From the Editor's Desk

Lessons From My Pandemic Dog Fitz

Katie Anthony | The PhoenixFitz is a 72-pound German Shepard, Lab and Chow Chow mix.

During the pandemic, pet adoption rates skyrocketed — with some shelters seeing increases of 30% to 40%, according to the Washington Post. I, like many others, gave in to the puppy frenzy.

Fitz, who was originally named Nugget, came into my life through the front door of my parents house in the suburbs. My life as a college student had been upended — COVID-19 forced me out of my dorm in downtown Chicago, and I found myself back in my childhood room. Purpose in my new, repetitive pandemic life came packaged in a quiet, 12-pound puppy. 

Fitz had his life upended too. His rescue told us he was found with his mom and sister in an abandoned and flooded trailer in Mississippi. By some miracle, he was in perfect health. 

That was nearly two years ago — now, Fitz is a 72-pound dog — and thanks to DNA dog testing we know he’s part German shepherd, part lab and part chow chow. He also loves squirrels, cheese and, weirdly, carrots. 

I will say in my time as a dog owner, I’ve begun to understand why my parents were so hesitant to get a dog when I was a kid (after many letters and presentations they caved). Taking care of another living thing is hard. And as a college student, balancing classes, work and taking care of my dog can sometimes feel impossible — if it weren’t for my parents and friends helping me out, it would be. 

Fitz has changed my life, and not in the corny “who rescued who?” way. He’s made me more patient as I worked to train him, more responsible as I’m forced out of my house with him everyday and definitely less materialistic as he chewed his way through a good percentage of my clothes as a puppy. 

This week in news, students with disabilities express frustration with the university’s Student Accessibility Center and news writer Eisha Shah looks into rumors about classes moving online after Thanksgiving break. 

In A&E, a deep dive into Stan culture on Twitter and a Halloween playlist to get in the spooky spirit as we approach the holiday. In sports, a look into club sports resuming after a pandemic-induced break and Sports editor Lu Calzada explains why she’s distanced herself from Twitter.

The Phoenix editorial board calls on the university to serve up more serious repercussions for non-compliance with COVID-19 precautions in opinion.

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