Editor's Note

From the Editor: Our Pets, Ourselves

Few topics have evoked greater passion among Portland Monthly staffers.

By Zach Dundas January 23, 2017 Published in the February 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

Pomo 0217 editors note pomo pets grouped 2 trerjl

Instagram photographs courtesy @_roycechristopher_; @aayoder; @jack_and_maya; @katermagoo; @amykm75; @lizziebennett; @edendawn; @chichirayray; @twinkle.pup

As our staff sat down to talk about potential cover-story subjects for 2017, one topic leapt majestically to the fore. “Pets. I’ve been saying it every year,” declared one editor, known to own a cat short one leg. “And I’m gonna say it again this year.”

The floodgates opened. In a crew blessed (if that’s the word) with no shortage of opinions and passions, animals—particularly domestic ones—got people fired up like nothing else. Months later, the result is here: this issue offers an all-household mash-up of insight on how to take care of various dependent beasts, two-legged and otherwise. You’ll find our compendium of nonhuman tips here. (For young humans, click here.) But frankly, a lot of the good stuff that came up while we were working on this issue didn’t exactly fit in the story. (Like the hundreds of contributions to our Instagram tag #pomopets, sampled above. Still open for business, everyone!)

There was the tale of the flying squirrel who crawled into one of our colleague’s undergarments. There was Buzzy, the goat who at one formative moment chomped a clump of a future journalist’s hair. (Buzzy, it was noted, was primarily an “indoor” goat.) There was a goat who ate headphones, and a goat who died at a highly inconvenient moment just before a high school graduation—not that the goat would have preferred a different moment.

We heard tales of ostrich-riding in South Africa, and cats eating thyroid pills in Portland. A middle school science teacher’s pet boa, Odvar, nearly suffocated one staff member. An Oregon-born dog somehow ended up on the cover of an Irish magazine. Another dog ended up on the cover of a Birkenstock catalog, which makes a lot more sense. A cat inadvertently appeared in an “adult” film—long story. That chimed with the tale of  Simon Le Bun, the rabbit that had to be given away to a stud farm because it lavished too much unwanted romantic attention on a cat. And we moved quickly to suppress a threatened story about a wiener dog doing “the single grossest thing I’ve ever seen.” We’re still glad not to have heard it.

Together, our chatter reinforced the value of bringing all kinds of beings into our worlds: often ridiculous, and occasionally sublime—like life itself.

Zach Dundas
Editor in Chief

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