Most of us can’t imagine our lives without our pets—now more than ever. As this time of social distancing continues, our pets are helping keep us sane and smiling, encouraging us to make time for relaxing cuddles on the couch, a peaceful walk around the neighborhood, and for one another.
Whether sharing a laugh with our coworkers after your cat crashes the Zoom meeting, waving to the other pet parents walking their dogs, or sending a slew of emojis to the friend who just sent the umpteenth cute kitten photo, pets bring us together. As seen in our virtual pet play date video (check it out below!), they help us feel like we’re not alone and that we can still be connected to friends and family even when we’re apart.
What has being a pet parent during this time taught you? We turned to some of Instagram’s famous pet parents to find out what they’ve learned from their furry friends.
How to Get Creative
With the increased time spent at home, many are taking the opportunity to get creative, whether it’s whipping up DIY dog treats in the kitchen or finding unique ways to entertain their kitties. Nikki Star counts herself as one of these pet parents who's learned how to get creative, with her pups, Weston and Fira of @WTFrenchie, at her side. “I’m loving catching up on projects at home that I normally wouldn’t have time for before,” she says. “Weston and Fira always give me more motivation—I can make a cute tie-dye shirt for me and one for them so we’re twinning! Whether I’m repainting an old dresser or organizing their wardrobe and toys, they’re always nearby to give me a helping paw.”
You Can Still Find Reason to Celebrate
When Bentley, the goofy Goldendoodle of @minidoodlebentley, turned 3 in April, it was definitely cause for a major celebration, but how do you throw a party while sheltering in place? “We set up a photo wall in our house, baked him a dog birthday cake, and held a birthday zoom for him where 50 of our friends with dogs called in to sing happy birthday and get all our pups together in one place since we couldn't do so in person,” says Bentley’s mom, Kelly Madsen. This reimaged b-day bash proved that celebrations can still occur even during the darkest of times.
How to Brighten Someone's Day
Leave it to some Goldens to bring the sunshine! After collaborating with her fellow pet parents for an uplifting project, Alissa Martin learned that it’s possible to brighten someone’s say even from faraway. “I reached out to some of my fellow Maine dog Instagram accounts to see if they wanted to create a collage photo where we all had signs with one word on it,” she explains. Of course, she recruited her own pups, Golden Retrievers Jax and Jasper, and Boston Terrier/Pug mix Ali of @joyful_jax.
“We wanted to make people smile, so the collage said, ‘We're dogs from Maine and we'll keep you sane.’ It was a lot of fun connecting with others while staying apart and hopefully it brightened up someone’s day.”
How to Better Connect With Friends
Taking a cue from our virtual pet play date, Micki Le has learned how to stay connected to others, thanks to the social media stardom of her fur babies, Corgis Mochi and Taro, of @mochthecorgi. “During this time of social distancing and isolation, we are fortunate for how Mochi and Taro have allowed us to stay connected with friends on social media,” she explains. “Having more time at home means we are able to interact more with our followers, showing them more of Tochi’s everyday life and creating more content to share.”
So, until it's safe for dog park play dates, let's take a cue from our furry friends and find the joy in a romp around the backyard or an afternoon of cuddling on the couch. (They actually might be on to something!)