Even if you’re not a reality TV afficionado, you’ve most definitely heard of the love triangle that shook the cablesphere: Scandoval, where Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules cast members Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss engaged in a months-long affair right under the nose of his decade-long partner, Ariana Madix, who also happened to consider Leviss a best friend.
There were plenty of repercussions from the affair, but one of the more puzzling ones is the case of Graham Cracker, the goldendoodle Leviss and then-boyfriend/fiancé “DJ” James Kennedy brought home in 2018. After Leviss and Kennedy broke up, Leviss took sole custody of Graham. Flash forward to Scandoval fallout, and the summer of 2023 witnessed yet another scandal: Grahamgate, in which Kennedy was now full-time caregiver to the pup after Leviss’s family placed him in a shelter. The reasoning was that he was biting and needed more care and training than they could provide.
Who’s wrong, who’s right—who truly knows? But the spectacle did reveal a larger problem: Lazy-faire dog ownership, where humans bring pups home, even post them on Instagram frequently, but don’t realize how much work—and money—a canine really requires.
As the Washington Post reports: “More than 23 million American households—nearly 1 in 5 nationwide—adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).” This is a beautiful thing! Except…as we’ve returned to normalcy post-pandemic, dog owners aren’t home all day, doggie daycares are booked up (and expensive to boot), and the fallout has seen lots of folks surrendering their pets back to the rescues. There’s also the likelihood that if pets with overwhelmed humans don’t return them, they’ll become neglected and uncared for.