It’s a Dog’s Adirondack Life
by Lisa Bramen
It pains me as a journalist to admit to being biased, but there’s no denying it: we at Adirondack Life are dog people. With the exception of senior editor Niki Kourofsky—who has a guinea pig and a kitten—everyone on the magazine’s editorial and production staff has at least one canine family member. And employees are allowed to bring their well-behaved pooches to work, a perk that about a third of us take advantage of. The constant parade of leashed pets entering and leaving our Brick Church headquarters once led a passerby to mistake it for a veterinarian’s office.
It all started with Oakley, creative director Betsy Folwell’s service dog. The 10-year-old yellow Lab is the elder statesman of the office, unflappable even when the younger pups try to goad him into joining their games. Betsy relies on Oakley to be her guide out in public or on the trails, but at the office he mostly relaxes or makes the social rounds, using his persuasive brown eyes to ask for head scratches and treats. Resistance is futile.
Once Oakley set the precedent, other pooches followed in his paw-steps. Four-year-old Angus, a black Lab, is the biggest dog in the office, and the most energetic. He likes long lunchtime walks and swimming in the Ausable River. He supports the freegan lifestyle, searching for discarded sandwich crusts and apple cores in the office trash bins whenever he has the chance, but he’ll just as happily gobble up the gourmet, all-natural treats served up by his person, art director Kelly Hofschneider.
Magni’s name comes from the Latin for “greatness,” in case you couldn’t already tell from his regal bearing. The 20-pound puggle likes to perch on the desk of business and human resource manager Janine Sorrell, where he can be close to her and watch the action in the rest of the office out his window. On cold winter days he likes to get even closer to Janine, snuggling onto her lap as she attempts to reach her keyboard.
Don’t let Kira’s size fool you—this little rat terrier is fiercer than Beyoncé’s alter ego. The only female dog in the bunch, and by far the smallest, she more than holds her own. She learned her scrappy ways during her early years as a street dog, but ever since production coordinator Matt Paul and his family rescued her a couple of years ago, she’s been living the good life.
My own lovable mutt, Ollie, is the new kid on the block. He’s a beagle mix—we think. My husband and I adopted him a year ago from the Queensbury SPCA, when he was just three months old. We had traveled there after noticing a different puppy on Petfinder.com, but once we saw Ollie’s serene gaze and freckled nose, we only had eyes for him. He’s turned out to be a great hiking companion (see Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks, which benefits area shelters, for trail ideas) and an even better couch snuggler. During the workday, his favorite hobbies are napping and removing the stuffing from his dog bed.
Angus, Ollie, Magni, Oakley and Kira aren’t on the payroll—unless you count biscuits and belly rubs—but their workplace contributions are invaluable: They make ready models for in-house ads for our dog products, alleviate deadline stress just by being cute and cuddly, and never let us waste a beautiful day sitting at our desks. Of course, their insistence on daily walks holds true even when it’s below zero, but nobody’s perfect.