For most of us, busy work lives mean our pets spend a lot of time on their own. After a morning walk or cuddle, the average cat or dog is likely to spend 8, 10 and even 12 hours or more solo, waiting patiently for you to come home. One of the reasons those of us who adopt out animals encourage people to have more than one pet is so they can keep each other company while you’re away. Pets feel isolation and boredom just like we do and I’ve often thought about how much loneliness we expect them to endure and how hard that must be on creatures who are called companion animals – in honor of their relationship to us!
Since more and more pet owners have been working from home, our animals have been getting to spend record amounts of time with us and all accounts point to one piece of good news: They love it being around us more! You bombarded us with photos and stories of dogs that sit in the office chair next to you and watch the screen; cats that happily curl up on your shoulder while you type away; and pets who sleep the day away, contentedly curled up by your feet.
“Cisco lays between me and my computer every single morning. He demands my attention while I’m working. My gang seems happy I’m home. Prior to COVID, I was on the road weekly, so the silver lining of all this horribleness has been having so much time with my furry family!” –Betsy McFarland
“All my babies love me being home! Boo comes to love on me and make sure I take mini breaks.” –Cheryl Rivera
“CharleyBear inserts himself front and center to monitor my productivity!” –Kim Boggs
“My girl is definitely happy as she has dementia and is near the end of her life and needs me for constant reassurance. I’m happy to be here to give her a happy not, a smile and a gentle stroke. I can’t tell you how much these extra hours have meant to me as we go through this together.” Ben Swan
“She sits on a deck in a chair while I work from the table inside. So happy and almost human!” –Stephanie Ford
“Jack is normally an introverted dog but since we’ve been working from home, he demands to know who I am talking to when the office door is shut. He opens the door, stares at me, then proceeds to lay in the doorway, coming over occasionally for a hefty dose of butt scratches!” – Julie Laux
“My dogs think it’s the greatest thing since doggy daycare!” –Jacqueline Hernandez
“COVID gave me a chance to be home with Wookie daily. We said goodbye in June and had been together for 15 years, since he was five months old. In no other scenario would I have been able to spend all day with him.” –Krista Mears Davis
If remote work becomes the norm for the foreseeable future, then we may see other aspects of this homebound bond emerge. A sustained increase in people who want to foster and adopt might just happen because like animals, people are happier at home with a companion!
2020 is, without question, one of the craziest, most difficult, most emotionally draining years on record. When it feels like everything is just the absolute worst, it might help just a little bit to think about this time from your pet’s perspective. For people working from home, or just spending more time with their pets because, well, there’s nothing else to do, this can be a wonderful chance to bring joy to your pet’s life and to build the bond between you.
You are their whole world and this time with you is everything to them.