It began as a seemingly simple journalistic assignment on the pandemic pet boom for The New Yorker. But this article soon turned into a darker exploration of the strangeness of being human.
When The New Yorker reporter Nick Paumgarten was tasked with writing a piece on pandemic pets, he never imagined it would take him on a journey through the curious relationship between people and dogs in the time of Covid.
In the past 18 months, adopting pets, especially dogs, has been a global pastime. It has solved many people’s need for companionship and comfort in a time of stress and isolation.
There have been dozens of stories on how the rate of adoption has exploded. There have been dozens more on what will become of the many pandemic pets that now exist in the world.
But has there actually been a pet boom at all? Or has there been a boom of a different kind? One which says far more about humankind and pet culture. We also explore how writing this article changed Nick’s relationship with his own dog?
Nick Paumgarten has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2005. His most recent piece in the magazine is about the curious relationship between people and dogs in the time of Covid. He lives with his family in Manhattan. Their dog, Kiekko, is an eight-year-old rescue mutt from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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