The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

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The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

The Backstory: The Pet That Truly Rocks

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Jacqueline L.
The Backstory is a column celebrating fun and forgotten history!

If you can’t find a human companion for Valentine’s Day, you’re allergic to cat fur, and the thought of walking a dog sounds less than appealing—fear not. There’s a solution guaranteed to please even the stoniest of hearts. If you’re looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance way to keep your relationship on a solid foundation, try a Pet Rock. 

It was 1975, and marketing executive Gary Dahl was tired of listening to his friends complain about the responsibilities of caring for pets. Frustrated with the mess, expenses, and general hassle of animal ownership, Dahl had an epiphany as solid as the rocks he would later sell: why not create a pet that required no feeding, no grooming, and certainly no walks in the park? And boom (clonk?): the Pet Rock was born—an invention that would, quite literally, rock the world.

Don’t worry—the Pet Rock comes to you nestled in a crate complete with soft bedding and breathing holes 

Dahl channeled his frustration into a brilliant marketing campaign. Each Pet Rock came nestled in a cozy box, complete with breathing holes and a tongue-in-cheek instruction manual that extolled the virtues of this “perfect” pet. From “Sit” to “Stay,” these rocks obeyed every command with unwavering obedience, making them the envy of dog trainers everywhere. They could even shake…if only during an earthquake.

Despite initial skepticism, the Pet Rock soon rolled its way into the hearts and homes of millions. People couldn’t resist the allure of owning a piece of nature’s finest workmanship—a pet that required no walks, no food, and no costly vet bills. It was the ultimate expression of laziness and ingenuity rolled into one. And what could be more romantic than a companion that never argued, never left fur on the couch, and always listened attentively to your deepest thoughts?

A Pet Rock will never take you for granite.
(Ilena M.)

Dahl’s creation struck a chord with the zeitgeist of the 1970s—a decade characterized by disco balls, lava lamps, and an irrepressible sense of whimsy. The Pet Rock became a symbol of countercultural rebellion, a rejection of the status quo that dared to ask, “Who needs a real pet when you can have a rock?”

The Pet Rock craze swept the nation like a landslide; it was a rock-solid sensation that melted even the stoniest of hearts. And while the fad eventually eroded away, Pet Rocks will always be full of sedimental value. Sometimes, all you need is a little piece of petrified perfection to brighten your Valentine’s Day.

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About the Contributor
Ilena M., Editor, Former Editor in Chief, Columnist
Ilena is passionate about stories— especially histories— good snacks, and bad puns. She has been on Spyglass for a very long time. Ilena is a senior.

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