Our dog died and nothing else has seemed to matter as much ever since — aka where I’ve been for three months

A black dog reclining in the author’s lap in a hammock above bright green grass
A black dog reclining in the author’s lap in a hammock above bright green grass
Jessie. Photos: Summer Anne Burton

I haven’t been getting anything done since election day. Like, nothing. I’m an extrovert, someone who derives a lot of my energy, creativity, and joy from socializing with others, and the pandemic had already squished my characteristic joie de vivre into a pebble before last November’s election night, triggering anxiety and depression that I was already treating with new medications and mostly-failed attempts to change my less healthy habits. …


It’s not ‘good,’ but it’s good, you know?

A photo of a pizza hut pizza taken from one side, no regular cheese but deep red sauce, vegan sausage, veggies, & parmesan
A photo of a pizza hut pizza taken from one side, no regular cheese but deep red sauce, vegan sausage, veggies, & parmesan
Photos: Summer Anne Burton

We were a Hut family, meaning that Pizza Hut was the chain pizza chain we preferred and which I treasured as the world’s greatest treat. I dunked on Domino’s and Little Caesar’s lovers and they dunked right back on me. Regardless of family affinity, many of us shared fond memories of the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program that gave you free pizza in exchange for reading books over the summer, a deal my child-self regarded as something akin to getting free diamonds in exchange for taking long baths.

At some point in the last couple decades, though, I’ve noticed that…


Sarah Miller’s tribute to her dog is stuck in my head even though it’s a song with no tune

A dog sitting in a large window in a red-brick house, as seen from outside.
A dog sitting in a large window in a red-brick house, as seen from outside.
Photo: Ingmar Larsen via Unsplash

I just feel so warm and happy whenever I read along to this song-poem by the writer Sarah Miller, whose funny, frank, smart personal-plus essays are decade-defining. She writes brilliantly on Winona Ryder’s Forever Sweater, maxi dresses, The Best Abortion Ever, the emptiness of Nancy Meyers kitchens, and now WINDOWBEAR!

Sarah recently starting blogging on Medium, and I’m delighted. These lyrics in tribute to her extremely wonderful dog (I can say that from even though I have never met Sarah or her dog because that’s how “being Twitter mutuals who both have heelers” works) are like if the little songs…


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Photo: Gerrard Gethings, 17 Pictures of Cats and the People Who Look Like Them

👋🏽 folks,

What a strange world we find ourselves in. And yet, every morning, the sun rises as if we are supposed to get up and get on with our days, and most days, I can do at least a little of that. All things considered, I think that’s something to be grateful for.

New to Tenderly since I last wrote…

Everything has sucked lately, so I’ve been keeping track of the things that don’t — like tamale ladies, adoptable cats in libraries, cats who think they are dogs, cats fitting into things, cats…


Say ‘peanut butter’!

A cute squinting white dog sits near a foot pedal inside a colorful “photo booth” with an open air top and trees behind them
A cute squinting white dog sits near a foot pedal inside a colorful “photo booth” with an open air top and trees behind them
Photo: Simone Giertz via Twitter

Important news of the day: Inventor Simone Giertz built her dog Scraps a backyard photobooth that is operated by a paw pedal. That’s right folks, you heard me, a paw pedal. This is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of cute stuff in my time. It doesn’t hurt that the portrait-snapping pup looks like a children’s stuffed animal.

A few months ago, Simone introduced her YouTube fans to her new family member Scraps, the newly minted dog-tographer, who was adopted from the San Francisco SPCA. …


When there are just so many things that do, we gotta start sharing the un-sucky with each other

A woman with curly hair and glasses leans over a computer, smiling while holding a cat, with a bottle and glass of wine
A woman with curly hair and glasses leans over a computer, smiling while holding a cat, with a bottle and glass of wine
This is how I imagine you, dear reader. Been there, trust. Photo: Matilda Wormwood via Pexels

It’s been easy to get overwhelmed with bad news in recent months, and while it’s important to stay informed and active, it’s also important to give that overstimulated brain a bit of a break. In the interest of sharing with you what helps me, I’ve been collecting examples of things that have happened recently that don’t make the world worse, and might actually bring a smile to your face.

Good luck out there.

1. Someone’s very lucky mam met this nice farmer who gets so nervous when cars pass by that he has to hold his loving dog’s soft paw.

2. We found Chappie.

3. Maru fit into a new container.

4. I saw my new favorite drawing for the first time.

5. An exception was made.

6. In Auburn, Maine, Covid restrictions have led to a collaboration between the local library and the Humane Society. A series of adoptable cats have been housed in the library’s currently unused teen zone, where library visitors are allowed to say hello. Each cat featured so far has found a new forever home, and I’m wondering if libraries everywhere could please adopt this policy ASAP.

7. This kitten who needed a lap found a lap and this person who really needed a kitten found a kitten.

8. Just my cat, Kristofferson, sleeping next to my desk

9. And this sheep who reminded me of him…

10. Pigeon got to put on her chair!!!!!!!

11. These pups got hitched.


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It’s October! Huh? Let’s get into it. Here’s what’s new to Tenderly…

That debate was rough. Here are 20 adorable, smile-inducing pictures to wash your eyes out from the toxicity of politics right now — here for you whenever you need them.

Hossein Raspberry, a new Tenderly contributor, wrote about what it was like to go vegan in Iran as a teenager, and how things have changed there since. Here’s a quote:

At first, my family, especially my little brother, couldn’t understand my desire to only eat vegetables. Today that little brother is 26 and embraces veganism. …


How many times do they have to ask?

Photo of a gray cat with his head resting firmly on the wrist of a hand gripping a computer mouse, his eyes closed peacefully
Photo of a gray cat with his head resting firmly on the wrist of a hand gripping a computer mouse, his eyes closed peacefully
Photo: Summer Anne Burton

I was recently delighted when I came across a series of tweets from @gisel_ysbryd describing her creative new solution to an issue many cat lovers may find relatable: a cat that’s neediest when you’re working hard on your laptop. I knew one such cat — Irwin, pictured above, my truest soulmate — whose obsession with being close to me was pretty constant, but magnified by several times whenever my fingers hit those glowing keys. It was adorable, but incredibly distracting.

According to the tweets, cats may be “all over your laptop when you’re trying to work” because they want…


We all need a break sometimes… consider today’s Tenderly newsletter our break to you.

Six easy steps for turning a bad day into a good day, explained in animal pictures

Step One: Take a long hot shower and sing (or just scream) along to your favorite song. Need musical inspiration? Laura’s Pet Sounds playlists contain multitudes.

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Photo: Ramesh Letchmanan, from 37 Pictures of Majestic Animals Being Incorrigible Goofs

Step Two: Take a quick look at this cat who thinks he’s a dog (or, as one commenter suggests, all of these dogs who think they are cats) and reflect on how our families and communities shape our selves in beautiful and unpredictable ways.

Summer Anne Burton

Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tenderly. Former BuzzFeed exec. Moomin. Texan. Vegan for the animals. 💕

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