Editor’s Note: We’re just pet people
Our team has been excited about this special edition for close to a year, and we’ve been stockpiling story ideas for months to fill an entire magazine, front to back, with pet-related content.
It’s finally here: The Pets Issue. Our team has been excited about this special edition for close to a year, and we’ve been stockpiling story ideas for months to fill an entire magazine, front to back, with pet-related content. We counted them all: You’ll find more than 250(!) pets featured in this issue. I apologize in advance to anyone who’s not as jazzed about the theme as we are — we simply love pets, like, a lot.
So we knew it would be a fun issue to work on, but I don’t think any of us could have known just how incredible of an idea it was to do a photo shoot with 16 different animals. Ready for their close-ups, our top winners of the Cutest Pets Search showed up in half-hour intervals to Chris Hynes’ Studio. Grumpus the cat perched on his dad’s shoulders for a good portion of the shoot and acted pretty unimpressed with the whole set up. Kona the basset hound kept tripping on her bandana while she did slow laps around the curtains. Walter and Otie the Frenchies sat like statues because they knew they’d get treats, Arlo the golden retriever showed off a few impressive tricks and Phillip the whippet ran the length of the studio several times before Tokyo-drifting directly into our photographer, Nikki Hansen.
Our collective serotonin levels were through the roof. The twitchy noses of the bunny trio were enough to make associate editor Maggie Ginsberg and me press our temples to suppress our brains from exploding from the cuteness.
I happened to be dog-sitting for my friend and coworker, Sarah Frautschi, that day, and she encouraged me to bring the dogs along if we needed any extras on set. Her girls, Cricket the goldendoodle and Ritz the bernedoodle, turned out to be pros in front of a camera. Cricket ended up in the picture above with me and in one of our Abode photos. Both her and Ritz are also on the masthead along with a few other staff pets.
Once I sat back down at my desk after the shoot, it took me nanoseconds to post a few photos from the day to our staff’s pets channel on Slack. While I did, Ritz rested her Muppet-like head on the arm of my chair, offering me an intense gaze. I instantly lowered my shoulders, smiled and gave her a few head scratches.
Pets provide so many reminders to us humans: to laugh, to wonder, to slow down, to be kind, to fall in love easily, to not take ourselves so seriously and to enjoy life’s short but sweet moments.
It makes my entire day when I catch a glimpse of one of my coworkers’ pets on a Zoom meeting or see that pets channel light up with a new photo. It forces us to pause whatever we’re working on so we can talk about how Vinny the barn cat (who’s been moonlighting as a house cat) has been doing, how Rocco the neurotic Boston terrier is feeling that day, or what the heck Clover the chocolate Lab sees outside the window.
While our team has been apart more in the past two years than ever, our pets have helped bring us closer together. I’m thankful for that, and it helps validate our decision to create an entire issue that is a love letter to them.
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