How Our Pets Get Us Through

by Lee Chambers

COVID-19 has brought big changes to our lives.  One source of great comfort is our pets, and there are few things more relaxing than spending time with them, petting them and enjoying the unconditional love they offer up every day.

Check out what some Dakin team members had to say about how they're coping these days...and how their animal companions make each day better!

"Oscar reminds me every day that he is more important than anything happening in the world by gluing his cold wet nose to my legs and following me around the house until I pet him. He will whine and spread himself as wide as he can on the floor around me until I let him on the couch or he'll try and get my food. No, Oscar, you can't have people food for the millionth time today."


"Our two 'kittens' Billie and Stevie have kept us entertained by their antics. Billie plays hide and seek behind sheer curtains...she thinks she's sneaky hahaha.  And Stevie lets me man handle him and snuggle him HARD. As you can see in this picture. We are grateful for them every day."

Alanna and her crew

"Here's Lil' One originally named Zen for his calm sweet disposition. He is one of 4 pets, and his calm nature brings me much joy during these stressful times and reminds me to follow his lead. He also knows when my anxiety gets higher and will place his paw on my leg."

Stacey and Lil' One

"My pets are what help provide a sense of nurturing and compassion in my home. Their love of life is also contagious!"

Esther and her pets

"This is my dog, Maybe. All this extra time we have really gotten to work on her catching treats and she has gotten 12% better at it. Which would leave 88% bouncing off her head or nose which makes me laugh."


"In these unprecedented times I have found myself having a hard time finding anything to smile about, and there are days when there is just so much sadness it feels overwhelming.  Nothing brings me a sense of peace more than a purring cat just looking for the simple things in life - a little snack, a cozy lap, a little scratch behind the ears, and a comforting nap.  Animals don't worry about tomorrow - they live in the moment.  When everything is so crazy and nothing is certain, we can learn a lot from our animals - take a minute to appreciate the now and listen to that beautiful purr!"

Eliza with (top) Kirby and Nora; and (bottom) Devlin and Cricket

"My pets (and foster pets!) bring me so much happiness. From Leila's fluffy fur, to Dewey's beautiful blue eyes, to Frost's sweet little feet, to Meep's adorable face! My heart is so full and my spirit is joyous!"

Meg's pets include (clockwise from top left) Leila, Meep, Dewey, Dewey (again!) and Frost

"I have 2 black cats; Kelly and Gary Sinise. Kelly is camera-shy, but Gary isn't shy about anything, so he's in the photo. These two make me laugh every day. Their personalities are worlds apart; Kelly is dainty, sweet and shy. Gary is a wrecking ball without a tether. I feel peaceful in their company, I feel lucky to be their person, and I look for what's going on in their eyes every day. These days are a lot less sad with them around, and I love them for a million reasons. Oh, and Gary enjoys “love biting” my fingers, but has recently switched to my nose."

Lee and Gary Sinise

"Thank goodness the 6-foot social distancing rule doesn't apply to my pets! Cuddling up with Mavis and Shorty makes the stay-at-home order much more bearable.  In these days of "shelter in place," I spend more time than usual keeping in touch with friends and family through email since I can't see them in person.  Two of my gerbils, Oasis and Mirage, want to add their two cents to the message I'm typing.  Tending to orphaned wildlife, like this juvenile Eastern gray squirrel, helps me feel that I'm contributing something positive to a world that seems increasingly unfamiliar and unpredictable."

Madeline with (from top) Mavis & Shorty, Oasis & Mirage and a baby squirrel

Mary Jane
"Tiramisu has been a wonderful quarantine buddy.   Almost every morning we do yoga together on the catio and in the afternoon we watch the wildlife in the backyard.  We have frequent visits from a very sassy chipmunk and a chubby groundhog.  I spend hours with her on the couch looking out the window, listening to audiobooks and feeling a sense of calm.  Prior to social distancing, I spent a lot of time out of the apartment and always felt guilty for leaving her home alone.  This time we have together has been special because she is getting older now (14) and I finally feel like I am available to give her the attention she deserves."

MJ and Tiramisu

"It's hard not to be happy when I'm around my dog Norman.  He is always snorting like a little piggy or doing zoomies around the house.  He is a clown and I think his main purpose in life is to make people happy.  When I am sad he will be so invasive and push himself under my arms just to sit with me.  My favorite thing he does is when he chews on my hands with his little front teeth if I am not petting him enough.  It always makes me laugh!"

Abby and Norman

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