They say a dog is a man’s best friend and these fur parents and their caring pets have helped them through these tough times.
Staying in quarantine and isolation for a long time can take a toll on one’s mental health, especially as we are unable to see relatives, friends, and visit our favorite places. One source of strength for those lucky enough to be locked down with them is our pets.
We speak with some of society’s fur parents about how these little angels came into their lives and how they have brought each other great comfort in these difficult times.
With her two American Bullies Finn and Fiona, Daza’s hands are full caring for these brawny dogs.
“Everyone that meets Finn agrees he’s an old man. He has the same temperament as Eeyore,” Daza says. The independent and usually melancholic dog was her first pet. On the other hand, Fiona is energetic and frequently clings to her owners. “This breed is so much fun to have at home and it’s been such an incredible experience loving these two dogs,” she adds with enthusiasm.
As companions, the American Bullies are always thrilled to go on trips, especially out of town. “They both love the open air and running around open spaces,” Daza explains. “They know when we’re preparing to leave because they see us packing and both are jumping around super excited.”
Before the pandemic, Daza would only have the time to play with Finn and Fiona before and after work. But now with the quarantine, she finds joy as she can be with her dogs more. “We bring them almost everywhere we go and it’s so nice to have them beside us experiencing things together,” she says.
“Luka is a rescue who was given to me through Heart Evangelista-Escudero,” Lopez shares. She named him as such as he destroyed her apartment when he was still a puppy. While it was typical wild behavior for the young pooch, Lopez never thought he would still love him more.
As her constant companion, Luka displays great levels of empathy and understanding. “He ain’t a dog, that’s for sure,” Lopez says in jest.
Even now when Lopez is busy taking care of her son Fernando, she loves watching him and Luka grow together. “He’ll never admit it but [Luka] secretly loves my son Fernando who he sees as his nemesis,” Lopez says.
A glance on her Instagram feed reveals a few snaps of treasured moments among the three of them. Even when these days are tough, Lopez is happy and comfortable as long as she is surrounded by those she loves the most.
When her sister Elle moved to the US, Alegre took her Labrador Retriever Bruce under her care. “As we are nine siblings in our family, my parents really refer to [Bruce] as their 10th child and their baby boy,” she says. “He has made us all so much closer and definitely a happier family.”
Alegre has had many happy memories with the dog, and believes him to be the “the only one who truly understands me.” Be it in going on afternoon walks, swimming, and cuddling before going to sleep, Bruce never leaves Alegre’s side.
Even in the pandemic where everything was stressful, the Labrador Retriever remains to be a source of comfort—even as he has anxiety himself. Alegre shares that Bruce becomes sad and suffers stomach aches when she leaves home. However, the two best friends work through it together, calling themselves “anxiety partners.”
“I would have days where I would just cry and the first person to run and comfort me would be Bruce,” she recalls. “At one point, he would even place his paw on me or his head to really let me know that he’s there for me.”
The young model currently has four dogs in the family. They may be huge breeds but they all have gentle, endearing qualities.
The oldest one is a Chow named Simba who they got right after their previous Chow passed away. “He’s the sweetest, laziest, and most graceful dog we have,” Gonzalez shares. Tyson is their next oldest one, a Boxer, named after Mike Tyson. (They are similarly shy.) He was taken home from a kennel as he wasn’t being treated well. “He’s been a very happy and energetic albeit apprehensive at times dog ever since,” she continues.
The last two dogs are Siberian Huskies: Bowie (named after David Bowie as they have heterochromia) and Rocket. While Huskies are typically energetic and demand attention, only Bowie reflects this. “He’s the most human-like dog I’ve ever come across,” Gonzalez says.
Rocket, on the other hand, was a competitively-bred dog that developed severe anxiety. “We were lucky enough to be able to take him home,” Gonzalez says. “He’s more serious and resolute than Bowie, but is learning to love being part of a family.”
“They’re always around, usually asking for attention in the form of cuddles or food,” Gonzalez says.
Now in the pandemic, she talks about how their dogs have been particularly happy as the family spends more time indoors. “It’s reached a point where after the few times we’ve all stepped out of the house at the same time,” Gonzalez says. “Bowie gives us a whole lecture spoken in howls when we return. That is absolutely for real—he howls and cries at us through the gate.”
Tantoco shares how her parents’ love for the film The Lion King (1994) led them to get a corgi they named Nala. Eventually, they thought it is only fitting to get her a partner. They bought Simba, another corgi. They got him from a Facebook seller who became Tantoco’s friend.
“Some of my best memories with my dogs are when I brought them to dog birthday parties and cafes,” she shares. However, now with lockdowns, she and her dogs can only spend more time at home. “They are only used to seeing us when we are grumpy and tired from long days at work so it was a surprise for both of them to have us chilling with them all the time.”
Like many pet parents, she reveals how much her corgis bring her great comfort especially since the pandemic began.
“Dogs are very empathetic and can somewhat sense what their owners are feeling,” she says. She recounts a time when stress led her to start sobbing as she sat on the bedroom floor. “Nala went up to me and started cuddling with me and kissing me until I stopped.” The sweetness of Nala is among what Tantoco likes the most about her first dog. While Simba can be rowdy, she loves them both and takes them out for daily walks.
Make your daily playtime with your pets enjoyable at the Pet Park of Robinsons Magnolia. You can visit the free indoor pet park and take your beloved furry companions for a walk daily from 10 AM to 9 PM—all while following safety protocols. Follow the official Facebook account of Robinsons Magnolia for more information.