Our pets during COVID-19

A recent study out of England, conducted during the March–June 2020 lockdown period, found that having a pet was linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness. More than 90% of respondents said their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown, and 96% said their pet helped keep them fit and active.
At PAHS, we know how important our pets are to our well-being.
 
Tell us: How has your pet helped you during the pandemic?
 
Please share your story (and photos!) with us. We’ll compile your stories and photos on our website to inspire others. A good pet story always makes a difficult day a little brighter!
 
Just e-mail your story and any photos you’d like to share to arlene@paloaltohumane.org.

Be Inspired by some of our submitted stories below:

Judy and Coco
Coco weighs 6 lbs. She’s a toy yorkie-poodle that I rescued 5 years ago. She was 8 years old, full of fun and personality, cute as a button.
Now she is an old doggie; she sleeps a lot.

She is also a miracle dog.

A year and a half ago she developed a metastatic tumor on her lip. The veterinarian oncologist removed it but could not remove the stem without removing half her jaw. I said no. She was too old already to go through such an ordeal. It would metastasize to her lungs. I was prepared to help her through the end.
I was distressed and sad. I am 81 years old. I’ve lost most of my walking – Coco gets out with the help of my mobility scooter. I have a variety of ailments that make sleeping difficult, my hearing is off in one ear, etc. etc.
We were still both playing “I’m going to git you!” She dashes around the house, I hide and jump out at her as she tears by, both of us laughing. But I 
readied myself for coughing fits, distressed breathing and making the dreaded appointment with the euthanasia vet.
Indeed, the tumor grew back. I offered up last rites foods – ignore doggie food with all its balanced vitamins, minerals, protein which Coco hated, no matter what flavor. She loved Trader Joe’s Kettle Cooked Chicken Soup, onions carefully removed.
Then covid-19 came down the pipe. My stress level markedly increased. Here we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic, I am old and rather weary, my dog is terminally ill, the tumor was now as large as a quarter. 
Then something happened. 
As though a light snapped on in Coco’s great spirit. The tumor began to shrink. Within a few weeks it was gone. Jewish penicillin?
My spirits soared. The vets were astounded. Coco laughed at them and said, “She saved me. Now I’m helping her.”
The pandemic continues to lock us down, but Coco greets me every morning, not a sign of lung cancer, with licks on my cheeks and a great smile as I scratch her tummy.
Twy-Twy and Chu-Chu

Nearing the end of 2020, I received notice from my friend that the pet rabbit pair he had owned had given birth and there was a sizable litter that his family was willing to give out. Sadly 2 gray rabbits were left behind as the rest of their rabbit siblings were taken away as the original adoptive family had a change of heart and was no longer adopting the 2 bunnies.

I decided that since I am in the situation to take care of 2 bunnies/rabbits I would adopt them and take care of them for the foreseeable future. One bumpy car ride later and the bunnies finally started to settle down in their new home. Because they were so tiny, it was very hard to tell them apart at first but after a while and learning their respective personalities and quirks, I was finally able to tell them apart as my sister named them Twy-Twy and Chu-Chu.

To say taking care of 2 bunnies was a learning experience was an understatement. Before hand we had learned and thought that 1) rabbits were safe outdoors and 2) that you could fit them in the biggest cage I could buy which was wrong. After some adjustment, purchasing and returning old equipment, I finally set up a play pen in my house where I knew the bunnies would have space to roam and also adjusted their diet for mainly hay consumption. Most importantly, I want them to feel safe. Certainly my life now is different with 2 bunnies to take care of but I enjoy the experience. I have learned a lot about the rabbits and myself throughout the past year and hope to continue taking good care of them for as long as I am able to.