City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld Shares How He Rescued His Pup

For our May 2020 Pets package, we talked with Cincinnati City Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld about how he and his wife rescued their 4-and-a-half-year-old pup Oakley and why they chose to name her after the Cincinnati neighborhood.

Photograph by Brian Steege

Tell me about your dog Oakley.

She’s a 4-and-a-half-year-old rescue dog, whom my wife, Sarah, and I adopted when Oakley was 3 months old. While we don’t know her exact breed, we believe she’s a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Brittany Spaniel. In 2016, Sarah and I tagged along with some friends to the annual Oakley Pup Crawl, and we genuinely had zero intention of leaving with a dog. But we locked eyes with Oakley, who had been brought there from a rescue shelter in Adams County, and it honestly was love at first sight. We aren’t particularly impulsive people, but this was a pure impulse decision, and we’ve been delighted every day since.

Why the name Oakley?

Sarah and I met each other in Oakley, when we went on our first date, which was a blind date. And we obviously first met our dog in Oakley, too, so it seemed like a good fit and nice tribute. Plus we just like the name. Given how much I love Cincinnati, it also felt right to name our dog after a Cincinnati neighborhood.

What’s Oakley’s favorite activity?

Oakley loves sniffing and running around with other dogs, especially at the Washington Park dog park. She is masterful at finding socks around the house to chew on, even when we’re convinced we haven’t left any out. She’s also an enthusiastic snuggler, which we love.

What do you love most about Oakley?

We had our first child, George, last summer, and were unsure how Oakley would respond to the new baby. Since day one, Oakley has been sweet, interested in, and gentle with George, which makes us very happy.

Do you have a funny “pet parent” story?

The first time Oakley was around a swimming pool, she didn’t realize that it wasn’t a solid surface, so when she went to “walk” across it, to her great surprise, she instead splashed through the water. She looked quite bewildered, and to his credit, one of my best friends, Charlie Rittgers—a very accomplished lawyer in Cincinnati—played the role of lifeguard and immediately dove in to bring Oakley safely to dry land.

Any other fun facts you’d like to share about Oakley?

The line I always say to my wife is, Oakley is undefeated, by which I mean she’s never let me down. The unconditional love of a dog, or any pet, is a pretty awesome thing. I think life is too short not to have a dog.

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