Caesar the No Drama Llama
Claim to fame: Appeared at last year's protests as a paragon of chill among the chaos.
What's the story? Before 2020, Caesar was only the Portland area's second-most famous therapy llama, having first sparked local attention when a photo of him riding the MAX made the rounds on Reddit. But after Rojo went off to the great grass field in the sky—and his taxidermied body got sent to the Washington State School for the Blind—in late 2019, the Salem-based camelid stepped up to fill the void. His owner, Larry McCool of Mystic Llama Farms, began bringing him to the nightly protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, both to show solidarity with the racial justice movement and to provide a calming presence in a tense situation. National media outlets like The Washington Post and People picked up on it, turning Caesar into a symbol of Portland's resistance on par with Naked Athena and the Wall of Moms, only furrier.
Where is he now? Aside from the protests, McCool has lent Caesar to other progressive causes, including Planned Parenthood and some Democratic political campaigns. He's also done Zoom meetings with schoolchildren. This year, McCool is hoping to get Caesar back to in-person appearances. "We hope 2021 will be a very active year," he says.
Claim to fame: Ushered in the era of the urban pet goat in Portland.
What's the story? A decade-plus ago, 14 goats took up residence in an empty lot on Southeast Belmont Street in part to help clear brush. The herd quickly became a local tourist attraction, then a nonprofit. The goats eventually got evicted—though the development where they once lived is now known as the Goat Blocks—have continued to bounce around town, and are now on their third location in seven years. But in the grand tradition of businesses like Hawthorne Strip, they're still called the Belmont Goats.
Where are they now? North Portland, in the University Park area.
Lux, the Cat From Hell
Claim to fame: Menaced his owners to the point they barricaded themselves in a bedroom, called 911 and subsequently went viral.
What's the story? In 2014, Lee Palmer of Portland phoned the police in a panic: The family cat had gone bonkers. Lux, a hefty Himalayan with facial markings like a Rorschach test, attacked Palmer's then 7-month-old son, Jesse, after Jesse yanked his tail. Palmer kicked the cat in an act of reflexive protection, but that just pissed off Lux even more. He became so enraged that Palmer gathered up his wife and child, retreated to a bedroom and called for help. "He's charging at us! He's at our door!" Palmer told the emergency dispatcher. (On the recording, the cat can be heard yowling threateningly in the background, which some news stations helpfully transcribed as "RAAAARRRRRRRRR!") After the incident blew up online, the couple enlisted the help of Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell. Lux was diagnosed with a severe case of feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which causes sudden, violent outbursts, and put into foster care. A few months later, The Oregonian reported that Lux was receiving treatment and responding to medication.
Where is he now? Reached via Facebook, Palmer says his best guess is that Lux has been, shall we say, dealt with. Shortly after appearing on My Cat From Hell, Lux was rehomed into the care of an elderly couple and, according to the show's producers, ended up putting one of his new owners in the hospital. That was, presumably, the end of the line for poor Lux. As for Palmer and his family, they now live in Seattle with a dog and a much more docile feline.
Sugar Bob the Stoned Deer
Claim to fame: Helped tend the crops of a weed grow in Southern Oregon—by eating them.
What's the story? In 2015, a short Oregon Public Broadcasting segment introduced Oregon to its new state animal, at least in spirit: Sugar Bob, the cannabis-eating deer. Rescued from drowning as a fawn by Richard "Pa Butt" Davis, owner of the Applegate River Lodge in Applegate, Ore., he would follow Davis around his medical grow, eating fallen leaves and the occasional bud, then taking an afternoon nap. Naturally, everyone found this hilarious, including The Daily Show, which aired a segment on him. In an interview with WW at the time, Davis revealed some of Sugar Bob's other peccadilloes, such as his coffee addiction: "He takes it with cream and sugar," he said. "Sugar Bob is a sugar freak, plain and simple."
Where is he now? According to Davis, Bob ran off one night, around the time he "started getting his balls," probably to find a mate. Davis hasn't seen him since, though others in the community have reportedly spotted him. Meanwhile, Davis has put the Applegate River Lodge up for sale: "I'm too old, my wife's getting old, and my boys don't want it," he says.
Hank the Dachshund
Claim to fame: Won Ultimate Supreme Pet, the grand prize of WW's first-ever Pet Pageant.
What's the story? In 2018, the brilliant minds in charge of this newspaper asked readers to submit photos of their pets and put them to a citywide vote. The top dog? A 6-year-old dachshund named Hank, the "official spokesdog" for Oregon Dachshund Rescue, which helps get fellow dachsies across the state adopted. He appeared on the cover wearing a blue ribbon, gold crown and charming grin.
Where is he now? At almost 10 years old, Hank is officially a senior dog, but he continues his philanthropic streak as the representative for Portland Dachshund Rescue, a spinoff of ODR specializing in connecting senior and special needs pups with new owners. In less than a year, the nonprofit has already rescued 60 dogs, says Hank's owner, Anne Marple. He might be getting up there in age, but Marple says Hank is far from slowing down: He recently started his own TikTok account. And his pageant days might not be over, either: "I keep thinking I should enter him again," Marple says.