Pandemic Puppies

This student passes her quarantine fostering puppies-in-need, and you can too!

Pandemic puppies, quarantine dogs, whatever you call them; pets can help brighten up your isolation during Evers’ “Safer At Home” order.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals CEO and President Matt Bershadker, foster applications during the end of March increased nearly 70% due to the COVID -19 quarantine.

I count myself as part of those numbers, since I took in a foster pup during the start of quarantine. Her name was Lola, and she was an absolute dream to foster. But, being stuck in quarantine with a new animal meant that my quarantine experience has been far from what my friends and family have reported.

Instead of staying inside and venturing out only for food or necessities, I had to walk Lola several times a day. We went on mile-long walks across town, took several trips to the dog park (where the 6-feet-apart rule was followed; the park is large enough for owners to not make contact) and played with her favorite toys out in the front yard.

Fostering Lola gave me a much-needed routine to my life post-quarantine. Normally I lead a very busy life; this semester I am president of my sorority, secretary of my Greek honor society and I had three on-campus jobs and one off-campus job. Going from a schedule where I was busy for twelve hours a day to having nothing to do was quickly driving me insane.

Taking in a foster dog really helped give me back a small sense of normalcy. Wake up, walk Lola, feed Lola, eat breakfast, shower, brush teeth, play with Lola, do schoolwork, eat lunch, play with Lola…the list went on and on.
Lola gave me a reason to get out of bed each day…and to not attend my Zoom lectures while half asleep under my comforter. I had to walk her, which helped me get fresh air and sunshine when I otherwise might have stayed cooped up inside. I had to play with her, which helped me stay happy and see the brighter side of things; how could you not laugh when a dog as cute as Lola wiggled her butt and chased you around the house?

Don’t get me wrong; I consider myself extremely fortunate to be quarantining with six of my closest friends (we are all living together next year, so that house has been where we spend all our time these days). I can still afford to buy groceries, even without being able to work and I am healthy and safe.

However, my mental health has nonetheless been negatively affected by the quarantine measures and taking in a foster dog was the perfect medicine to combat that, in my opinion.

Sadly – I mean, thankfully – Lola was adopted to her forever home last week. I’ve been in serious doggy withdrawals and have already put in another foster application.

Many shelters are still looking for foster families to take in animals while their shelters are closed to the public. I highly encourage anyone who is able to take in a foster cat or dog to do so!