Wednesday, February 10th, 2016


Office Companions: a legacy of catena’s office canines

by Chris Thompson

Catena embraces a non-traditional workspace in many ways. By taking down the walls of traditionalism, creativity thrives.

We also love dogs, and welcome them to the office to “supervise” our daily activities. Our love of dogs as a firm dates back to the beginning of the firm. A “must have” for our office space was dog friendliness. In 2005, dog friendly landlords were few and far between. We were fortunate to have the open minded team of Art DeMuro and Craig Kelly as landlords for the office we ended up leasing, and have occupied since.

The Early Dogs


The first dogs to be part of the catena team were Maggie, a Siberian Husky – who claimed Chris Thompson as her human and Riley, the Chocolate Lab companion of Paige Viehouser. Both pups crossed The Rainbow Bridge since then, and a new class has joined the catena team.


Our Current Furry Staff

Berlin – Berlin is a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) that rescued Chris after Maggie crossed The Rainbow Bridge. Chris and Ronda found Berlin through Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles in December of 2013, and he’s been a regular in the office since. Berlin is a classic long haired GSD true to character. He is a protector of the “herd” at catena, and is vocal when things don’t seem right. Chris often jokes that he will take Berlin on collection calls and in meetings to establish structural systems – as Berlin can be very persuasive.  Chris and Ronda are passionate about rescuing dogs.  They are strong supporters of animal welfare, including The Oregon Humane Society, Great Northwest German Shepherd Rescue of Oregon, Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles, Angels Bark Rescue and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


Brew – Brewster, or “Brew” is a longhaired dachshund spaniel mix, three years old, rescued by Shawn and Janelle Evilsizor from the Oregon Humane Society in March of 2015. Shawn and Janelle moved to Portland from Buffalo, NY and had wanted a dog for years. Both having full time jobs, living in an apartment, Shawn and Janelle wanted to skip the “puppy phase” with their new companion. They found a great rescue in their backyard, the Oregon Humane Society, and scanned their website on a daily basis. They found Brew, who was abandoned on the streets of Vancouver and had some minor health issues. One glance into his brown eyes sealed the deal! Shawn and Janelle found an accommodating staff at OHS that made the adoption process smooth, and are impressed by the resources OHS offers to adopters.

Brew and Candace

Brew, like many abandoned dogs, faced some fear issues in addition to his health issues, but adapted fully to the Evilsizor home. He has since become an office favorite. He enjoys resting at Shawn’s workstation, overseeing Shawn’s work on projects such as the Knight Cancer Research Center. Brew knows the “dog” people at the office, where he can find a full basket of treats awaiting him. He also serves as a greeter to guests, sometimes “talking” to them and letting them know he’s the office dog!

The Evilsizors and Thompsons encourage anyone interested in a pet to “adopt, don’t shop!” The need is great. When you rescue an animal – you rescue two – the animal you rescued, and the animal that takes its place at the shelter.

Catena is happy to have the dogs of catena as part of our team – perhaps you will meet them on your next visit to the office!


One Response

  1. Yvonne Evilsizor says:

    Being from the east coast, dog friendly businesses aren’t as plentiful as they are in Portland. It doesn’t mean that our area isn’t full of dog lovers. We as a family tend to cross a street or jog down a block just to meet someone walking their furry companion and share some love! I have had many rescue dogs and agree that they are true blessings…it seems like through their eyes and their never ending affection, that they realize that you saved them! As you know…they really save us!!!

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