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Man’s best friends lend helpful paws

Bruins agree that their pets have helped them stay positive during the pandemic. Photo by Jamey Slater

Spending time with pets has become easier than ever. Many Bruins say their pets have become a good source of support while they are confined to their homes. 

Last year was a rough year for both students and their pets, and with 2021 showing little improvement over 2020, people need all the positivity and support they can get. Thankfully, we have our pets to help us to survive this year. But what specific support can pets provide?

Senior Maddie Pratt reflected on her pets helping to positively influence her mood. 

“They make me happy even if I am sad and help me take my mind off [troubles] because they are positive,” she said.

Junior Bailey Ham’s dogs and cats help keep her entertained. 

“They really just make life more fun and enjoyable, and give something to hang out with when I’m bored,” she said, “Overall they just make everything better.”

Sophomore Zach Averill agreed with Ham’s view. 

“My pets make me happy and let me enjoy my free time more,” he said.

Spanish Teacher, Daniel Bussinger mentions another benefit of pet ownership. 

“My dog, Lupin, benefits my life the most. She takes me on walks and on runs almost every day. She is always super glad to see me, even when I just saw her 5 minutes ago,” he explained. 

Mr. Bussinger also recalls the indirect benefits of having a pet in relation to wildlife deterrence. 

“[My dog Lupin] also does a good job of chasing away bears, coyotes, bobcats, and foxes from the chicken coop! [And my cat, Glory,] is an expert hunter. When our old cat died and before we got Glory, the garden was overrun with gophers. It was a mess. Within a few weeks of Glory taking up residence at our house, the gopher problem abated,” he stated. 

Pets are great additions to your house as something to play with, have fun with, and provide support. But in relation to the physical care of pets, people have found taking care of them is easier during Covid. 

Averill finds in his experience, pet ownership is pretty simple.

“We stay inside a lot more and get to be with them more, it isn’t hard to handle their needs because they mostly take care of themselves,” he said.

Some students find that little has changed in relation to the daily care of pets. 

“I think my pets have adjusted to me being around a lot more than I usually would, but it hasn’t  changed much,” Ham said, “It’s not too difficult to care for them, they just need food, water, to be cleaned up after, and of course exercise for dogs.”

Pratt agrees with Ham’s view, saying, “Nothing really changed but they were nice to have at the time (during quarantine).”

Mr. Bussinger had plenty of examples to give of the responsibilities of owning pets

“Pets are a big responsibility, but most of that falls to [my daughter], Maya. She feeds them and scoops the poop off the lawn, so I am left with the responsibility of taking Lupin for a walk and petting Glory.”

While there are plenty of responsibilities for owning pets, they are great additions to have in your house and play with during the quarantine. Having a fun companion to keep your spirits up, especially during quarantine, is a good thing to have.  

Mr. Bussinger had one final piece of advice to give,“Pets are a great addition to the family, but make sure you play with them every day! Play with them and talk to them and they will be loyal friends for life.”

~Macey Fowler contributed to this report.

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Man’s best friends lend helpful paws