Changes, challenges: the not-so-hidden life of pandemic pets

Olivia Hinerfeld’s dog Lincoln and Kate Hilts’ cat Potato have one thing in common: they both love to make Zoom calls while their owners are working from home. “Sometimes it’s best to keep him pre-emptively on his lap so he can fall asleep,” says Hilts, a digital consultant in the Washington, DC area. Lincoln, a golden retriever, is jealous of Hinerfeld’s attention for his videoconference and searches for the “most disgusting” tennis ball he can find in his toy box and places it on the student’s lap. Georgetown University Law School. For many dogs, this is life as it should be: people around the clock, walks, and treats on demand, sneaking onto beds at night with no resistance. Cats – many of which, to be honest, were already socially distant before humans knew what it was – are more affectionate than ever, and some even act eagerly for attention. Ten months after quarantine and working from home due to the pandemic, pet lives and relationships with people have changed in many cases, and not always for the better. With the U.S. vaccine launched earlier this month, hoping for normalcy in 2021, the long-term effects are unknown.

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