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I Got a Pandemic Dog That Also Helps Me Process Racism

Meet Arche, the Newest Member of our Family

Source: Sarah Gaither, Personal Photo

Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, “Is this a pandemic dog?” At first, I was offended—he didn’t really say hello, he didn’t introduce himself, and I didn’t think of my new adorable family member as just a “pandemic dog.” He just looked at me and my 6-month-old pit/lab mix Archie and assumed I was just as trendy as everyone else.

And yes, dog adoptions have been at an all-time high during COVID. Organizations like the ASPCA in the U.S. reported a 400 percent increase in foster and adoptions in the Los Angeles and NYC areas alone, and Australia showed a 300 percent increase. Sure, call me trendy. But throughout COVID we have all gained and lost various identities that have impacted us all in unfathomable ways—from the loss of a family member to the loss of employment, these are just some of the issues that people have been facing the past few months. And we are all still learning to adapt and cope as our world continues to shift.

I have been so incredibly privileged during this time to still be employed, to own a home, and to have space in which to stay-at-home safely. I know that my own coping was really nothing in comparison to the average person. But, choosing to rescue a dog and gaining this new iden
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