Beastie Besties

April 11 is National Pet Day, and in honor of beloved critters everywhere, we’re featuring some of History Colorado staff’s special pets, with a generous helping of cuteness.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a best friend who knows about the naughty and the nice, the embarrassing and the humiliating, and still chooses to be our friend. But do they really gaze at us with adoring doe-eyes after we have stumbled through that most ridiculous thing? Maybe not so much. And very likely not as much as our pals who also happen to be our pets—our animal friends, our beastie besties. 

The unconditional acceptance often goes the other way around, as well. Maybe you, too, have had a pup that got so excited it completely chewed up the legs of the antique library table that once belonged to your great-grandmother…along with the foot of one of the armchairs…and a piano leg (ahem). Or perhaps you returned from vacation to find your feline friend sitting atop the bookcase, simply staring back and giving you the stink-eye for an entire evening: “You know what you did.”

Our animal pals may get up to some shenanigans now and again, but who else gets that excited when we simply walk through the door? They know how to melt our hearts and help us stay grounded. And even if their listening skills may be lacking when we are actually trying to give them directions, their listening ears always seem to be tuned in when we desperately need it. 

 They truly are best friends like no others. Here are some of ours.

The Chairman of the Board (feat. mewsical guests Charlie & Cocoa on keyboard)


I got Fitzgibbons in May of 2020 and since then he has been my constant companion for walks, hikes, trips to the bathroom, and generally anything else he can follow me around to do.

—Luke Perkins, Manager of Communications and Public Relations



Charlie likes to supervise all work from home efforts.

—Emily Turner, Point of Sales and Reservations Manager


My furry "coworker" Cocoa loves playing with the ring pull tabs that come off plant-milk containers more than purchased toys, especially when you toss the ring up in the air for her to catch or bat away. This can be particularly challenging when on Zoom calls, but it's a good thing Cocoa is so cute. A "Covid-kitty," Cocoa brings lots of personality and enjoyment to the home office.

—Kimberly Kronwall, Exhibits and Loan Registrar


Couch Pawtatoes


This is Lulu in her favorite spot on the couch!

—Sam Bock, Managing Editor




These are my two goofballs, Mabel (gray) and Dipper (black), in a rare moment of calm.

—Lee Bishop, Koch Fellow at History Colorado




Hello, my name is Meemoo. I'm a very grumpy boy who loves sleeping all day, playing with water in the bathtub, and cuddling with my mom (but I don't like to admit it). Don't let my fluff fool you, I do not want to be petted!

—Kendall Goduto, Retail and Guest Services Associate

The Winstons


This scruffy man is Winston! He loves to play tug-o-war and meet new furry friends. He is very opinionated and likes to file all his complaints with his mom. He is goofy and a great cuddler but is all business when it comes to verbal battles with his sworn enemies: squirrels.

—Amanda Vestal, Associate Collections Manager



This is also Winston! Fun fact: Even though Winston is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, he has a full fluffy tail!

—Keith Valdez, Guest Services Manager




Fur-eedom Fighters


Our dog, Laika, loves going on hikes with us and is the best X-Wing pilot in the galaxy. Our two cats, Droopy McCool (left) and Tobias Beckett (right) are really great assistants when I am working from home. Yes, the cats both have Star Wars names—if you can't tell, we're big fans over here.

—Cody Robinson, Collections Access Coordinator


Paws for Self-Care


Our little fur babies help us share love, and heal. This is Mia—my pet name for her is Mia von Meow Meows. (I get a little chuckle every time I say it.)

—Yadira Solis, Director of Museum of Memory





Cuddling with Masie, Baker, (the two Corgis), and Lady is my typical after-work activity! 

—Susan Fries, Director for the Center for Colorado Women's History & Deputy Community Museum Officer




Say hello to Joey the Dachshund. He had recently had surgery and kept chewing the bandage. Finally the vet left him a personal note written on the bandage and provided the collar of shame!

—Debbie Johnson, State Historical Fund Grant System Manager



Shade is a ten-year-old Australian Shepherd who endears himself to everyone he meets with his freckled front legs, one tipped ear, and sunny disposition. 

Skylar is a three-year-old Charcoal Labrador who has big Lab energy, which means I can only get pics during naps and that she's claimed my favorite Pendleton blanket as her own without the slightest bit of remorse. 

—Patrick Eidman, Chief Preservation Officer & Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer








The Work is Never Done


Naya Flewelling-Watts helps answer inquiries on local government historic preservation programs.

—Lindsey Flewelling, Preservation Planner & Certified Local Government (CLG) Coordinator




This is Ozzy. When he’s not sleeping like he's laying in a casket, he spies on the neighbors like he's in an old noir movie.

—Devin Flores, Digital Content Coordinator




We got Olaf Inkybottom last year and he has been such a great addition to our family. Here he is helping Eleanor and Henry with their homework.

—Emily Dobish, Director of Volunteer Engagement



Opposites Attract (Sort of)



My calico cat is 11 years old and her name is Cat. She spends her days being annoyed by Bowie, my black lab who is seven this year. 

—Karen Antonacci, Grants Manager








Ellie, Ralphie, Bernie, Helga, and Luna, taking their chicken duties pretty seriously.


On the other hand, Ollie and Molliver (a.k.a. Molly) look suitably comfortable. 

—Dan Mooney, Major Gift Director










Nox, pictured here at the Fort Garland Museum, is a 12-year-old Black Lab/Blue Heeler mix. She enjoys smelling drainage pipes, tearing apart Chewy boxes, rolling in snow to cool off, and trying to eat owl pellets. Born in Shiprock, New Mexico, Nox came to us from a rescue in Dolores when we were still living down in Cortez. 


Ophelia is a 14-year-old cornsnake. She enjoys climbing around her tank and digging tunnels into her aspen substrate, and posed for this portrait in my backyard. 

—Josie Chang-Order, School Programs Manager





Cuddles for Days


Griffin (left) and Pippa (right), who must have the softest fur ever!

—Rebecca Chickadel, School Programs Coordinator





Midge is a chinchilla. She's very sweet and a bit sassy. She enjoys listening to music and watching Marvel movies. Her favorite treats include twigs, mint stems, or plain oats. She turns three in May!

—Shanea Ewing, Membership Manager



Charlie Brown is nine years old and he was born in the season of Taurus. He loves soft-gentle pets, and doesn't much like being rough-housed even though he's part Pitbull. He barks like a Pit, but cuddles up like a Chihuahua. He's the sweetest boy.

—Jenny Chu, Public Programs Manager




There’s Always Time for Fun


Here's my dog Koda taking advantage of Colorado's winter weather. This year was exceptionally snowy, but it did not get in his way of playing frisbee!

—Kelly Williams, Managing Director, History Colorado Center




One day—I hope soon—I'd love to adopt a dog. In the meantime when possible, I'm a weekend foster for dogs who are training to be service dogs. This amazing fella, Oliver, was one of my favorites and showed exceptional patience with my silliness celebrating the holidays.  

—Julia Mayben, Special Events Manager



Sasha is my adopted Step-dog-daughter (and only a few personal articles have been eaten in rebellion of her dad's then-girlfriend-now-fiancée). Her world's gotten much bigger since I moved in and started taking her on cabin trips like the one pictured! Sasha is a pack animal and always loves meeting new friends wherever she goes!

—Rachelle Hubbell, Membership and Events Coordinator


Meet Rosie, my 110-pound shadow! She’s an Alsatian-Belgian Malinois blend of intellect and chill, a keen leaner (she’d say that’s a hug), and my best source for big helicopter wags and zoomies upon my arrival home from work (friendly tip: don’t get in the way). 

—Lori Bailey, Managing Editor of the Weekly Digest