Pandemic pets deliver pleasure, laughter in the course of the hardest of occasions – Michigan Drugs Headlines

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While we have all spent most of the past 18 months keeping a new virus out of our lives and homes, many of us have also used this time to bring in new personalities.

Recently, Headlines asked you to send in photos of your “pandemic pets” – pets that have been adopted to relieve stress, serve as a welcome distraction, or get us moving while our routines have been turned upside down. Here are just a few of your stories:

(Click on the pictures for a larger picture)

If you know you know

Latte with Henry

By Kelsey Fearer, Clinical Outcome Data Specialist, Neurosurgery Department

After losing our border collie mix to an aggressive osteosarcoma case in January, we decided in March to take a new family member home with us. We went to Genesee County Animal Control in Flint and committed to adopting a “pit bull”. We got home with the most perfect two year old American Staffordshire Terrier that day after our other dog, an 11 pound Yorkie poo named Henry, confirmed she was THE one.

Latte had a difficult start in life. She was found in an abandoned garage, scared after recently giving birth without puppies. She was also heartworm positive. We knew it was going to be a long road, but since the pandemic allowed us to be home all day, we knew we had the time and ability to care for her the way she deserved would have.

The past two and a half months have been challenging and we still have a lot to do in terms of treatment, but we can say with confidence that Latte is living her best life, filling our hearts with love and cuddling every day!

Sweet company during the stay-at-home order


By Caroline Foster, Research Technician, Obstetrics and Gynecology

I adopted this cute 16 year old tortoiseshell cat on February 1st, 2020. Her name is Sugar.

She was an unwanted cat that my cousin asked me to take in.

Sugar was very shy and very scared of everything when she came to my house. I had her 6 short months before I found a large tumor on her breast chain and had to say goodbye.

She kept me good company in the first days of the pandemic and was absolutely precious to me for that short time.

A long way to a new home


By Jodi Korte, Post-acute Care Home Care Services, Finance

In April 2020, a small, dusty, stray cat appeared on my porch. She kept coming back over the next few months, and we made amicable strides. In July, she followed my leash-trained cat and me for morning walks before working from home. In August she got sick. I took her to a veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, she managed to escape them. She was lost for a full three days when I got the call that she was found. I picked her up and the Parkway Animal Clinic took time to see us on their booked schedule. After a few months in the hall, her attention-grabbing, squeaky “Meeea-Meeea” led me to her perfect name, Mia.

She is now my sweet, happy indoor kitten. Working from home gave me the opportunity to be with her during the adjustment days. I was able to keep an eye on her as she got used to being inside, a new environment, regular feeding, and my other cat, Harley Blu.

Everyone has to mask themselves!

Light foot

By Anne Przykucki, Calendar Review and Analysis Bureau (CRAO)

Get to know Lightfoot! I’ve wanted a Saint Bernard for about 20 years. When we first heard about the overseas shutdowns, I joked with friends that if it happened to us, I would do it to have get a Saint Bernard. After a few weeks of our home stay orders, they started asking when I would get my saint.

The stars aligned and this cute girl came home in September. She introduced me to all of my neighbors and made some friends – furry and human!

I am grateful every day for this huge, baggy, furry bundle of joys. Also, the dark markings around her eyes are called a “mask”. So she is a perfect pandemic puppy because she always wears her mask!

Find ‘Joy’ even during Zoom calls

Klink and Ms. Reagan Joy

By Veralynn Klink, Administrative Assistant, Michigan Multipayer Initiatives

A few months after the pandemic, we were fortunate enough to be able to adopt the very FABULOUS Mrs. Reagan Joy! She loves taking naps during her mom’s Zoom meetings, and occasionally during the longer meetings she decides to give her opinion by barking, jumping up and kissing – which results in the camera being muted and instantly the camera is turned off.

Ms. Reagan Joy is literally a delight, so much so that she has found she has her own entourage, including her grandmother, sister, cousins, and neighbors who love to stop by and play after work, all while following the guidelines on how to do it social distancing.

A new kind of colleague


By Ruth Longoria, Neurology Research Area Specialist

This is samosa.

She was originally my daughter’s cat but came to visit when the pandemic first started.

She stayed with us and became a beloved member of our family!

It’s nice to have a colleague when you work from home!

Not a tough nut to crack


From Phuong-Cat Ngo, Nurse, CVC 6A

After one of my older dogs passed away in late 2019, I started volunteering with the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV).

At the beginning of March 2020, I helped at the HSHV Love Train event, which brought Chestnut with me. I immediately fell in love with the older Beagle and adopted him as soon as I could.

He is a bundle of joy and always full of love. I’m so glad he brought some happiness to my family during the pandemic.

Brotherly love brings laughter

Clark Ashton Griswold Smith, left, and Franklin Floyd Johnson

By Rachel Sprovtsoff, MA, Program Manager, Clinical Trunk

Last February our beloved dog Floyd had reached the end of his amazing 15 year life with us. Two weeks later, we couldn’t stand the empty feeling and went to the Huron Valley Humane Society to look for two cats that needed to be adopted together.

Boy did we find the best brothers? At the end of February, shortly before the shutdown, we brought Clark Ashton Griswold Smith (left) and Franklin Floyd Johnson (right) home. They settled in quickly as we were always there and are very friendly, fun people.

I love that we could keep them together and their daily interactions made us all laugh.

They have very different personalities, but they are a perfect fit for our family and are so loved.

Make up for lost time


By Kat Bergman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychiatry and Eisenberg Family Depression Center

This is our old lady, Milu. It’s a laboratory blend that we adopted from the Huron Valley Humane Society 15 years ago. It used to be all black, but now it has “inverted raccoon” marks on its face.

The silver lining of the pandemic was definitely that we could spend so much time with it.

It is shown here in a new shed that we built and converted into a “children’s hut” in order to offer the children a place to play in summer. As you can see, I sometimes take refuge in the shed to change my scenery and Milu is my favorite colleague!

“We’ll be home for a week; maximum two! “


By Missy Gabriel, GME Program Administrator, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Ironically, we picked up Sadie the same week everything was closed, thinking it would be a week (two weeks maximum!) Of care. Little did we know we were adopting a pandemic pet!

Meet more of your peers’ pandemic pets in Part 2 of the series!