Pets and Their People: Snowy, Atticus and the Mittlers

Pictured here at Orange County’s new disc golf course on Route 15 between Orange and Gordonsville, Atticus poses with Cynthia Mittler while Gary Mittler holds Snowy.

Cynthia Mittler of Chicken Mountain Road beams when she remembers the hot July day long ago when a little white dog wandered onto the property where she lives with her husband, Gary. She paused in the midst of hanging clothes on the line to offer a bowl of water to the thirsty visitor, clearly a stray in need of a home. As luck would have it, the Mittlers were happy to offer theirs: “She showed up and we said, ‘Now this is a great dog!’” Snowy, a terrier mix, now 13, loves the country life—as does Atticus, a playful 7-year-old blue heeler (or perhaps an Australian cattle dog—the jury is still out) who lives with the Mittlers’ son, Rick, and his family in Richmond. When the city slicker is trundling up the highway, he reportedly whines in anticipation because he knows he’s headed to “Camp Chicken Mountain.”  He and Snowy ramble around together and then curl up for a companionable nap. “They’re cousins, basically,” Gary Mittler said. 

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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