids in. When we walked in, there was a huge chunk of the cake missing…with the unmistakable, perfect outline of a dog’s bite sideways on the cake. In order to get his treat, the dog would have had to put his paws up on the counter, turn his head to the side, and take a bite. We knew Maxx was the guilty party due to the ring of frosting around his mouth. We all got a good laugh out of it!
I have countless additional anecdotes like these about my dogs, who immeasurably enrich our family. The greatest gift you can give an animal is a home — I believe rescue pets know when you’ve done this for them and love you unconditionally for doing so. Although every day for a pet owner is Love Your Pets Day, it’s great to have a special occasion to call attention to how much they bring to our lives.
Danielle Lisenbey is the CEO of Broadspire. You can read more about Danielle in this Q & A.