Midtown Residents Gush about Their Furry Friends

Many offices boast modern amenities, chill hangouts or even a hot lunch spot down the block. At Keller Knapp Realty, the appeal is with the pets. 

Scientific studies have shown the benefits of dogs in the workplace. Pets contribute to stress reduction as well as employee teamwork and satisfaction. A groggy good morning turns into a bright greeting in the presence of a furry friend. Think they are a distraction? Studies have also shown that employees who can bring their pets to work are also more productive because they feel more supported and have an easier time bonding with their team members. 

Ashley Derrick

While Ashley Derrick is known for her sincere and candid advice in real estate, she’s is also an animal advocate. When she’s not showing homes, Ashley supports LifeLine Animal Project, an organization that manages the Fulton and DeKalb animal shelters. Along with her partner, attorney Alison Grounds, the animal lovers have personally rescued, fostered and found homes for about 90 dogs over the years.

How did you come up with your pet’s name? Does it have any specific significance? 

We have three dogs: Moby was named after Moby Dick for the big whale marking on his back. Little Girl was our baby, but now she’s 13. Roux is our creamy brown pup. 

How and when did you get your pets?

We call our dogs ‘Atlanta street specials.’ They were all rescued off the streets on Atlanta. We believe there are many dogs in need at local shelters.

Where is your favorite place to take your dogs?

They go with me to work, we take walks, and they enjoy hiking at Sweetwater Park or Stone Mountain. 

What is the funniest memory involving your pets?

Too many!

Have you ever taught your pets any tricks?

They can sit and sleep really well.

Tom Trimble 

First and foremost, Tom Trimble is proud to say he’s his dogs’ dad. Second, he’s a real estate enthusiast who loves selling homes and connecting buyers to their ideal house with his extensive background in real estate appraising, loan origination and sales. Tom has found that while he connects well with his clients, it’s his pup Lil Bit who turns on the charm.

How did you come up with your pet’s name? Does it have any specific significance? 

His name accidentally became Lil Bit. All of our other dogs have human names: Bob, Eric, Jefferson and Diego. However, after we found Lil Bit on the side of I-20, we were certain we would be able to find him a forever home and simply referred to him as “Lil Bit” as a temporary name. Then, we fell in love with the little guy, and by then, he thought his name really was Lil Bit. Clearly, we are foster failures! 

How did you get your pet?

 We found him on the side of Interstate 20 between two towns in Alabama. We opened the car door, and he jumped in. It has been an adventure ever since! 

Where is your favorite place to go together?

 He really loves meeting new people, so we enjoy walking in Piedmont Park. He completely ignores me on walks. I don’t think I’m cool enough for him. 

What is the funniest memory involving your pet?

I love watching him work a room. He’ll turn the charm on until he finds someone who falls in love with him and then look at me as if he were saying, “At least one of us still has game, Dad.”

Have you ever thought your pet any tricks?

No. He doesn’t understand that he’s a dog, so doing tricks for my amusement isn’t even on his radar. 

Rhea Posey

This August, the BronzeLens Film Festival will light up Atlanta with stories of people of color. As social media manager, Rhea Posey promotes the collective of film and television, while creating buzz about the screenings in multiple venues in a creative way. Her Instagram account builds anticipation for the event, while sometimes including a snapshot or two of her two cats.

How did you come up with your pets’ names? Do they have any specific significance?

I have two cats: one is a pure black cat with big gold eyes so I named him Pan, short for Panthers. Unfortunately, people hear the name and automatically think of Peter Pan. My second cat has a brownish tint with white fur, which reminded me of my favorite latte, chai. 

How and when did you get your pets? 

I’ve always been an animal lover, fostering all types of animals growing up, from frogs to dogs—you name it! Around this time last year, I was in desperate need of fur baby love. I visited Best Friends pet rescue in Atlanta to find my new best friend. I visited several times, but on the third visit, there was a cat by the door reaching out to me. It just melted my heart, and I couldn’t leave without her!

When I went to officially adopt Chai, I brought my niece with me. She fell in love with Pan, and so did I! So Pan joined the family at the same time as Chai, and I’ve had them both for a year.

Do you go outdoors? If yes, where is your favorite place to go together? 

No, my cats are indoor fur babies. 

What is the funniest memory involving your pets? 

Both of my cats are full of personality! When I return home, my cats run in a circle around the house for a good five minutes to welcome me back.

Have you ever taught your pets any tricks?

Yes, my cats are treat-motivated, so I was able to teach them to come and stay…sometimes.

Amichi Bertrand 

1.      How did you come up with your pet’s name? Does it have any specific significance?

His original owner named him Papi. He definitely had the color and spunk to match. I tried a list of Spanish and Latin names, yet none of them fit. My roommate called him Benny from the Bronx and that was it! He responded to it on the first day. 

2.      How and when did you get your pet?

He became somewhat of a rescue when my cousin’s girlfriend couldn’t afford to keep him. I was supposed to receive a portion of the sale when they found a new owner, but I’m glad that never happened. 

3.      Do you go outdoors? If yes, where is your favorite place to go together?

Favorite place is the dog park next to freedom parkway off of Highland Ave. 

4.      What is the funniest memory involving your pet?

Benny lived in an apartment for his first few months until we moved into our home. On the first day Benny got to play in the backyard, he found a toy bone I left for him and started running for joy, in circles, around the yard. He must have made six big laps! 

5.      Have you ever taught your pet any tricks? If so, what?

Not only does Benny know “wait”, but he knows “chill”, and “drop it” as well as “gimme”.