A little help from furry friends

WSS explores how students’ pets help improve their COVID quarantine.

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Olivia Casebolt '22

Olivia Casebolt ’22’s cat, Baby Gaga, helped her get through quarantine.

From forgetting to do an assignment to unknowingly being unmuted during your Zoom class, there are millions of things that could go wrong in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at the end of the day, being greeted with a wagging tail, soft purrs, and endless cuddles with your pet(s) will always help brighten a gloomy day.

Junior Olivia Casebolt’s cat, Baby Gaga, cuddles next to pillows and blankets. (Olivia Casebolt ’22)

For Olivia Casebolt ’22 this is exactly the case with her cat that she has had since the age of seven.  

“Baby is a very young spirited cat. She’s nine years old, but she plays like she’s two. She’ll make herself fit in your lap even if you don’t have room. Overall such a sweetheart. She can’t go a day without attention and staying out of trouble,” Casebolt said. 

Baby’s playful personality has helped Casebolt endure the long quarantine. 

“The beginning of quarantine was really rough for me especially when we did the last few weeks of school online,” Casebolt said. “Baby would sit on my lap during classes or lay all over my homework which didn’t really help me get stuff done, but it always put a smile on my face because she just wanted attention.”

Baby and Olivia Casebolt ’22 poses for a photo. (Olivia Casebolt ’22)

Together, Casebolt and Baby spent quarantine taking many naps and being each other’s best friend. 

“She was my social interaction during most of quarantine, which was what I needed and she fulfilled that gap. She put up so much with me during quarantine. I even brought her outside to tan with me, and she loved it,” Casebolt said.

Similar to Casebolt, Asher Overholt ’23 owns a cat named Oscar and two dogs, Molly and Louis. 

“Molly is the oldest, and she is very grouchy. Louis is the annoying little one, and Oscar is the moody teenager cat that will kill you if necessary,” Overholt said. 

Because of his mother and sisters’ love for animals, Overholt was constantly surrounded by pets as he grew up. Overholt got his dog, Molly, when he was just two years old, Oscar at the end of his seventh grade and his second dog, Louis, at the beginning of quarantine. 

“They keep me company by always being in a three feet vicinity around me, and I wrestle Louis a lot because he always has energy,” Overholt said. “Oscar is either cuddly, loud, or deadly, [and Molly was playful … back in her prime, now she’s a grouchy, half-blind, sweet dog. They all make me happy, but I have this persona that I put on that I hate Louis just as a joke.”

Asher Overholt’s ’23 two dogs, Louis (left) and Molly (right). (Asher Overholt ’23)

Although cats and dogs are common pets among students, Mason Goodale ’23 is a proud owner of two Pekin ducks, Dwight and Kevin, and a miniature goat.

“I named [Dwight and Kevin] after my favorite characters from the Office. I mostly call them Devey and Kev,” Goodale said. “I go out every morning and let them out of their coop which keeps them safe from the elements and predators, like raccoons or foxes, and give them some food. About twice a week I will change out their bedding which is just straw and clean and fill their kiddy pool which they swim in and drink out of.”

Taking care of his pets is one job that keeps Goodale busy during quarantine, but they also secretly make his day better just by being themselves. 

“They’ve greatly improved my quarantine experience, and I don’t know how I would’ve made it through quarantine without them,” Goodale said. “Their mixture of personalities helps as well with Dwight being super calm and Kevin being kind of wild … during the cold months it’s mostly just a job and I don’t get much out of it, but it makes me happy when I see that they are having fun or when they get excited to eat.”

There is no doubt that pets are a huge part of people’s lives. They comfort and care for us when we are in times of need and even if we aren’t they are still always there to shed some light into our lives.