Zen Media’s Furry Friends



Working from home, as we do here at Zen Media, has a lot of great perks. But one of the very best is the fact that we get to spend every day with our furry friends at our side! We're a bunch of animal lovers at MZ, and so today we thought we'd show off our pets. Click To Tweet After all, they help us get our work done each day – they deserve a little fame! So without further ado, we’d like to introduce just a few of MZ’s furry team members.

Here’s what Matthew Cowling, our VP of Video Production, had to say about his three pets Sebastian, Anastasia, and Rupert.

“Rupert is a 9-month-old guinea pig. He lives in what we call the “guinea mansion,” which is a 2-story home I built for him with ramps and cubbies to play in. He loves to run around the house – I have made him a “free guinea” and let him roam around my house whenever I’m home. He eats most anything, but has a main diet of hay.

Sometimes I feel like a farmer because I have a zoo at my house. When guinea pigs are happy they squeak really loudly, as well as do what’s dubbed “popcorning,” which is where he jumps into the air with a burst of energy and joy. It’s literally uncontrollable, kinda like the fainting goats. He is also a “shoulder guinea” and will cuddle with me and my girlfriend on the couch.

Sebastian is a 5-year-old, long-haired cat. He loves to go outside and is usually meowing at the door for me to let him out. He has a very girly meow; it’s precious. He also LOVES to lay on paper bags, plastic bags, or inside boxes. He’s super affectionate, except when he is bopping the guinea pig on the head. He also loves the fireplace and is good at watching things. Fun fact, Sebastian used to be a girl….well kinda….my mom used to own him and she wrongfully assumed he was a girl, so for the first couple years of his life he was named Gwenevieve. 

Anastasia is also a 5-year-old, long-haired cat – and she’s Sebastian’s sister! She is found in my lap 90% of the time. Anytime I sit down she runs up and jumps in my lap and will just chill there until I have to get up. She’s really into playing with toys and can jump really high. She also talks a lot and will meow back to you when you talk to her, back and forth talking for a while – it’s really funny.

 If any of my animals had my job? They would sit on, rub up against, or simply eat the camera!”

And now please meet Miss Kitty, our Social Media Strategist Laura Odom’s cat. Laura told us all about her:

“Miss Kitty is a Siamese cat whose favorite game is Fetch the Hair Tie! She belonged to my aunt and uncle as a kitten. They gave her to my grandmother, who was diagnosed with dementia not too long after getting the cat. When we put my grandma in an assisted living home, Miss Kitty was passed along to my brother, who already had a cat and a dog. She didn’t enjoy living with other animals – she misbehaved, tore up the furniture, bit anyone who tried to touch her, and stayed in hiding for most of the day. She fought with the other animals too.

Finally, a few months after I moved out of my parents’ house, my dad asked if I wanted her– a last-chance effort, he says, before surrendering her to a shelter because no one could tolerate her behavior. I wasn’t going to let that happen so I happily took her in. She is totally different than she used to be, and is now a lap kitty. She enjoys that it’s just me and her, with no other animals or humans around. She still bites but only rarely, unless other people are around, then she gets nervous. She has a lot of anxiety, especially when I leave to travel for a couple of days, but for the most part she is a very sweet cat and is content living with me. She loves playing fetch with hair ties, but she also enjoys boxing matches with my hair. I don’t question her quirks anymore.

If Miss Kitty was a social media strategist she’d be the sassiest one on the block! I imagine she would be a perfectionist. The job would be perfect for her though, because she’s scared of everything and leaving the house to go to a jobsite would terrify her. She would enjoy staying at home and still beng able to make a living.”

Bobbi Phelps, our Outreach/SEO Intern, has two dogs: Luna and Tootsie. Here’s what she had to say about them:

“Tootsie and Luna are both Golden Retrievers, but have completely different personalities. Luna is 1 year old, and Tootsie is 6 years old. We frequently take them to the beach in the off season, and Tootsie will shy away from anyone she doesn’t know, while Luna chases toddlers and plays volleyball with anyone she can find.

Luna’s the definition of a crazy puppy, but I don’t think she’ll be any different 7 years from now! Their favorite game to play is “fetch,” and by fetch I mean Luna sprints for the ball and then runs up the driveway and body checks Tootsie.

If Tootsie and Luna had my job as an Outreach/SEO Intern, they wouldn’t get a single thing done! Tootsie would be an outstanding intern if she was alone but with Luna she would constantly be bothered and distracted. They sure would be entertaining to be around though!”

Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg, our VP of Content Marketing, actually lives on a hobby farm, so she had plenty of pets to choose from! She decided to share a few of her favorites with us here:

“We’ve got a small herd of miniature dairy goats, a family of miniature pigs, a couple of horses, a flock of bantam chickens, a few adorable spaniels and the sweetest barn cat you’ve ever met. Pretty much every single one of our animals has some strange quirk – we never plan it that way, but it seems like we never get the normal animals…


We have a mare named Max (after the horse in Tangled), and a male goat named Sam, for example, who have a little star-crossed interspecies romance going on – Sam is absolutely, head-over-heels in love with Max, and follows her everywhere. Max, on the other hand, can’t stand Sam, and gets so annoyed by his advances that she’s always kicking at him or running away. It’s so adorable and sad – I’ll look outside sometimes and see Sam up on his hind legs, trying to lift his little face to nuzzle against Max’s face…and she just trots away. Poor guy.


Then there’s Mr. Pig, the proud patriarch of our pig family. He’s a pot-bellied pig, but his wife, Susie, is half pot-bellied pig and half wild boar (don’t ask). She’s a little more stand-offish, but Mr. Pig is like a big puppy – he’ll come lumbering over to us, grunting loudly, tusks showing from under his lips, looking for all the world like some mean, dangerous critter from the woods…but if you start scratching him, he’ll plop right over onto his side and lie there in ecstasy while you pet him. Just a big baby! Here’s one member of his little family –

But the one I’d choose to take my place as VP of Content Marketing would be Buttercup, my tiny little dairy goat. You can tell from her gentle demeanor, and the way she just stops and stares off into the distance sometimes, that she’s a dreamer, and I just know she’d come up with some great content. She’d probably have an issue getting her hooves to work on the keyboard, though…”

Laura O’Donnell, our Outreach Supervisor, has a pitbull named Terrance. Here’s what she had to say about him:

Terrance loves to wrestle! He loves going for walks and running, tummy rubs, eating any kind of table food he can get his *paws* on, chewing and playing with sticks, cuddling, and meeting new people and dogs!

What would Terrance be like as an Outreach Supervisor? He wouldn’t be the best at it!

He gets distracted very easily so he wouldn’t be able to keep focused. But he would love getting to meet new people since he’s very social!”

And of course, we can’t forget Shama Hyder, our CEO’s, two dogs, Snoopy and Teddy. Shama shared this with us:

“Snoopy and Teddy are both Maltipoos. Snoopy is a very introverted puppy, and enjoys treats of chicken – and anything PB&J flavored! He loves home cooking, especially Indian food, and likes a nice evening on the couch, gnawing on some chicken jerky.

Teddy is much more rambunctious, and loves chasing toys…and ruining toys by chewing on them…and ruining my favorite pants by chewing on the hem…there’s a lot of chewing going on around here! He loves waking me up in the morning with puppy kisses, too! They’re both bilingual – they understand English and Hindi fluently.

If they were in charge of Zen Media, the company would be in a much ruffer state! There’d be biscuits for all, a lot more naptimes, and we’d never get any mail delivered due to their penchant for chasing the mailman.”

So how about you? Do you have a furry partner in crime? If so, we’d love to meet him or her!! Share pics of your pets with us on our Facebook page – and while you’re at it, tell us what they’d be like if they had your job! We can’t wait to see what our furry Facebook followers look like!


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