Startup life is ruff: meet the pups of Silicon Beach

Written by John Siegel
Published on Oct. 28, 2016
Startup life is ruff: meet the pups of Silicon Beach

While they might not make optimal tech employees, what with their napping habits, barking to get attention and their lack of thumbs, humans are quickly realizing the benefits of having dogs around the office. Here are eight LA-based tech companies who are quite proud of their pups.


Name(s): Barkley (Golden Retriever), Chewbacca (unclear)

Instagram: @chewieandbarkley

Best friend: Barkley's best friends are anyone eating lunch or snacks. Chewbacca's best friend is Barkley. 

Favorite activities: Barkley's favorite office activity is begging for scraps, while Chewbacca's favorite activity is finding the best spot to sleep (generally on piles of t-shirts or Barkley's rear end).  

Favorite toys: Barkley's favorite toy is a tennis ball, while Chewbacca prefers whatever makes the most annoying noise.

Owner quote(s): "Barkley: Never has a dog existed that cared so little about what you thought of him. Chewbacca: You know he's some kind of animal  a rabbit, a cat, a stuffed animal  the one thing you know for sure is he can't be a real dog." — Will Carter, co-founder.

Letter of recommendation: "Barkley is in charge of snack orders and postal deliveries. Chewbacca is more like an intern; he tries really hard, and that's mostly what's important." — Greg Cohn, CEO and co-founder.


Name: Autzen

Title: Chief Beauty Officer.

Best friend: Autzen’s best friend is Parker, another dog in the office. When she’s not playing with Parker, she loves to attend any and all meetings.

Owner quote: “Because I didn’t have any dogs of my own, my DogVacay coworkers would ping me constantly about dogs up for adoption, but I just couldn’t commit. A year into it, a team member messaged me about an 11-month-old Husky mix that needed a forever home. I called right away and two days later I was driving to meet her. I started to get cold feet and was thinking it may not be the best time to get a dog, since I just moved and I’m young. But as soon as I met her, she jumped up and gave me the biggest kiss. I knew it was a match made in heaven.” — Beau Becker, Senior Manager, Customer Care.


Name: Brandy

Title:  Director of Ambassadors

Best friend: Most human beings and a fiery little Shiba puppy named Rhea.

Favorite activity: Napping or scoping out the office trash cans for food scraps. Seriously, she's a ninja and has learned how to open the pop-up trash cans with her paw.

Favorite toy: She's not big on toys, but she has been known to swoop in and steal other dogs' treats.

Owner quote: “I always say Brandy is the best thing that ever happened to me. It's cheesy, I know, but so completely true. The way she came to be mine was a happy accident, her previous owner was looking for a new home for her at the same time that I was eager to have a dog of my own. Over the past four years, she has taught me so much about love, joy and responsibility. Her enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious and she inspires me to approach every day with new eyes and a positive outlook!” — Caitlyn Wright, Trust & Safety Specialist

Letter of recommendation: “Brandy is definitely our Director of Ambassadors. She's very good at greeting newcomers to the office with plenty of tail wagging and slobbery kisses!” Stephanie Redmon, VP of Product.


Name: Havee Bear

Best Friend: Anyone willing to give him a rub down.

Favorite Activity: Massages

Favorite Toy: Rope bone toy (origins: unknown)

Owner quote: "He’s a ladies man and knows when to turn on the charm to get what he wants, which can be kind of a risk when it comes to HR." — Beth Newbauer, Social Media Manager

Letter of recommendation: "I've always wanted to work in a dog-friendly office. Having pups running around makes any workplace a bit sunnier. It's great for reducing stress and bringing warmth to an office — and nothing beats a puppy break. Walking into an office full of beautiful flowers and happy dogs every day makes for a really happy place to work every day.” — John Tabis, CEO and Co-Founder


Name: Cash

Best friend: Brianna Sweet, Chief of Staff.

Favorite activity: "Closing deals" for CEO Rob Emrich.

Favorite toy: A black Tesla, which he loves to ride around in.

Owner quote: "No one liked my business idea. Until I took it to Cash. He believed in me; he told me I could do it. I owe everything to him." — Rob Emrich, CEO. 

Letter of Recommendation: “Cash’s enthusiasm for the startup world is contagious. He truly inspires us all to be better. He has never complained nor shown any negative body language — and he is the only member of our team who literally bursts into the office, every day." — Matt Russo, COO.


Name: MacGruber Stone 

Official Title: Chief Leftover Officer

Best friend: MacGruber is not interested in humans unless they have food.

Favorite activity: Dumpster diving for leftovers.

Favorite toy: There are no toys, only food.

Owner quote: "I've had MacGruber since before my first child, and I think he's still coming to terms with it." — Mike Stone, Chief Relationship Officer.

Letter of recommendation : "MacGruber was one of the first dogs to start coming into the office. Since his first day, MacGruber has made it his mission to ensure no leftover goes uneaten. And by leftovers, I mean the scraps and dirty napkin you intentionally threw away." — Anne Brady, Senior Marketing Manager.

Name: Brody

Title: Digital Marketing Master

Favorite activities: Brody enjoys walking into work every morning to belly rubs from his co-workers. He loves to cuddle with anyone willing to pick him up or pet him.

Best friend: If you’re ever looking for Brody around the office, you can usually find him with his best friend Taylor Sansbury in Marketing, as he will happily rest in her arms all day long.

Fun fact: Brody, at only 5 years old, is also known as the slowest dog in the office. No matter how excited he gets, he still walks at a snail's pace, and always against a wall. Brody can also only turn to his left.

Favorite toy: Any treat you are willing to give him. 

Letter of Recommendation: “Brody is our favorite Instagram model.” — Anne Brady, Senior Marketing Manager.


Name: Maddie

Title: Chief Happiness Officer

Best Friend: Any one that can play catch.

Favorite activity: Running back and forth as fast as she can.

Favorite Toy: Her favorite toy is every office dog's stuffed toy. 

Owner quote: "Her sole purpose in life is to make every person she meets smile." — Gaby Soto, Email Marketing Specialist.


Name: Mufasa

Best friend: Cheese

Favorite toy: Cheese

Fun fact: Over Mufasa's last 6 months at Procore, he has developed a pretty hefty string cheese addiction. Once the cheese is gone he is back asleep where he spends approximately 98 percent of his day on his side in the middle of the sales floor.

Owner quote: "I don't really like to say I am Mufasa's 'owner.' Mufasa is more independent and mature than I am. I just happen to have opposable thumbs for opening doors and cheese packets. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have gotten to grow up with Mufasa who is now 9 years old. I consider him a brother and my best friend and feel blessed to be able to spend my days at work with my hairy buddy." — Al Lyon, account executive.

Letter of recommendation: "Mufasa is the glove, and we are the hand. You can’t have one without the other. Sure he sleeps about 23 hours a day, but the 1 hour of Mufasa interaction is enough to inspire and drive the team towards continued success and growth. Since he joined our team, sales are up over 150%. He carries the team on his back. Literally. He is that big. I would like nothing more than to have five other 250-pound lion-bear-dogs littering the sales floor sleeping all day and eating out of our trash cans." — Jeff Horn, Senior Director of Sales.


Name: Ava

Instagram: @Its_an_avabear

Title: Chief Sunbather

Best friend: Ava's best friend in the office is Jake, the human.

Favorite toy: Her favorite toy is her rope nunchuck, which she swings around slapping everyone in the legs.

Favorite activity: She's also obsessed with sunbathing and chasing squirrels when she's not dreaming about running.

Fun fact: Ava actually belongs to Rebecca Lew's roommate.

"Owner" quote: "Ava's theme song is 'Hello' by Adele and we always catch her staring at herself in the mirror, probably thinking, 'wow, my fur is so glossy and beautiful,' which it is! She's definitely a princess but the sweetest pup you'll ever meet! She'll find any way possible to be close to you and sit on your lap." — Rebecca Lew, senior account executive.

Letter of recommendation: "Ava is Chief Sunbather here at Moxie PR where she's in charge of finding the perfect sliver of sunlight to lay in all day. Her spare time is spent trying to find a way to walk through the glass wall of our conference room and voicing her concerns towards any suspicious deliveries." — Corinna Pieloch, executive vice president.

Name: Lexi, Jake Tredo's dog 

Title: Resident mischief expert

Best friend: Jenny Chao 

Favorite activity: Swimming and burrowing herself between pillows for her daily naps.

Favorite toy: Lexi is quite particular about her tiny squeaking squirrel.

Owner quote: "I've never owned a dog quite as interesting as Lexi. She'll entertain herself for hours by running in circles but more than anything else, she's a little nugget of love who's just searching for some cuddle time, and snacks. She's always on the lookout for snacks!" — Jake Tredo, Account Coordinator.

Letter of recommendation: "Lexi is Moxie's resident mischief expert and will never fail to put a big smile on your face. Her energy is so infectious it'll leave you wondering if she chugs five cups of coffee every morning. She'll even help out with client photo shoots!" — Jenny Chao, Senior Account Executive.


Name: The Kitty

Title: Chief Problem Officer

Favorite activity: Attacking John Siegel, purring, knocking things over.

Favorite toy: The kitty's "floof" (a rolled up scrunchy)

Fun fact: The Kitty's original name was deemed unworthy almost as soon as she came home. The name has been stricken from all records, and her name is now officially "The Kitty."

"Owner's" quote "The Kitty is the definition of a bad coworker. She constantly attacks me, knocks my pens off the desk and does hot laps around the office, and yet she still gets away with (most) everything because of the adorable, confused look on her face." — John Siegel, Staff Writer.

Letter of recommendation: "Do not hire this cat. She's no good."  — John Siegel, Staff Writer.


Images via participating companies.

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