The comfort of Pets During Hard Times


Junior Maci Pastir, and her dog, Ally

Becca Palermo, Editor

       In trying times, pets can help to comfort their owners. According to an article published by HelpGuide called, “The Mood-Boosting Power of Pets”, it states, “Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.” During this period of uncertainty, with time off from school due to the global pandemic, many people find themselves spending more time with their pets. 

       English teacher Mrs. Shauna Newall has been spending more time with her dog, Bastain, during this time and getting outside. Newall states, “We are together nonstop. We try to get at least two walks in every day, which we didn’t have time for before. It’s so great for both of us to be outside and clear our heads.” 

       Dogs can help comfort their whole family. History teacher Mr. Todd Williams says that his three  year old cocker spaniel, Prim, has provided more comfort to him and his family since they have been home. Williams also added how he and his family have been spending more time with Prim during this time off from school and getting outside, “Hikes and a lot more walks are a part of the daily routine. I’ve been working on getting her all excited and unleashing her on the squirrels in our yard.  She’ll never catch them, but I have to give her an A+++ for the enthusiasm and effort each time.”

       Some dogs are able to sense uneasy changes, or trying times with their people. Maci Pastir, junior, has a dog named Ally and stated, “Ally is the type of dog to sense little things, so she has been hanging out with us a lot more. If our doors are closed she puts her nose right up to it until someone opens it because she wants to cuddle.”

Pictured above is one of Matt Wootton’s german shepherds named Dexter.

       A large number of teens aren’t allowed out of their house to hang out with friends right now, such as senior, Matt Wootton, who has two dogs, Fiona and Dexter. Wootton stated, “My dogs have provided a lot of comfort since I’m not allowed to go out and see my friends, so just hanging out with them makes up for me not being able to go out.”

       Not only dogs, but cats have been known to give comfort to their owners in times of need. Kathryn Dennis, senior, has a cat named Korra. Dennis stated how she feels they help to provide comfort and how she has been spending more time with her cat., “ It’s definitely nice to be able to spend more time with them and I find myself hanging out with my cat more often now. Spending time with them helps to relieve stress and stay calm while you’re stuck at home.”

       Dogs and cats can comfort their humans during harsh, uncertain times. Newall states about her dog Bastian, “Bastian has been so amazing during this time without even realizing it. He rarely leaves my side. When I am working he lies at my feet and when I’m working out, he is usually crying outside the door because he doesn’t know where I went! He always lays down with me when we’re watching tv as well. It’s so nice to have him there to comfort me, and also as a sense of normalcy.”