Paw-demic Pets


Nivitha Kandula, Mike Meadows

Furry friends who accompanied their owners during COVID

Karissa Gonzales, Staff Reporter

Whether it’d be a furry friend, a slithering reptile or a familiar with fins, pets are one of the ways to keep an individual or a family company. It’s also another way to bring joy to a family, especially during the pandemic. Some individuals have said their furry friend has helped them get through the dull times and have noticed a stronger bond. 

Senior Nivitha Kandula’s furry friend is Rocky, a white Coton De Tutelar, and has had him since 2015. During the pandemic, she wasn’t able to socialize outside as much as she would have liked. 

“I feel that the pandemic has enabled me to bond more closely with my pet,” Kandula said. “I spent more time at home with him so I was able to interact with him more than I would have compared to if I was going outside.” 

Math teacher Mike Meadows also said he experienced a positive outcome when adopting his family’s dog Scooter during the pandemic. Scooter is a mutt who can be identified as jack russell and a kind of terrier. 

“I think it affected our family positively because our other dog is very old and is sick a lot,” Meadows said. “Getting this new dog [Scooter] who’s very active has brought a lot of youth to our family again.”

Kandula, however, did not purchase Rocky during the pandemic and doesn’t think it would be vastly different if she did purchase a dog during the pandemic. She does think that dogs had the same problems when it comes to not socializing outside of their homes.

 “I do think, however, that most people that got pets during the pandemic were more lonely staying at home,” Kandula said. “Perhaps this need for companionship encouraged them to get a pet to cope during difficult times. Something that might be different, though, is that these animals wouldn’t get to socialize much with others.”

Meadows was outvoted by his wife and two daughters when it came to purchasing another dog because of their older one. But he said he’s seen a difference when purchasing Scooter compared to his other dog during the pandemic.

“What we noticed with our dog is we were all home around the dog all the time,” Meadows said. “So he was used to seeing us a lot, but now that we’re back in school and back at work it’s been a little different and he’s has to adjust a little bit.”

Kandula said that owning Rocky has been a positive experience for her. She thinks having a pet would let people feel less lonely as they can feel assured they have a loyal companion by their side.

“Before jumping into this commitment, though, I would advise them to work out if it is right for them and their circumstances,” Kandula said. “Don’t be responsible for a life based on an impulse decision.”