Conventional wisdom states that one does not pick up the nicest habits hanging around a track. However, having spent his youth racing, Rocket, the pet of Jéanne Rauch-Zender, editor in chief of State Tax Notes, nonetheless grew into quite the gentleman. For example, he loves to eat cheese but the only “trick” he learned is to jump slightly to grab it when offered.

Rocket, who was named by son Luke, just turned 11 this month and came to the Rauch-Zender family via Greyhound Pets of America after a career in North Carolina. 

One thing that Rocket did pick up from his misspent youth is an uncanny ability to sneak into his favorite spot. Jeanne reports that every day when they come home, they find Rocket lying on her husband’s side of the bed. They do everything they can to prevent it, such as closing the door and blocking the stairs, but somehow Rocket is able to break in.

Rocket spends his afternoons playing a short game of catch with the kids after they get home from school before returning to his nap.


He is a wonderful pet and perfect for the family. We are so happy to feature Rocket as our February Pet of the Month!

Meet Lola, the svelte and sprightly pet of Mike Kerman, SALT associate in Eversheds Sutherland’s Washington office, and his wife Kristy Callahan (Lola’s “real” last name is Kermallahan, a portmanteau). Lola is a black lab-whippet mix, to be confirmed by DNA test, who celebrated her first birthday on Thanksgiving Day.

Mike and Kristy took Lola in one fateful September day when they received an email from an adoption agency saying Lola (née Seashore) desperately needed to be picked up to prevent her from spreading her highly contagious “kennel cough” to her fellow cellmates. After a few days of wheezing, Lola recovered enough to contract several new ailments. Luckily she loves going to the vet, which eases the burden of her frequent appointments.

Lola is a recovering sufferer of separation anxiety, a remnant of her early shelter life. But with lots of positive training and reassurance that Mike and Kristy will always come home, she now snoozes away on Mike’s big green chair when she has to be left home alone. 

Lola is without fail the fastest dog at the park, zipping back and forth so fast that her ears get stuck inside out. She will happily fetch all day long and expertly fends off attempts from other dogs to steal her favorite ball.
Lola loves all food and is an avid counter-surfer (unauthorized food was consumed during the writing of this post). Besides fetching and scavenging, Lola’s favorite thing to do is meet new people. She turns a short walk around the block into a welcoming committee for every neighbor, stranger and passerby.

Lola is excited to be featured as January’s Pet of the Month!

As 2018 drew to a close, many of us took a moment to express gratitude for the wonderful things in our lives and made plans to live a little better in the coming year.

In looking ahead, we can all learn from Ben the bulldog. He sent Eversheds Sutherland SALT his list of 2019 resolutions via Chris Kmak, Director, State and Local Tax, at Intel Corporation. As you will see, Ben is a terrific model of a life well-lived.

Ben’s 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Honor Family – Ben is named after his dad. Chris and his brother called each other “Ben” as children.
  2. Be Authentic – Chris says that he chose Ben because he had the “same dissatisfied look in his eye” as the late beloved Riley (a white pit bull).
  3. Eat Well, Make Friends and Share – According to Chris, “Ben is a foodie and regularly sits with us for his second dinner (whatever I have cooked for us). However, he does have a particular love for pizza. When the p-word is uttered, he gets very excited as he knows his taste buds will be satisfied soon. When the delivery phone call rings, he insists on rushing with me to greet his favorite guest (the delivery person). When we return, he takes his rightful spot on the couch between his mother and I and expects a bite of pizza for each one we take in turn.”
  4. Be a Boss – Due to some knee issues, Ben had occasion to use a stroller which is now his preferred mode of transport. He also has a standing order at his two favorite local restaurants – over easy eggs and a side of bacon at Good Morning, and beer and German sausages at Bierhaus in downtown Mountain View.
  5. Learn New Tricks – Having completed three years of puppy school, Ben is “an educated man.” At nearly 12 years old, Ben has retired his reportedly excellent “bang bang, play dead” trick. However, he has perfected a new one where he acts like he needs to go out but when the family has gathered their shoes, coats and leash, he walks them directly to the kitchen.

Ben plans to keep learning and training his family in 2019. We are so happy to feature him as our December Pet of the Month.


Meet Stella, the athletic yet snuggly cat that entertains the family of Open Weaver Banks, tax counsel (SALT) in Eversheds Sutherland’s New York office. Her name was written in the stars, or rather the cement, as one day the Banks spied the name scratched in a freshly poured sidewalk while discussing what to name the newly adopted 6-month-old kitten. Stella quickly settled in to family life and, ever since, this gray tuxedo has skillfully divided her time between sleeping on her humans and playing.

If given a piece of dry pasta (preferably rotini), Stella will practice soccer with it on the kitchen floor, demonstrating dexterous footwork. Using both paws, she will dribble the pasta across the room until inevitably scoring a goal (losing it under the refrigerator). Not just a soccer fan, Stella also enjoys watching basketball and football on television, preferring to sit very close to the screen to better “catch” any ball she sees. Stella expects to chase the Banks family through the house daily as they drag a bird on a string. In addition to her athletic pursuits, Stella is a champion cuddler and makes it difficult for Open to login from home.

As a reward for her efforts, Stella likes the extra water from a tuna fish can to be left in her dish. As Open says, “She rolls and fetches toys. Really, who needs a dog?”*


*Eversheds Sutherland has no preference on pet species.


Meet Teddy and Thai, the precious pooches of tax industry legend and former TEI president Neil Traubenberg and his wife, Joan. Sixteen-year-old Teddy and eight-year-old Thai were rescued from shelters and now hail from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (hometown of Georgia O’Keefe, for all you trivia buffs).

Teddy, a Yorkiepoo, was once small enough to fit in the palm of Neil’s hand. Now too “mature” for his puppy antics of snacking on carrots and barking at dogs on TV, Teddy’s favorite pastime is sleeping—he even barks to signal bedtime and waits for Neil before turning in for the evening.

Thai, a Schnoodle, is such a playful pup that the Traubenbergs fenced in their yard to provide the perfect arena for frequent games of tennis ball fetch. He is a true companion who waits by the door anytime Neil and Joan leave, and lays by the tub anytime Teddy gets a bath to be sure his brother is okay. Always the consummate greeter, Thai barks with excitement every time he sees people, even if they just briefly stepped into another room.

We are so excited to feature Teddy and Thai as our October Pets of the Month!


To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down menu, then click “Submit A Pet.”


Meet Bear and Bacco, the dynamic lab duo belonging to Eversheds Sutherland tax partner Brad Seltzer and his wife, Jenny. Bear, a five-year-old chocolate lab, may have a tough name, but he gets along with everyone and loves snuggling. Bacco, named for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, is a three-year-old charcoal lab who joined the Seltzer family as a companion for Bear. While Bear may put on a tough act and bark at strangers, Bacco has become the alpha male, protecting his home and family. When Bacco isn’t chasing Bear, stealing food off the kitchen counter or pulling down an entire fruit tree just to grab a peach, he loves playing with Bear and with the couple’s children and grandchildren. Bear and Bacco are so gentle; the kids regularly put their hands in the dogs’ mouths without any fear of being bitten. When they’re not at home playing with Frisbees, bones and sticks, Bear and Bacco love their daily hikes with Brad and Jenny in the hills near their Southern California home.


To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down menu, then click “Submit A Pet.”

Meet Teyo, a mixed breed, part Boxer and part American bulldog owned by Karen Galdamez, Director of National and International Meetings at the Council On State Taxation (COST). Teyo has always exceeded his owners’ expectations. Karen recounts that when she and her family adopted Teyo at just 10 weeks old, the staff at Operation Paws for Homes (OPH) said that Teyo would be around 30 to 40 pounds. Teyo currently weighs 104 pounds, which has earned him the nickname, “Big Boy,” a moniker he answers to.

True to his nickname, Teyo loves to eat just about anything, but his favorite food is chicken and rice soup followed by ice cream as a close second. He’s also very crafty about getting treats. If he wants a dog treat, he sits in front of the cabinet where his food is stored, but if he wants a human treat, Teyo will park himself in front of the oven.

Teyo communicates his feelings in other ways, too. When Karen was packing for a recent trip, Teyo threw her already packed sweaters on the floor when she wasn’t looking. She later discovered he’d also chewed several buttons off her sweaters, as well. Teyo’s favorite way to communicate with his family is to snuggle. He doesn’t let his size deter him from being a lap dog, even with Karen’s niece. When he’s not snuggling, Teyo loves exploring the park. Teyo is currently undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma cancer, and his vet feels that, because Teyo is so young and strong, he’s a great candidate for his cancer to go into remission.


We’re sending Teyo and his family our warmest wishes for a speedy recovery!

To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down menu, then click “Submit A Pet.”

Meet Gunter and Ingrid, the dog duo belonging to Eversheds Sutherland SALT Associate Dennis Jansen and his partner, Michael.

Gunter is a five-year-old Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund mix), and Ingrid is a two-year-old black Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle mix). Dennis adopted Gunter from a pet shelter while living in Minnesota, although Gunter is originally from a shelter in California. Ingrid was subsequently adopted when Dennis and Michael lived in Dallas, Texas. The pair now live in Washington DC’s Chinatown neighborhood, near Eversheds Sutherland’s office.

Gunter is the leader of the two dogs—he definitely has a Napoleon complex and has a very bad habit of knocking over trash cans that are twice his size. Ingrid is more laid-back, unless there is a tennis ball or squirrel within eyesight. She has yet to raid a trash can, and Dennis and Michael hope it stays that way.

We are so excited to feature Gunter and Ingrid as our July Pets of the Month!

To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down menu, then click “Submit A Pet.”




Introducing Duchie, the family dog of Mark Swan, Vice President of Property Tax and Tax Counsel at Charter Communications. Mark, his wife Patty and their kids, Mack and Payton, are active members of the South Charlotte Dog Rescue Group, an organization that monitors kill shelters and strives to place animals with new families. Mark and his family foster many different dogs each year, and welcomed Duchie into their home after her adoptive family had returned her due to an allergy.

Though they were accustomed to welcoming many new dogs to their home,  Duchie, a miniature pincher/huskie, quickly found a special place in their hearts. Formally adopted by Mark and his family in December, Duchie goes everywhere with them. She even went skiing with them this winter and enjoyed playing in and cooling off in the snow. She is loyal and kind and loves to go on off-leash hikes in the woods.

We are thrilled to feature Duchie’s story and celebrate her as our June Pet of the Month!

To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down, then click “Submit A Pet.”

Meet Fiver, the adorable pet rabbit belonging to Brandi Drake, Strategic Tax Senior Director at Charter Communications. Brandi and her husband Matthew volunteer at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they agreed to foster two rabbits, Fiver and his twin brother Roger. Roger was adopted by another family and after fostering Fiver for four months, Brandi and Matthew knew they were his forever home. 

Fiver is a feisty little rabbit who loved playing with his late dog brother Logan and cat sister Key. He adores vegetables and will sit up and pay attention when he hears them being taken out of the fridge. He also demands daily ear rubs, sitting beside his people until he gets them, and if they take too long to give him attention, he will nudge them with his nose.

Fiver gets his daily exercise by running laps around the living room and through his play tunnel before settling down to cool off on top of the air vent.

We are so excited to feature Fiver as our May Pet of the Month!

To submit YOUR pet to be featured, visit the Eversheds Sutherland SALT Shaker App, click the Pet of the Month in the drop-down, then click “Submit A Pet.”