Pets & Their People features ‘how we met’ vignettes of dogs and their humans, uncovering the particularities of this unique relationship, from touching adoption tales to outlandish quirks.
Sierra is the co-founder of Great Jones, and parent to Hubble, the spirited Austrialian Shepherd puppy with dazzling blue eyes. Team Wild One sat down with Hubble and Sierra to chat shared favorite eats, how becoming a dog owner has changed her outlook and favorite NYC spots she hits with her canine version of a teenage boy.
Wild One: Tell us about Hubble! When and how did you guys meet?
Sierra Tishgart: I grew up with cats, but wanted a dog my whole life. When I finally felt ready to take the leap, it was very overwhelming. Since launching Great Jones, I’ve started to feel a bit sedentary because this is the busiest I’ve ever been. Therefore, I knew I wanted an active dog to help motivate me. I also really wanted the experience of getting a puppy and growing up together.
I joke that I had a summer of dating a lot of different dogs. It was a true bachelor experience, but I was dating other people’s pets. I would reach out to distant friends who had dogs and go spend the day with them. I just wanted to meet many dogs — large, small, active, calm — to help inform my decision. I ended up taking care of a friend’s Australian Shepherd and we bonded. Seeing how much I loved her dog, my friend told me about her breeder, who had one leftover puppy that wasn’t getting adopted. I wanted to be super conscious in my approach to the breeder experience, so I did my research and then went for a visit to vet the place myself. I ended up meeting Hubble and knew he was the one!
WO: Where does the name Hubble come from?
ST: I, of course, wanted to go with a very food-centric name. But my fiancé really likes outer space, dinosaurs — general interests characteristic of a 12-year-old boy. He kept throwing out names like “Robot” and I kept vetoing them. We finally landed on the collaborative name Hubble, which refers to Robert Redford’s character in The Way We Were, as well as the famous telescope. The name spoke to us in different ways and touched on things we each love.
WO: How does your passion for food and cooking weave its way into your life with Hubble?
ST: When he feels like behaving, he’ll sit by my feet while I cook in my kitchen, which is wonderful. But, since he is a puppy, more often than not he is jumping up and trying to get what I’m cooking or eating. I learned very recently that he absolutely loves sardines, which I love as well. He’s certainly highly food motivated, and so am I, so it’s nice to share that!
WO: How has your life changed since adding Hubble to your family?
ST: He’s pushed me to re-engage with New York City in a very powerful way. We go on long walks and runs, and regularly hit new parks. Having to make sure that he’s getting enough exercise means I’m out and about a lot more, and that’s something I’ve been needing in my life.
He’s also been a great teacher of patience. Hubble is one-year-old and my fiancé and I train him together. I didn’t expect this, but it’s had a really interesting impact on our own relationship and communication. We make sure that we’re always aligned on decisions regarding our pup.
Hubble is also funny! Launching a company in recent months has been stressful and hard work, and it’s hard to get my head out of work mode. But then I come home and Hubble acts all goofy. He pulls me outside of that work world, which has been great for my mental health.
WO: Do you and Hubble have a favorite spot in NYC?
ST: I love the park that runs alongside the West Side Highway. My favorite thing is to go on a two hour walk on the highway with Hubs. We got him toward the end of July 2018, so this is our first full summer with him. I can’t wait to eat outside together and go for long, meandering walks, especially now that he’s a little older.
WO: Sounds like Hubble is a goof. What's the funniest thing he does?
ST: He’s obsessed with playing fetch and memorizes exactly which regulars at our local park will play fetch with him. He is very strategic about beelining toward them as soon as we arrive. Overall, Hubs knows what he wants and can be a little bossy. It’s really funny to watch him interact with people that way.
WO: Do you have a voice or persona in mind for him?
ST: I view him as a teenage boy. He's cute and smart, and he knows it. I also think he gets embarrassed by my outpouring of love for him. I imagine him wanting to say “mom, stop kissing me!” or “can you drop me off a few blocks away from school so my friends don’t see?” Justin Bieber might embody Hubble’s persona.
WO: What's next for you and Hubs?
ST: Having Hubble has been such a challenge and such a joy, and this experience has only made me want another dog! He’s so friendly that I think it would be nice to adopt an older dog who might need help adjusting. During my summer of dating dogs, I wanted just about every dog I encountered — I want them all!