The Pets of Aha! — Meet 19 More of Our Team's Furry Coworkers
We have the best team in the world. I know everyone thinks their team is the best — but I genuinely believe it is true. Leading the People Success and operations teams at Aha!, I am fortunate to get to know each member of our distributed company. Although we are located across eight countries and nearly 90 cities, we are the most close-knit group I have ever had the pleasure to work with. This is why I love taking any opportunity I can to celebrate what makes us unique.
And there is another group of Aha! team members worthy of celebrating — our pets.
We have trotted out some of our cute coworkers in the past. You might remember Winston (a basset hound in Johannesburg, South Africa) and Henry (a black-and-white rescue cat in Park City, Utah, USA). But our team has grown significantly since then. We are now 110 strong and still actively hiring. And while we love our "Why I Joined Aha!" blog posts, it has been a while since we introduced our animal coworkers.
Some people may think of office pets as distractions. After all, a barking dog or mischievous kitten is the last thing you need when you are working against a deadline or presenting in a virtual meeting. It is especially challenging if you are one of the many people working from home with a full household — partners, kids, and pets all under one roof can make for a boisterous work environment.
But pets can make us better teammates too. They force regular exercise breaks, remind us to be playful, and minimize loneliness. Besides improving focus and productivity, animals also boost our well-being. Studies have shown that spending just 10 minutes petting a cat or dog significantly reduces cortisol, a stress hormone.
Pets brighten our days and enrich our lives — they bring us joy and we love sharing that joy with each other.
Sustainable happiness comes from making a meaningful impact and being appreciated for what you do. Although our pets are not interacting with customers or writing code, they do play an important role. So I am excited to introduce a few more of the lovable pets on our team:
"This mixed Persian-Ragdoll kitten is new to our home, so she is constantly exploring her surroundings. It is fun to watch her learn new things and she reminds me to stay curious, just like she is. I always wondered what my pets did when I worked in an office nine hours a day — now I know!" — Ashley Thompson, People Success & Operations
"Cuddling Ozzy any time I want during my work day is the best. He is a miniature Australian shepherd who loves routine, so he helps me structure my day. I crank up my productivity during his nap times, then I take breaks to play or go on a walk with him. Having Ozzy as a coworker is truly a joy." — Nataliya Palmen, Finance
Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, Crispy, Jeff, The Archbishop, Peggy, Princess Leia, and Balrick
"I never thought I would own this many poultry! Taking a quick stroll in my garden is a great mental break. The chickens and ducks greet me and we chat while I walk around. The best part of working remotely with these birds is having fresh eggs for lunch whenever I want." — Tom Bailey, Customer Success
"Bodhi is a super mutt rescue pup (part border collie, chow chow, Australian shepherd, Siberian husky, and golden retriever). He gets me outside for breaks morning, noon, and night — otherwise I face his reproachful gaze! Walks with Bodhi have replaced my former commute, and his goofy expressions and enthusiasm for life bring a lot of levity to my days." — Rose Thompson, Marketing
"Being outside makes me happy. My black labrador is always reminding me to take a break and spend some time in nature. We play and snuggle at lunch and go for walks and hikes after my work day ends. Pancho is the perfect office buddy." — Bill Chaney, Engineering
"When I am not in a meeting or heads down in a task, I can look up from my desk and see Tuwa napping or playing. It instantly makes my work day brighter. It is a gift to be able to spend so much time with her throughout the day." — Chrissi Bernardo, Customer Success
Maizey and Bella
"Maizey is a goldendoodle and Bella is a tabby cat. They are both great companions in their own ways. Maizey encourages me to get outside for fresh air throughout the day, and Bella inspires me to be super productive since she is almost always sleeping. We are fortunate to build a strong bond and they have a built-in friend all day. A win-win for everyone involved." — Lauren Davaloz, People Success & Operations
“Ralphie is mostly a goldendoodle, but we were surprised to learn that she also has some pointer, German shepherd, and Pembroke Welsh corgi mixed in. She’s a great companion during the day and always manages to rouse me around lunchtime for a walk outside and some fresh air.” — Zach Schneider, Engineering
"Abby is 13, so about 74 in dog years. My family and I joke that she is living her best retirement life. I am always here to let her outside when she wants and give her all the treats her heart desires. Abby never has to be alone, and I would not have it any other way!" — Jennifer Bloom, Customer Success
"My mini Australian shepherd is the perfect level of needy. She is happy to say hello or let me pet her for a few seconds before we each get on with our days. These little interactions are ideal, especially when I am working on a challenging project or preparing for a product team meeting. Sydney always calms me down and helps me reset." — Austin Merritt, Product Management
"This rescue dog makes me laugh and smile every day. I love having the flexibility to play with her for a few minutes, especially when I am working on something particularly challenging. Being around her is calming and helps me stay focused." — Micaela Wright, Marketing
These are our constant companions — curled up next to us as we write code, support customers, and share our product management expertise.
These represent only a fraction of the new pets that we have welcomed over the last few years. There are plenty more for a follow-up post soon if you are interested in seeing the rest of the crew. And our team connects in other ways too. There are gardening groups and foodies, as well as lots of shared stories about kids and babies.
Prioritizing the happiness of our team is integral to our company's success. Because joy is contagious. When you love what you do and feel a deep sense of fulfillment, it is obvious to everyone around you — pups and kittens included.
How does your pet bring you joy?
Our team is happy, productive, and hiring — join us!