Pets provide comfort during quarantine


Photo courtesy of Evelyn Shue

Sophomore Evelyn Shue adopted her cat Tako during the quarantine.

Liz Frisbie, Features Writer

Quarantine has been a tense and trying time for countless students. The transition to online school has brought about many anxiety-inducing problems and stressful challenges, but luckily, students have been able to turn to their pets for comfort.  

Many studies have shown that owning a pet comes with health benefits. “People who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate, and heart-disease risk than those who don’t,” Mandy Oaklander of TIME Magazine wrote. This may be because dog owners have to walk their dogs at least once a day, and cats can reduce stress with their purrs. In addition to the numerous health benefits that come with owning a pet, students’ pets have been boosting their morale throughout the quarantine. 

Freshman David Suh adopted his dogs Benji (pictured) and Lexi three years ago. (Photo courtesy of David Suh)

To freshman David Suh, his dogs Lexi and Benji are like family members. Three years ago, instead of going on a cruise, his family adopted the pair. Since then, they have earned their places as pet therapists. 

“My mom, when she’s alone downstairs, doesn’t feel lonely or sad anymore because she has the dogs,” Suh said. Benji and Lexi have also helped him. “They have helped me tremendously, as every time I get bored or lonely, I play with my dogs and watch movies with them,” he said.

According to TIME Magazine, dogs can reduce anxiety, and spending time with them encourages the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that make us feel happy. Dogs, and all pets, can also act as a social support, making feelings of loneliness and isolation—especially during quarantine—disappear. 

“My family always plays with them, and just their presence being there brightens the mood,” Suh said. “And we couldn’t imagine life without them.”

Not only have Suh’s dogs helped his family feel less isolated, but they have also ensured that his family gets their exercise. “We walk every day and we play fetch for 50 minutes outside. If the weather is nice, we go to the park often,” he said. 

Suh is not the only student whose quarantine life has been greatly improved by a pet. Many students have also adopted new pets, such as sophomore Evelyn Shue, whose family recently adopted a cat named Tako. 

Both Lexi (pictured) and Benji have helped Suh and his family feel less isolated during the quarantine. (Photo courtesy of David Suh)

Adopting a pet during lockdown might be the furthest thing from some people’s minds. But, to Shue and her family, it was the perfect opportunity. “We have always wanted a cat, but never got around to it. Over quarantine, we thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have a cat right now?’ So, we decided to get one,” Shue said. 

Since his adoption, Shue and her family have been happier and feel less isolated. “My whole family thinks he’s so cute, and now he’s the baby of the family. We all dote on him, and having him around makes us happier!” Shue said. Tako is also a great study partner, as he sits on her desk and watches her do homework. 

Besides lifting her family’s spirits, Shue’s cat is a great source of entertainment for her family. One day, when they were playing ping pong, Tako tried to jump on the table but was thwarted by a wayward ball. “It hit Tako straight in the face, and he fell off the table backwards,” she said. 

Without Tako, Shue thinks her family would feel more isolated and bored. “Life would carry on as usual, but Tako wouldn’t be there to lighten the mood or make us laugh,” she said.