Whether it be a dog, cat, horse or mouse; many people are turning to furry companions to keep themselves company in what can be a lonely time during isolation. (Image source: Brooke Bowering)
By Chelsea Shepherd | @Chelsea15183902
Isolation can be a lonely and stressful time for anyone. Many are opting to adopt a pet to ease the angst and develop a special bond with a new found friend.
New dog owner Brooke Bowering gave us an insight into her experience adopting a pet during isolation.
“It gave me the perfect opportunity to finally commit to adopting a dog and devoting time to helping Lilly [her newly adopted dog] settle into her new home,” she said.
“It has been such a beneficial situation for both me and Lilly and coping with this strange time has been so much easier with a happy little pup wagging at my feet.
“I had been talking about getting a dog for a long time before COVID-19, dogs have been a part of my entire life, no cats in this family! It was COVID-19, however, that gave me the time to actually commit to getting a dog.”
Brooke chose to adopt her puppy from an organisation called Paws & Claws Adoptions.
Brooke said Paws & Claws Adoptions, similar to the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League (AWL), keep “their animals in foster homes where the carers can give the animal better individual care and it is a less stressful experience for the animal than being in a kennel”.
“When I decided to start looking for a dog, this was something I wanted to continue with – there are so many neglected animals out there that are just ready to give all their love to you!”
Isolation has proven to be a great time to adopt pets as people now have the time and capacity to take on the responsibility, with many working reduced hours, or from home.
Although Brooke is still working during isolation, it was her mum’s transition into working from home that allowed Lilly to have a companion every day.
Understandably, there are many aspects to consider prior to purchasing or adopting a pet. Brooke emphasised that time and space are vital for the ability to properly care for an animal.
“Do you have a big enough back yard? Do you have high enough fences? One of the dogs I went to look at could clear six foot fences in one jump! Are they going to fit with your lifestyle?” she said.
“When I saw Lilly advertised on Paws & Claws, I had to send in a written application to the organisation telling them about my lifestyle and history with dogs.”
With dog training facilities closed due to COVID-19, there is mounting pressure for dog owners to train their dogs themselves.
“I’m lucky that I’ve had some experience training dogs before, but there’s only so much YouTube can teach you. Having someone there giving you personal feedback and individual advice is irreplaceable because all dogs learn and respond differently,” Brooke said.
Socialising dogs at a young age is vital for their behavioural development.
With COVID-19 putting a strain on the opportunities for new owners to gather with each other in public spaces, it makes it challenging to achieve proper puppy socialisation.
“Lilly was only 13 weeks when I adopted her. I have been taking her to the park where she has met and played with other dogs, but with dog schools not running it is very hard to introduce puppies to dogs of their own age,” Brooke said.
“She’s a little timid when it comes to experiencing new things, including other dogs on the street.”
Not everyone is capable of adopting a pet, but you can still help organisations such as the RSPCA, AWL and Paws & Claws Adoptions by donating whatever you can afford – every dollar counts!
You can also support the AWL and RSPCA by volunteering at one of their centres or becoming a pet fosterer.
So, if you’re feeling a little on the lonely side during these unprecedented times and have always wanted a new furry friend, there are many pets out there that are just waiting to be loved.