Karin Sherbin

Pets are providing comfort to their people during the pandemic.

Melissa Wilcox says that her dogs Dottie and Dash ”have always provided comfort, but maybe I am noticing it more so now because of the situation. Just being able to cuddle with them instantly melts away any anxiety I may have.”

Wilcox still goes into work (she’s a funeral director). “Working in a high-stress job and walking through the [house] door to their wagging butts and happy howls is so refreshing,” she says.

Working from home, teacher Corrine Bryant and her husband chill with dog Petunia by playing Frisbee or taking her for a drive-thru pup cup. Petunia also shared screen time during a Zoom teaching session.

Bryant says she had incorporated stories of Petunia into past classroom instruction, so she thought the students would enjoy seeing the dog. She’s considering making a TikTok video with Petunia to use on Google Classroom. “They’d really get a kick out of it,” she says.

Teacher Christine Rickert and her husband are working from home. Their dog Millie enjoys her people being home.

“Millie walks ahead of us to the different places we work during the day. She brings toys to us when she feels she has been ignored long enough. She has latched onto the word ‘walk’ as we have been taking many of them,” says Rickert.

Many area residents talk of comfort from their pets, or joy watching cats battling on the windowsill, batting game pieces about or taking a dog on an ATV ride.

Here’s a sampling:

M Sherry Art says her two dogs “are amazing companions from hanging out on the lanai to binge watching.”

Angie Swafford says her two dogs “have completely saved me from boredom!”

Maria Thompson: “My three dogs can definitely tell we are stressed. One of my dogs, 2 years old, has never chewed shoes. He has chewed two pairs of Nikes in the past two weeks.”

Deborah Gaines Barker: “My dog Peaches has always been very sensitive to me but especially so now with all the chaos going on in the world.”

Jennifer Key Overstreet: “Our Sophie … is loving the crate-free days and all the play time. She is a great partner for getting us outside and helping to relieve the stress.”

Some animals may prefer more self-isolation.

Tabitha Cawthorne says her cat “gets a little annoyed that I am here all the time.”

Deborah F. Johnson of her cat: “Poor Linus is mad at me because I keep talking to him and he’s trying to sleep.”

Erik DiBiker: “My cats hate me because I am home all the time and now they can’t do their mysterious cat activities.”

Togetherness sometimes brings discoveries. Sandy Marie says she now realizes her cat Carl “covers his face when he sleeps.”

Emily Grace Price says of her dogs: “I notice some days where they have tons of energy, and then they will go two to three days and just be sleepy all day.”

Me too! Hang in there everybody.

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