Pets With Jobs: Where to Meet Portland’s Professional Pups, Career Kitties and Busy Birds

There’s plenty of fur and feathers to be found at local businesses and venues.

Gatsby (Courtesy of The Park)

When you’re a pet parent and business owner, sometimes you have to bring your baby to work. And sometimes your baby earns their pet rent and helps you out around the shop. They keep the vibes chill, they make the best social media content, and sometimes they seem more human on a rough day than their worst customers—especially if they work in retail.

We asked about pets who hang around Portland venues, bars and other businesses. Sometimes they’re literal mascots, while other times they develop fan clubs outside of work. But they do the important work of boosting office morale and supervising HR mediations (probably).

Gatsby: Chihuahua-terrier mix, age 10, The Park

Nicole Harris, general manager of the dog-friendly St. Johns pub The Park, tells WW that Oregon Humane Society saved Gatsby and his litter from being euthanized in an overcrowded California shelter before he was born. Harris adopted Gatsby after learning his story as an OHS volunteer. He was shy at first, but Harris said she’s exposed Gatsby to the wider world. “From day one I’ve taken him everywhere with me: mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, paddle boarding, grocery stores and bars,” Harris says. “Through that he developed the most amazing personality and best ‘good boy’ behavior!”

Odin (Courtesy of Pallet)

Odin and Chico: Pit-Lab, age 9, and pit-boxer, age 1, Pallet

Odin and Chico greet customers and hold a watchful eye over Pallet’s curated vintage streetwear. The boys can be so calm and well-behaved on duty that you could think they’re stuffed dogs. On more relaxed days in the store, Odin and Chico case customers, leaning into them for petting and rubs. Pallet owner Wyatt Savage says Chico joined the team as Odin’s buddy. Odin is the fierce face of Pallet’s brand, but Savage admits that Odin’s mean mug was staged. “We got him to make a snarling face by throwing string cheese for him to catch,” Savage says.

Princess Sarah (Courtesy of Star Theater)

Princess Sarah: Tuxedo cat, age 2 (approximately), Star Theater

Star Theater bartender Xander Almeida says that Princess Sarah appeared on the Starlight Patio on her own, and hung around when staff fed her. Almeida says a man claiming to be her owner told them her name is Sarah, but never came back to claim her. Star Theater owner Frank Faillace crowned Sarah a princess, though other staff call her Bar Kat and Splatter Face. Almeida adds that patrons sometimes sit on the patio just to pet Princess Sara and bring her treats. “She has a slight gambling addiction,” he says. “She loves jumping on the machines. Sometimes, when players are playing, she’ll spin for them.”

Paloma (Courtesy of Bird Alliance of Oregon)

Paloma: Ringneck dove, age 14+, Artemisia Collage With Nature

Artemisia owner Amy Bryant Aiello adopted Paloma fully grown from the Bird Alliance of Oregon (formerly the Portland Audubon Society) and doesn’t know how old she was at the time. Bryant Aiello tasks Paloma with instilling wonder in her customers as they learn DIY nature craft like terrarium building and perfume blending. Aiello says Paloma spends her days building nests, landing on customers’ heads, and getting blocked from eating rubber bands. Paloma’s coo, audible on the phone, has the content quality of laughter. “She’s the queen of the shop,” Aiello says.

Rosie (Courtesy of Alberta Rose Theatre)

Rosie: Anatolian shepherd, age 7, Alberta Rose Theatre

Rosie joined Alberta Rose Theatre owner Joseph Cawley’s life after his beloved Great Dane, Francesca, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Francesca accompanied Cawley to hundreds of the Rose’s shows, though Rosie prefers the back office to the audience. That doesn’t mean she’s a party pooper. “She especially likes when performers are traveling with their dogs and they get to hang out together during showtime,” Cawley says. Rosie was the namesake of Rosie’s Lounge, a short-lived bar across the street from the Rose which hung a life-size oil painting of her likeness.

Related: The Pets Issue: Once Again, We Honor Our Favorite Furry Portlanders

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