Quarantine effect on pets

Arturo Alipio

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Photo courtesy of Ella Nilsen

Sophomore Ella Nilsen’s dogs, Tiller and Misty, nap together in the comfort of their home. The dogs have enjoyed the extended time spent with their owners in quarantine.

Maryland has had the “stay-at-home” order from Governor Larry Hogan for just over a month now. This has greatly affected the lives of humans, but it is also important to consider its effect on our pets.

Sophomore Ella Nilsen has two dogs — a boy named Tiller (as in the piece on a sailboat) and a girl named Misty (as in Misty of Chincoteague). Tiller is 10 years old and Misty, a husky pitbull mix, is two years old.

“They both definitely like having us all around. My parents both work and I go to school all at the same time so they are usually alone during the weekdays,” Nilsen said.

The dogs are not the only ones enjoying the increased time together. They also serve as a fun distraction for their fenced-in owners.

“[The dogs] are 100% the reason my family hasn’t gone crazy,” Nilsen said.

Senior Zañel Prieto has had his dog, Stella, for six months. She is a lab-boxer mix.

“She is definitely enjoying having the whole family around. She has been on more walks and gets more massages,” Prieto said.

Prieto finds that having his dog around helps him with his school work. This is at least one bright side to not being at school physically to do the work.

“Stella serves as an extra motivation for me to work. She has featured in several of my zoom calls, as well,” Prieto said.

Although dogs and cats are the usual pet in a household, senior Oscar Casasola has a pet that is a bit more exotic. He has had his parrot, Edgar, for two years now.

“I have had the time to spend with my pets, my dog and parrot. They do not get along well, so I separate my time spent with them. They are both great study buddies,” Casasola said.

Senior Alejandro Zuniga adopted a Chihuahua Jack Russell mix, Benji, one year ago. He has taken the necessary precautions in light of this COVID-19 pandemic.

“I put little shoes on my dog when I take him out for walks. That way, I can disinfect his shoes, not his paws, which may prove a harder task,” Zuniga said.

Zuniga also understands that pets need their personal space sometimes. Due to his closed-off backyard, he can let his dog out various times of the day.

“Benji likes to take naps outside when it’s warm,” Zuniga said.

Despite these difficult and stressful times, our community needs to stay strong, including the pet owner community. Be sure to send any funny pet videos to @humansofwj.