Mason families adopt pets to lessen impact of social distancing

Archie Barton | Staff Writer

Unable to see their best friends, Mason families are choosing to adopt new ones.

With the stay-at-home order in effect, many Ohio families, including Governor Mike DeWine’s, have decided to adopt new pets to help cope with the social isolation of quarantine. As some shelters are currently closed due to the coronavirus, others have seen an increase in adoptions. Sophomore Blake Brewer’s family decided to bring home a new puppy to entertain themselves during quarantine.  

Brewer said that quarantine played a large role in buying their new puppy and allowed the family enough time to make the right choice with regards to their newest member.

“Quarantine definitely affected our decision to get a dog,” Brewer said. “We had a lot of free time and it made it a lot easier to take care of the dog and search for one to buy.” 

Concerned a new puppy would be as difficult as their last, there wasn’t much of an opportunity to get a dog going into quarantine according to Brewer.

“My mom always said no to getting a dog because our old dog was terrible,” Brewer said.

“She always got into the trash and used the bathroom in the house. Especially as she got older she started doing it more often.”

Freshman Andrew Eysoldt also adopted his new puppy Vinny, realizing that the stay at home order created an opportunity that he had not previously had.

“I honestly don’t think my family would’ve been able to take care of Vinny without the extra time,” Eysoldt said. “We have everyone at home and someone’s always able to take him out and play with him.”

Brewer said that quarantine gave his family the time they needed to care for his dog, but also meet its needs.  

“Quarantine has made it easier to take care of him because we can be with him nonstop,” Brewer said. “Cavapoos are known as ‘velcro dogs’ because they get attached to you, so being at home has made it easier to be around him.”

As families come together and spend more time with each other, the presence of a family dog can improve overall mental health, relieving stress, and increased anxiety due to COVID-19. The introduction of a new pet can also strengthen family relationships, something Eysoldt has found only weeks after his newest family addition.

“I think that Vinny made our family come closer together,” Eysoldt said. “Spending time with him has helped us to avoid feeling lonely.”

On a different kind of schedule, Brewer said that having a puppy has motivated him to get out of bed and help his family by looking after his dog. Combatting the loneliness of isolation and giving him something else to focus on instead of Netflix and Youtube. 

“Having a pet definitely helps me to feel less lonely in quarantine,” Brewer said. “It has really given me something to do besides playing video games or sleeping all day. My mom is a teacher and has work to do all day but she usually helps my younger sibling on school work, having the puppy makes sure I get up early enough to help out with him so my mom can get some of her own work done.” 

As well as social benefits, having a pet has improved the level of physical exercise for Brewer. Spending time with his dog has meant doing things he would usually do more, which he sees as a positive.   

“Having him definitely has come with benefits,” Brewer said. “He makes me actually go outside more because I have to play with him and run around in the yard or take him out to use the bathroom.”

In the absence of physical interactions with friends, Eysoldt and Brewer agree that having a dog to talk to and spend time with is a comforting relief while under quarantine. 

“He has become my little best friend,” Brewer said. “Having him around definitely makes not seeing my friends a lot easier.”

Photo contributed by Blake Brewer.