Fanbyte Staff Pet of the Month: Bixbi

Meet Bixbi, a Shih Tzu mix with a love of mountains and strange cuddles.


Full name: Bixbi April Vayner

Owner: Danielle Riendeau (co-parent), Editor-in-Chief at Fanbyte

Nicknames: Bixber, Bixbiellington, Betteh 

Age: 5

Likes: Cuddling, showing love by nuzzling into your neck and making Chewbacca noises, walkies, playing with her brother, riding in cars with her face out the window, hiking up mountains and impressing people who haven’t seen a ten pound dog bound up rock scrambles.

Dislikes: Motorcycles, going to the vet, anytime she’s told to be quiet.

Talents: Extreme cuteness, can literally climb mountains with energy to spare, begging for snackies.

Weaknesses: overestimates her own strength, cannot witness her brother barking at something without joining in a yappy chorus.

Bixbi is a comically adorable Shih Tzu/Brussels Griffon mix that burrowed her way into my life when my partner adopted her late last February. She came to us after a very sad circumstance caused us to lose another beloved pet (which we won’t get into here), a tiny ball of fluff and love who was reported to be 11 years old and in need of a new home. Her picture and story showed up on Badass Brooklyn (an amazing local rescue), and the rest is history.


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Bixbi turned out to be about five, not eleven, and she absolutely loves playing and getting into trouble with her “brother” Drake and often cuddling him at night (or, basically anytime they aren’t playing or trying to make enough noise to wake the dead whenever one of them hears a noise in the apartment building). She is a bundle of wild energy, goofy smiles, and fluffy curls, with the doggy version of a PHD in emotional support. Bixbi will recognize if myself or my partner are upset, note that our phones are in our faces, and gently paw them down, offering a tiny hug instead of the offending device.

In a year like 2020 — especially after the events of February in my house — finding, adopting, and falling in love with Bixbi was something like a godsend. She’s a tiny joy every day, and I’m delighted to have her in my life.