I don’t think I’m alone in saying that while I love my family and my friends back in Georgia, my biggest source of homesickness is my little brat of a rescue dog, JJ. He’s a 3-year-old spaniel-terrier mix, and he’s an absolute menace. He thinks he owns my home and that everything my parents, sister and I do is solely for him. JJ’s kind of the worst.
But he’s also kind of the best. There’s something to be said about having a living being who loves me unconditionally — and whom I love unconditionally, despite all the messiness of owning a dog. Pets bring families together, and in the case of my own, he completed us. He’s the son my dad never had, the younger brother my sister always wanted and my replacement for my mother when I’m away at school.
This issue is for everyone who misses their pet or wishes they had one. The amount of love an animal can give is incredible, and even if you’re that person who cringes when their friends coo at puppies on the street, I hope you can appreciate the magic pets bring to their families. Welcome to the Pets Issue.
— Natasha Roy, Assistant Managing Editor