PHOTO GALLERY: Queers with Pets

Ema and Ellie (Eleanor) / 24, 2 / Grand Rapids, MI

“I found Ellie when I was home for Spring Break my senior year of college. My dad and I had a little time before we needed to pick my brother up from school and decided to stop into the Humane Society to see the pups. Stopping in for a quick visit isn’t unusual for us so I wasn’t expecting to be taking anyone home, but as soon as I saw Ellie (then Fern), I just knew she was mine.

Ellie’s name is half Eleanor Roosevelt inspired and half “oh god, we’re bringing this tiny creature home in an hour, we need something to call her that isn’t Fern”. It kind of just happened, but now, I can’t imagine her being anything other than our sweet Ellie girl. It probably sounds super cliche, but everything is the best thing about Ellie. She’s the sweetest part of my soul, I get so excited everyday to get home to kiss her little face… I truly worry that I’ll never be able to love human children as much as I love her.

Aside from the usual dog stuff like walks and fetch, Ellie’s favorite thing to do is to go visit my grandma, to the point that we can’t say the ‘G’ word in our house without her completely losing her shit. When Ellie was a puppy, my dad started this odd ritual of picking her up for a snuggle after dinner every night, which I assume was to keep her from running around like a wild child while the table was being cleared. However now, at two years old, Ellie still sits very impatiently by my dinner chair every night waiting for me to finish eating at which point she cries until I pick her up and snuggle her close while we sit around and chat about our days.”

Grey, Jackie, Tandy Lion, Dorian / 28, 24, 5, 4 months / St. Louis, MO

“Tandy Lion used to be a Taco Bell dumpster cat before he adopted us on the street outside Grey’s apartment. He still has an affinity for sour cream. He loves helping his parents cook, and we have it on good authority that he was a witch in a past life. Dorian is a country boy, and was found in rural Kansas by one of Grey’s friends before hitchhiking his way to St. Louis. His favorite toy is any household item and/or living thing. His claim to fame is that he holds the record for most toilet paper rolls unfurled/annihilated in one day.”

Skylar, Lilly, Nico / 28, 30, 5 / Denver, CO

“Here are some really freaking cute shots of me (Skylar), my wife (Lilly) and our fur baby, Nico (alternate names include: Buster Brown Eyes, Noodle Nose, Boopsey Moran, Baby Dog, Nico-roni, Shmuggins, Pugglesmith). Lilly had already adopted Nico by the time I met her, so it was really a two-for-one deal for me (I definitely got the better dowry; all Lilly got was a Vitamix Blender and a lot of my feelings). Lilly adopted Nico during her time in an artist residency in Missoula, MT. Nico was a stray on a reservation and Lill found him by way of a local vet’s office. He had been injured (he is missing a little pizza-pie slice out of his lower eye lid) and everyone at the vet’s office thought he was so cute and friendly that they made him the official greeting dog for the office. He would sit by the front desk and help boost morale, help people reduce their blood pressure through petting him, and answer phones (just kidding, but he’d probably be very good on the phone). Lilly and Nico came to Colorado for grad school in Boulder, all three of us matched on Tinder and the rest is history.

What I love most about Nico: He is a true companion and is highly empathetic. He can tell immediately when something is wrong, when we have had bad days, and selflessly offers up himself for snuggles and pets to make us feel better. I didn’t grow up with a dog (Lilly grew up helping her family run an animal rescue, so, lots of dogs) and it’s very special for me to have this lasting, meaningful relationship with an animal in a way I never have before. He is sweet, cuddly, gives kisses enthusiastically, and is a dog that no human has ever not liked. We love to hike, walk, and cuddle in bed. It’s pretty simple! The cutest thing he does is tilt his head when there’s something crunchy being eaten.”

Elizabeth and Junia / 20, 1 / Little Rock, AR

“My psychiatrist and I decided that I was in need of an emotional support animal early last summer so I spent a month going to different shelters in the area to find an animal that I connected with; immediately after meeting this tiny, sassy kitten, we connected. Junia is named after the first (and possibly only) woman apostle that Paul mentions in the New Testament; this is a big debacle but a key argument in favor of women in ministry and church leadership positions (I am in school studying music and theology in hopes of being a worship pastor and voice teacher so this is near and dear to me). This little goofball makes my life so much better! She chases her tail, plays fetch for HOURS, talks a lot, listens to my ramblings, and is an aggressive snuggler!!! She does not have any social media accounts, but she does have a hashtag on Instagram, so check out #JuniaBJones if you’re interested in some cute cat pics!”

Emily Willet and Lucky/ 27, 1 / Spokane, WA

“I found my fur baby at the local shelter where I was shopping for pets after a break up. I saw him and just thought, “That’s my dog.” I named him Lucky because when I first saw him, he was already reserved and someone had put a deposit down on him, but they never came and picked him up. And he is such a darling little dog, I felt so Lucky to get to take him home! I love that Lucky is so excited to see me, every day when I get home, regardless of how long I was gone or how horrible my day has been. His love for life rubs off on me and energizes me. We love to do anything outside together, especially running. I can play with him for hours and he will still have more energy left over. He is insatiable! But he is also the biggest cuddlier when he is sleepy. I love how he gets all the way under the covers to snuggle.”

Audrey and Addy / 19, 4 / IA

“Addy and I met each other through my mom’s dog rescue. She was to be put down at another shelter but I fought for her and soon she and I became family. Addy is super affectionate and extremely smart. We love to watch tv together. We both like dogs and pretty girls, as you can see.  Addy loves to play catch and go on walks. Sometimes she drives me around… just kidding!”

Casey and Primrose (Prim) / 24, 3 / Jackson Hole, WY and Laguna Beach, CA

“Prim is a rescue from my time in Phoenix, AZ. The first night I had her I woke up to screaming and, upon turning on the lights, found her licking inside her abdomen — her stitches from her spay wound had ripped open. She required a lot of medical care between repairing the surgical site and discovering her many food allergies (beef, pork, chicken, grains). Two months of healing stitches, infection, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, and crying on the bathroom floor while cleaning said messes, she was on the mend. I didn’t think she’d make it and I definitely felt like I volunteered as tribute, so I named her Prim (Hunger Games). We love adventuring and thankfully she is a trooper in extreme weather. She’s braved conditions ranging from -30 °F blizzards to 126 °F haboobs. Her Instagram is @puppyprimcess.”

Anahita and Neera / 27, 8 / My Home in Ahmedabad, India

“Her mother, who was one of our family dogs, had a very secret affair with a stray and next thing you knew she was giving birth! So I helped deliver Neera and her brother (it was a litter of only two). Unfortunately the brother pup died soon after and the mother kind of distanced herself from the remaining pup, Neera, too. By this point I had already fallen in love with her, so instead of just four-legged motherly, she got me! She was brought up spending many hours staying warm and snuggled in my sweatshirt pocket! My name in Persian means goddess of water, so when I was looking for names for her I learnt Neera means ‘pure water’ but also nectar/wine which i thought was a fun fit! The best thing about her is how incredibly goofy and fierce she is! She’s like my shadow or reflection. She’s a complicated dog and can be very hard to handle, but regardless seems to know exactly when I need her and allows me to love and protect her despite all her space issues! We like lying on the cold floor together and running around outside while I sit and watch her explore everything. We also get into some good tackle and tug of war matches that we both love. The weirdest things are her love for butt rubs and how she will come and forcefully place herself so you have no choice but to oblige! Also the crazy faces she makes when she is enjoying them.”

Rachel and Trickster / 54, 10 / Boythorpe Cemetery, Chesterfield, UK

“My my twenty year old corgi/Jack Russell died, so I searched high and low for a replacement and found Trickster in a rescue centre in Liverpool. She was unwanted thanks to her underbite — her bottom teeth are always showing. She’s called Trickster after a previous black and white Jack Russell, Jester. We walk every day and she wuffs when she wants fuss. She barks at everyone who comes to the house, especially people wearing hats because to her it looks like they have interchangeable heads.”

Vicky, La Pez and Lazuli / Madrid, Spain

“Much as I’d love a cat or dog, I’m not allowed pets in my house, so instead I have my fish. The neon tetras have the collective name of “La Pez” and my Betta is Lazuli, because I do love a play on words! They all get along well and I love when they come up to say hi when I look in the tank.”

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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 913 articles for us.


  1. I want to pet all of them. Even the house plant.

    Also, I really, really wanted to participate in this one, but unfortunately my cat doesn’t live with me and I couldn’t make it over to my mom’s in time for the deadline. I even had the photo all planned out!

  2. Wow, after looking through all of these I have that kind of post-TV-binge feeling, like I am slightly stunned and unsure what to do with my feelings or my body.

    Also, did I miss Sue Perkins the sourdough?!

  3. 1. Weare, NH is one town over from where I grew up! Wow!!
    2. Everyone’s pets are so charming, omg
    3. I did not know there were this many queers in Ohio?
    4. Marty and Olive are delighted to have been featured <3 <3 <3

  4. Having a real moment over here with all the cute.

    I’m also shocked that the entirety of my crazy dog lady verbal diarrhea made the cut.

  5. This post combines two of the best things in the world:queer women and pets.

        • I feel like this is something that can be rectified, also probably needs to be rectified as it’s unfair if the world cannot witness Friday’s glory.

  6. I met some wonderful pups hiking Triple Falls in DuPont National Park this summer. One of my favorite parts of hiking is all the dogs I meet. I used to have a Springer that hiked all over Pisgah National Forest and The Smokey’s with me. As well as playing on the beach in Isle of Palms. It’s been a couple of years since my last Springer passed away. I have had all kinds of dogs, but we foster Springers. Hopefully, my sister and I will be able to adopt a couple of dogs soon. We already named them Biscuit and Grits.

  7. Hello I am in love with everybody of every species in this gallery.

  8. Lovely! So heartwarming to see the photos and read how all these lovely animals found their human companions.

  9. ok do you all have professional photos taken with your pets or what?

    …wait, can I have professional photos taken with my pet?

    • Right? I tried to use my good camera but that was a no-go with Mr. Grumpy Pants, so I ended up having to use my crappy phone camera instead. I am impressed with everyone else’s well-behaved fur friends.

      • (To be fair though he was only grumpy because I made him wear a costume)

    • Everytime I take a pic of reptar I am RISKING MY VERY LIFE because he hates phones. I think the screen doesn’t refresh fast enough for bird eyes to make sense of them? I’m p sure phones are murdery strobe lights for him

    • Al

      Maybe a little food before and after the shoot could make it more professional? Food to distract then food as reward when your pet does a good job.

    • yes, you can! or painted portraits. I do pet watercolors. check out my ig @_welltrained_

    • Yes you can have professional photos taken with your pets (says the woman who has signed her dogs up to be calendar models).

    • I’ve done that before but Boris was very scared in the studio and tucked his ears all the way back. I sent one of those I turns to my dad and he answered me “your poor dog has no ears”

  10. If this was a coffee table book, I would read it every night when I got home from work.

  11. So much cuteness! I thought I was going to die there for a minute.

    Glad to report that the result was this instead:

  12. Also wow wasnt aware we were meant to write essays on our animals?? I worked so hard* to condense mine

    *”hard”, “for five minutes”, potato, potahto,

  13. El

    I wish I knew about this! I would love for you guys to meet my pet cock, Pirri, 10! I love that guy. ?????

  14. So many good animals and so many good animal names and so many good faces and pictures and ahhh! So much good I so desperately needed today. <3

  15. Thank the gods for this post today. I was already crying last night out of overwhelmed-the-world-is-the-worst-dumpster-fire-ever types of emotions. Then I woke up to the tragic news about vegas. This is a nice reminder that not all is bad.


    ps. It looks like my pic with my dog is lumped into the folks pictures above me.

  16. meg

    Oh thank you, this helps. Sorry I didn’t get it together to send a picture of my rescue dog.

  17. All of your pets are adorable and I’m jealous that I am a poor grad student with a lease that forbids dogs and cats.

    Also I reeeeeally hope the next gallery is a Halloween costume gallery.

  18. Oh how I needed this gallery today! Rather than try to pick favorites, I’ll simply say that y’all and your pets are just *the cutest*. Thanks, everyone! <3

  19. This is the best thing ever. I have officially followed all of your instagram accounts, because whenever the world is bad I follow another 20 or so animal instas and this was a perfect opportunity. This thread is amazing and I wish I hadn’t forgotten to send in pictures of my amazing cats. You can see them on my instagram if you want; my username there is also ankhmorpork. It’s 90% my cats with a few selfies here and there. I don’t pet sit as much anymore but I tend to take pictures of the dogs and cats I sit for as well.

    P.S. Atlanta people, we should become friends so I can pet your dogs. And because half my queer friends have moved away and you seem like fun people. But also, dogs.

  20. Oh, my goodness. OH, MY GOODNESS! My heart. I can’t handle this right now. Look at all of this cuteness. Precious babies.

  21. So many beautiful humans with amazing animal friends! ?

    I was kind of expecting at least one snake or lizard though…but I’m very glad nobody sent in a photo with a pet tarantula! ?

  22. I love animals and I love you guys and everything is so cute and let’s choose to ignore the rest of the world, just for today

    • Thank you so much, Carmen! I told Nunu what you wrote, and now he’s considering signing up for Belgium’s Next Top Model.

      Gotta get perfecting that smize.

  23. YOUR PETS ARE ALL SO GREAT but now i feel guilty that i only posted my dog and not my cat, because he is also a star. instead of using a litter box, he likes to jump over our back fence, crap in the neighbor’s yard, and then come home, because cats are dicks. we used to be okay with this because we hated our old neighbors but now we have new neighbors, a nice gay couple who love him, so now he goes over there to crap and then they let him in their back door for food and treats. he has a second family and thinks we don’t know because he still comes home wanting dinner. anyway that’s my cat and i need you to know about his antics.
    my sister also has a ball python. she sleeps most of the day and hates men, so, ya know, relatable.

  24. This is the best photo gallery ever!! I just went and followed all the Instagram accounts! I kinda wish this was an ongoing queers with pets instagram. Haha. I also really want a cat now! I also absolutely loved that Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs had their cat here too and an instagram!! So exciting!! This has made my day. <3

  25. a/s

    this was soooo lovelyyy!!!

    anna^2 i really want a christmas card from you and yours. that is year-round fridge material.

  26. OMG the adorbs. Part of me regrets not including my parents’ new puppy Ms Frizzle for the amazing cuteness factor, but Mikoto’s my priority. I was getting nervous that we weren’t going to be on the list but turns out we were just near the end.

    I miss my camp buds and now I miss your pets too ❤️

    • First thing I did was Ctrl+F my cat’s name, and then look through the gallery once I knew he made it in ~^_^~

  27. It is 7:25 am on Bainbridge Island in Washington, and I have been up since 5:10 am to take the ferry over here – so forgive my emotions when I say that all of you and your bbs are perfect. Gosh. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I thought my favourite page on the internet was a cache of 215 pictures of Kate McKinnon at the Emmys, but I see I was wrong. I live here now.

  29. This gallery makes me SO happy. Like it is the most heartwarming, relaxing, adorable thing ever. Thank you for putting this together.

  30. Shoutout to the people whose dogs are named Henry and Hazel – those are our dogs’ names too! <3

  31. I’m going back through this a page a day and reading every single word you all wrote about your furbabies, and I just laughed out loud at this: “fun fact: if you name your very independent dog Stella, every trip to the dog park turns into A Streetcar Named Desire.”

  32. Yo bookshelf, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Pets is the best gallery of all time.

  33. lnr

    So good! I particularly love Boris the show cat who reminds me so much of my cat Spike. She was a show cat in her own mind.

  34. Lex

    The submission period was midterms crunch time for me so here’s my girls doing what they do best

    View this post on Instagram

    But Why

    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on

    Amber, the runt of an oopsie litter between a hunting dog and herding dog.
    Likes guarding and playing catch but not necessarily fetch.

    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on

    Daisy Mae, abandoned pup and former fosterling her prime directive is cuddles. Has no sense of self preservation, she’s probably part terrier.

  35. Wow, I wrote a god damn essay. I am sorry ya’ll lmao. I love everyone’s pets!!

    If you and your doggo live near Sacramento, CA, we need to meet up ASAP!!!

    • Bee

      Beau and I are on page 13 and also we would love to be friends. He needs practice making friends because he’s not great at it and friends confuse him. Shoot me a message… I’m much easier to contact on Instagram or Facebook, so swap details with me and you can play with my dog?

  36. So many new instagram friends for Puck! I’m very glad we can keep this gallery going on instagram ^_^ And it’s nice to see there’s another mischievous Puck out there :)

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