Pets bring silver lining to their quarantined owners


Emma Hines

Frisk is living under quarantine in North Carolina with his people this spring. Needless to say, he is as confused as the rest of us.

Confusion, fear and determination: all words describing feelings many have faced during this COVID-19 quarantine.  And I’m not talking about just people either. I’m talking about our furry friends, our pets.

Our friends have noticed by now that their human companions are staying home a lot more and for a lot longer than normal. As a dog owner myself, I can say that my dog Frisk has been rather confused with everyone at home pretty much all day. He does not seem to be getting all his normal naps in and as a result has been sleeping throughout the night instead of howling and barking at whatever happens to be outside at the time.

One of the few times I go outside the house is to walk Frisk around the block with my mom. However, I have since noticed a lot more people have been walking their dogs lately and for a lot longer.

The larger and younger dogs seem quite happy as they practically drag their owners around. But the smaller and older dogs are not as happy about having to walk around the neighborhood more than one time. One such dog even refuses to move until her owner carries her for a few blocks, with another dog still walking on a leash.

I spoke to some of my choral buddies from high school back in Pennsylvania, and learned most of them are also dog owners. Their dogs are reacting in different ways.

My friend Veronica said that Mia, her two-year-old Lab, “doesn’t know how to act anymore. She will drag her bed around the house trying to find a new quieter place to sleep.”

Kim, an old friend of my mom, owns five dogs. “The hardest part about all of this is that you have to make sure you have plenty of dog food and treats for everyone,” she said.

Dogs at least seem to be happy with the quarantine and their humans staying home; it seems the same cannot be said for cats. I don’t have a cat so I can’t say how they acted in the house pre-quarantine.  My basis for cat knowledge comes from videos I see online and what people who are cat owners tell me.  However, most of the cats in my neighborhood are outdoor cats. In other words, they roam the neighborhood, get into everybody’s yards and chase away the birds, as my mother has pointed out many times.

The good news is that according to the March 27 executive order from N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, pet stores are considered essential businesses and are allowed to stay open provided they follow the CDC guidelines. No need to worry. Your pup will stay happy and well fed, although if they have a particular diet they must follow, I’d recommend calling and ordering from wherever you shop ahead of time.

Frisk has to have diet dog food (which meant that before the quarantine, which I am now going to dub BQ), we had to go around and compare dog foods, because when you buy from grocery stores, you are not always guaranteed the same stock every time.

I can’t say when this will all end. But at least for those of us with furry friends, we don’t have to spend it alone.