The Pets Issue 2023

Welcome to our sixth annual celebration of the Portland area’s furriest, most fabulous residents.

In Star Trek, a targ is a boarlike companion to Klingons. In Portland, Targ is the name of a shy guinea pig known for his deep voice and many girlfriends.

“He got his name because he has a lot of extra fur on his back, and when you fluff it up, he looks like a wild boar,” says Erin Roski (she and her husband, Calvin Richardson, are Targ’s owners). “He also charges around like a boar when he’s excited or trying to let his cagemate know who’s boss.”

Five-year-old Targ triumphed in WW’s annual Portland Pet Pageant presented by DoveLewis. He’s a small fellow who’s lived an epic life, surviving an early separation from his brother Neelix (they were later reunited) and finding a loving home thanks to a fortuitous Craigslist adoption. His fuzzy paramours have included CJ, named for the fiery White House press secretary played by Allison Janney on The West Wing.

Targ’s story isn’t the only heartening tale you’ll read in our Pets Issue. We’ve put together a package of stories that celebrates our furry friends, as well as the humans who go to remarkable lengths to make sure they live healthy, joyous lives.

In this issue, you’ll read about animals experiencing the healing bliss of hydrotherapy, get a behind-the-scenes look at Oregon’s largest cat shelter, and meet a local dog who landed in Puppy Bowl XIX. We’ve also taken this opportunity to discuss proper pet care, spotlighting a rising star in the veterinary world and compiling a guide to the plants most dangerous to pets.

2023 marks the sixth year of the Portland Pet Pageant. Every year, we give pet parents the opportunity to confirm in public what they’ve always privately believed: that their fur babies are the most adorable snugglemuffins in the whole damn city.

It’s hard not to feel a little guilty about our pets these days. The easing of the pandemic has allowed many of us to dive back into our work and social lives, but resuming our daily routines has made the lives of our loyal companions a bit emptier.

More than ever, it’s important to remind our pets that we love them, whether that means treating your dog (or miniature horse) to an aquatic adventure or keeping them safe from toxin-filled flowers.

You can read all about that and more in these stories, which provide proof that there is a big, beautiful world out there for Oregon’s pets—provided they’re given the chance to charge at it like Targ. —Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Read the Results of the 2023 Portland Pet Pageant

At Paws Rehab in Hillsboro, Dogs (and the Occasional Cat or Miniature Horse) Experience the Joys of Hydrotherapy

Cat Adoption Team Turns 25 This Year

Puplandia Thrills Animal Planet, Rescues Locally

Banfield Hospital Offers Second Annual NextVet Internship

Pets vs. Plants

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