Pets of VUMC

August 16, 2023

Pets of VUMC 2023 — Collection #1: Pets and their people, part 1

Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call

Thoracic Surgery

Erin Collar, Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center. “My rescue toy poodle, Perkins (5 years), and my son, Teddy (7 months). Both brothers enjoy bananas, toys that squeak, and taking naps on Mom.”

This is the first installment of photographs submitted by VUMC employees to the 2023 VUMC Voice Pet Photo Contest. Hundreds of pictures were submitted for the contest, and while we won’t be able to use all, or even most, of the pictures we received, we hope to showcase a good sample of the best of the beasts.

Remember, the top prize offered in the contest is a photo of your pet in VUMC Voice.

If you missed sending in an entry this year, and your pet is peeved about it, please reassure him or her that there will be a future VUMC Voice Pet Photo Contest, but explain that the deadline for entries for this year has passed, and no more pictures will be accepted. We hope your pet understands.

Watch for the next installment of VUMC Voice‘s Pets of VUMC 2023 — coming soon.

To see Pets and Their People. Part 2, click here.

Janet Lemonis, Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Mini Horses Oreo & Wyndi. Oreo is a blue roan mini horse and Wyndi is a dark bay mini horse. “I think my two girls are special because they are miniature therapy horses that work with the low vision / special needs communities. Oreo has a special impact as she is also visually impaired, and Wyndi is her “seeing eye” buddy!”

Brianna Brown, Thoracic Surgery. “I got Cowboy after living in Nashville for a few years — the name seemed fitting. He likes to come hiking and camping with me.”  
Mike Clements, LifeFlight Ground Transport. “Lilly is a faithful companion who was picked up on the side of the road as a small puppy. For the last seven plus years, she has enjoyed traveling all over the country and experiencing all sorts of outdoor activities. She has never met a squirrel that she didn’t want to harass.”

Lucinda Bachman, Ophthalmology.“Mia is a 1-year-old Labradoodle. She LOVES to fetch and swim, but she will not bark on command — even with our whole family around barking like crazy!”
Jane Aguto, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “Buddy and my son Daniel.”
Lei Fan, Epidemiology. “Chidouladou was adopted from Puurrrfect Paws Rescue after she gave birth to 12 kittens all at once. Her favorite things are napping on my cozy armchair and engaging in playful adventures with her beloved companion, Emma.”

Amy Yingling, Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention.“My daughter Morgan, buckskin horse “Fishy” (left), and red roan horse Dually (right).”
Jaime Gill-Drinnen, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. With Pierre Rabbit.

Kate Carson, GI Medicine Research. “Three is an opossum that was part of a litter that my dog found last spring. He brought three babies home unhurt over the course of a month, and Three was the last one he found (the first two were Thing 1 and Thing 2). I was able to place the first two in wildlife rehabs, but when Three showed up, everywhere was full. While not strictly a “pet”, I raised him for 8 weeks in my bathroom.”
Nicole Tan, 9 North Surgical Stepdown. “Harley is a 3-year-old English mastiff. She is a 175-pound lap dog, She loves watermelon and to chase her big ball, and judges you with her side eyes.”

Timothy Jacobs, Vanderbilt Imaging Services. “Roo the American mastiff / Anatolian shepherd mix with my daughter, Lennox.”

Jamie Amos, LifeFlight. “This is my granddaughter Lydia Mathews, age 5, with her pony, Roscoe, age 8. Lydia and Roscoe love to do videos showing how to groom and take care of your pony. Roscoe eats this up because he gets lots of treats while Lydia is grooming and videoing him. They are a great team.”
Catherine Conway, Psychiatry. “Rupert is a 6-year-old pug and food connoisseur. When he’s not helping in the kitchen, he enjoys spending his free time barking at the TV.”

Lisa Smithson, Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine. “Lexie loves reading to her boys, guinea pigs Frosty & Rudolph.”

Mike Moorman, Vanderbilt Children’s Specialty Outpatient Clinic – Jackson, Tennessee. “Goose is half great Pyrenees and half golden retriever and is 1 year old. He is very sweet, cuddly, playful and LOVES to play. He has been an amazing addition for me and my kids.”

Amy Cadoret, Center for Women’s Health. “My daughter Maria Bustos with Rico Suave, a 6-year-old, 135 lb, Boerboel (South African) mastiff. He enjoys long walks, belly rubs, and playing keep away with balloons (although he frequently pops them).”

Sophie Wilk, Perioperative Education. “That’s me with Josie, a 7-year-old Dudley Labrador. She is truly a miracle pup. She was diagnosed a year ago with Stage 4 kidney failure and they gave her months to weeks to live. To everyone’s surprise, she has lived happily for a whole year! I wanted to submit her for the pet contest because we don’t have much longer with her due to her illness and this is a way I can honor her and the love she showed me and my family throughout these past years with her. She was with my sister during her recovery from brain surgery, she was my go-to pup when I needed to decompress after a hard day in the OR, and we are forever thankful to get to be her family for these past few years.”

Ciara Harmon, Transitional Care Unit, VUH. “This is my puppy Capone. In this picture he is 12 weeks old. He loves to cuddle and play while having the ‘zoomies.’ I took him in to show him all the love and care he needs while having him show me love as well. He is who I lean on when I’m feeling down.”


Amy Boegel, Geriatric Psychiatry. “When the wood bees took out our back porch, I discovered it makes a great treat dispensing door. Now the horses walk right up to this kitchen door and wait for me to give them treats. I call it my drive through window. I will never rebuild the back kitchen porch; this is so much better. This is me with Dakota.”

Stacy Petroski, Section of Surgical Sciences. “This is Piper (dog), Stacy Petroski (myself), and Cole Reynolds (my fiancé). Piper is a 2-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi with lots of energy, personality, and sass!”
Casey Wilson, Peds Hematology/Oncology/Stem cell transplant. “My daughter Sydney with Faith. Faith is a 4-year-old Jack-hua-hua (Jack Russell and Chihuahua mix). She loves to sleep under the covers and sunbathe in the hottest sun. She loves ‘her people.'”

Michaela H Redding, Blood Bank. “Dolly the calf’s favorite treat is bananas.”
Shari Barto, Pediatric Oncology.  “My puppy Poppy is a 1-year-old Malshi – a Maltese, shih tzu mix. This is my husband Rob with Poppy – they are my favorite subjects! She is the sweetest,  funniest little thing ever. We are always laughing at her silly antics. When she hears the garage door open she goes crazy and runs to me to pick her up so we can go to the garage and greet her Dad—Rob.”