Pawing through quarantine


Anushka Jain

Freshman Anushka Jain’s dog, Pluto, relaxes on a sofa. “We take him on two walks a day. My dad takes him on a walk in the morning. I take him on a walk in the nighttime,” freshman Anushka Jain said.

Evelyn Li, Staff Writer

After countless hours of begging, slideshows, and proving to your parents that you can responsibly raise a pet, your parents finally agree. Excited, you bring home the furry friend you have been eyeing for a while– only for COVID-19 to enter the scene. With a global pandemic on the rise, students struggle to find a way to present a balanced life for their pets during the quarantine.

Freshman Anushka Jain recently welcomed a bichon frise puppy to her family. Jain’s family got Pluto to replace her brother who had recently moved out due to the location of his work. “Our family has wanted a dog to replace my brother ever since he moved out,” Jain said.

On the other hand, other families simply got a pet for extra company during isolation. “My brother has always wanted a hamster. So, for his birthday, I got it for him.” freshman Anika Gulati said.

Gulati deduced that the only reason she got S’mores, her hamster, was because of the pandemic. “I think I wouldn’t even have a hamster if COVID-19 wasn’t around,” Gulati said. “A huge part of why my brother wanted it [S’mores] is because he was getting lonely at home.”

Gulati’s family has bonded over the purpose of welcoming a new member to their family. “Raising her has given us some sort of responsibility and unit because all of us know we have a little one depending on us,” Gulati said.

Similarly, Jain feels that her pet has a greater impact than just a replacement for her brother. “I’m definitely a lot happier with Pluto. He’s also made me manage my time better and be more responsible because it’s a lot of work to take care of a new puppy– especially with school,” Jain said.

Furthermore, pets can encourage their owners to be moreactive. Jain and her dad take turns caring for their pet, such as walking their dog. “We take him on two walks a day. My dad takes him on a walk in the morning. I take him on a walk in the nighttime, and sometimes we take him on a walk in the middle of the day if he’s extra excited,” Jain said.

Additionally, pets can teach enormous amounts of responsibility. Like Jain’s family, each member of Gulati’s family has an instrumental part in taking care of the little hamster. “My mom wakes up early, so she spends time with S’mores in the mornings and refills her water bottle. My dad stays up late, so he makes sure her food bowl is filled at night and that her cage is closed. My brother is her main caretaker, and he plays with her and makes sure she exercises in her ball. My main job is to make sure she’s healthy, eating and drinking enough, and to keep her cage clean,” Gulati said. “Completing our roles to keep our pets healthy is an important part of being a pet owner.”

From loneliness to boredom, pets can supply comfort during challenging times. Providing a reason to go out for fresh air and learn responsibility, these furry friends help TJHSST students adapt to life with a global pandemic.