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Not Your Average Animal Lovers

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Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but not for these animal lovers. Some St. Dominic students seek exciting and unpredictable pets that go against the norm. Here is an inside look at the most peculiar pets at St. Dominic.


Catie Poli
Junior Catie Poli’s fascination with horses began at a young age, walls lined with horse picture books, stuffed animals and more. She began riding lessons at age five, shortly after moving here from Boston. Poli currently owns a liver chestnut-colored American Saddlebred named Austin or “Callaway’s Good Directions” for show.

“When you take the time to build that bond with your horse, it leads them to respect you,” said Poli.

Austin waits in anticipation until Catie comes out to ride him once a week at Fairview Farms in New Bloomfield, near Jefferson City.

Chloe Reale
According to senior Chloe Reale, caring for a mini pig is like raising a baby and a puppy at the same time. The most recent edition to the Reale family is Opal, a dramatic pink and black mini pig who often struts down the cobblestone streets of Old Town St. Charles with her snout out.

“Opal is the type of pet that needs a lot of attention and love, but that’s not a problem because when you meet her, you fall completely in love,” said Reale.

Opal partakes in only the finest of dining, her diet consisting of cheerios, gummy worms and kale salads for lunch. If you lose her, all you have to do is crinkle a bag of chips and she comes running.


Brianna Coke-Attewell
While cats might receive the “boring” label by most, senior Brianna Coke-Attewell says otherwise. Her five rescue kittens pray, spin, high five and can balance on a shoulder! Coke-Attewell believes watching any cat’s behavior is fascinating, especially when they lay down and curl into a “bread loaf” position.

“A lot of people hate cats, but like people, they have different personalities. You can’t judge all cats just based off one,” said Coke-Attewell.

Each cat has had their fair share of hardships, suffering from hoarder homes to nose polyps. Although each one has a different story, Coke-Attewell is head over paws for every single one.

Cora Schulte
Senior Cora Schulte’s miniature donkey is constantly begging to be fed apples or brushed from head to toe. His official name is “Magnum PI,” but this name somehow evolved into lovable Doodle.

“We originally got him as a companion for our mule, but the mule didn’t like Doodle at all,” said Schulte.

Although he’s not trained to ride, Doodle is often found rolling around on, biting and carrying his blue exercise ball like a dog.

Tori Forbeck
These chickens actually cross the road…and come back to compete in laying and production at the St. Charles County Fair. Sophomore Tori Forbeck’s fifteen pet chickens are quite fertile, laying around nine eggs per day. That’s one less thing to buy at the grocery store!

“They love cat food. If they see you with cat food, they come sprinting toward you,” said Forbeck.

Apparently, cat food is not just for cats. The chickens demolish everything in their path, like treats and fruit (especially strawberries).

Owning unusual pets surely comes with a lot of work and even more love. Don’t miss out on the seemingly new trend of peculiar pets!

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Not Your Average Animal Lovers