DURHAM, N.C.—Emboldened by the success of labor movements nationwide, students in Duke’s Puppy Kindergarten have taken the first step toward collective action. A recent ballot measure showed that over 85% of Puppy Kindergarten’s current class is in favor of organization – despite extreme resistance from the university. Union members describe bitter apple spray, high-pitched noises, and even the threat of baths as intimidating them on their way to the polls. Reports have even been made of a “puppy impersonator” infiltrating the movement to disrupt it from within. “I knew something was off when I noticed his small pince-nez spectacles.” Said Tate Hannigan (Trinity ‘24), a human ally of the Puppy Union. “It was just Vincent Price in a fursuit.”
Aside from their near 90-hour work weeks, the puppies’ main complaint? Rising costs of living in Durham. Dog food prices have been soaring through the roof, and many dogs have made the bitter shift from canned food to kibble. In an escalation of the problems, housing costs have left many dogs on the streets. The explosive population growth in the Triangle means designer dogs like ShiPoos and YorkaDoodles can outprice the working-class labrador.
In response to the University’s poor treatment of the dogs, many students like Hannigan have raised an outcry. “It's just so ridiculous that Duke could treat its own students so unfairly.” When asked to comment on other union efforts at Duke, Hannigan looked puzzled. “Graduates? I’ve never heard of that dog breed.”