I have to admit I haven’t jumped on the pet bandwagon yet. I wasn’t among the many who adopted or welcomed a new pet into their home at the start of the pandemic.
Don’t get me wrong, I love animals. I just haven’t figured out what pet is right for me. Or better yet, what kind of pet owner I want to be.
Growing up, we were a family that had pets. Some more successful than others. Dogs were our comfort zone, though there were arguments once my brother and I got older about who would feed Sergeant. My aunt gifted me a kitten that I named Spirit. She was eventually given to another family after she climbed the curtains one too many times. We tried an aquarium full of fish to no avail and had a blue parakeet named Gonzo for many years. I think I’m a dog person at heart, but I’m still figuring it out.
We’ve been wanting to do a Pet Guide for years and now seems like the right time to highlight all the wonderful benefits animals can bring to your life and how you can bring joy to theirs. Since I’m still on my journey to becoming a pet parent, I asked some of my co-workers to share a little bit about their animal companions.
Arbela Capas, editorial assistant: Getting Davey, our pit bull-terrier mix, a couple years back from City Dogs Cleveland has been such a gift to my boyfriend and I. My favorite part about him is that he’s a perfect mix of rowdy and cuddly, so while he loves a good zoom around the park, he also will gladly take a three-hour nap on top of you.
Sophia Maltese, editorial intern: As a college student, many of my friends look forward to spending time with Gordon, my six-month-old Syrian panda hamster. We make racetracks across my apartment out of rolled up T-shirts, and she tackles them in her hamster ball without breaking a sweat.
Jessa Moser, art director: I was living in Idaho working at a local newspaper. My editor announced the cat that had adopted his family had kittens. I went to his house and chose Carl, a very lively kitten. My editor suggested I take a second. No sooner did Phoebe give me the saddest kitten eyes. I picked Carl, but Phoebe picked me.
Dillon Stewart, associate editor: We rescued Sushi, a 7-year-old shiba inu, from a puppy mill in November. She’s an inquisitive little dog who is always smiling and making us smile. She has some anxiety from her past life, but she’s really blossomed into a confident and comfortable dog. Seeing how trusting she is of humans after being abused by them has been a lesson in resilience and forgiveness.
Erin Stinard, associate art director: My brother’s 2-year-old cat Goose spends her time trying to escape all of my attempts at petting her. She prefers to sit in boxes or laundry, but there is one hour in the afternoon where she will voluntarily come and sit on my lap and for that hour I am not allowed to move.