The past year and a half has been tough for a lot of people, but one silver lining has been the extra time that we've been able to spend at home enjoying special moments with our pets.
Over the past year pet adoptions have soared, with the well-known charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home recording record amounts of adoptions in 2020 peaking at over 150 animals finding new homes in one week - double the amount for the same week in 2019. This surge in our love for our pets has been a result of the changes to our working lives, with the increased flexibility that working from home, or time off while on furlough, has brought.
We asked our Team to share how their pets have helped them get through the pandemic. From lengthy pet adoptions to more quality time, here are their stories.
Tia and Jordan
Chesterton House Financial Planner Jordan adopted a rescue dog called Tia last year. Despite various obstacles along the way, Tia has kept Jordan company and helped him keep a routine through the lockdown.
"Adopting a dog during lockdown was a difficult process as so many people have wanted to adopt dogs during this time. For us, we wanted to make sure we were the right fit for a dog. When we read Tia’s bio online, we knew straight away that we could give her the perfect home.
We had to initially foster her for 2 weeks to make sure that we were the right owners for Tia. She had previously been taken back to the shelter by an adopter who, after having her for a week, decided to take her back to the shelter, which for a dog can be traumatising. After the foster period, we then completed the adoption papers and now Tia is now part of the family.
During the first visit, we were told that she has behavioural issues such as anxiety and reactivity towards dogs which we believe was a result of events where she previously lived. Since we adopted her we have hired a dog behaviourist to help overcome these issues.
With training, she has kept us very busy but she has also kept me company during the day when working from home as my partner, Beth, goes to work every day. Having her with me has allowed me to stick to a routine which I believe has helped me to not lose my mind over lockdown. She is the sweetest dog in the world who just wants to play and be loved and we wouldn’t swap her for anything in this world."
Sam & Jane
Jane is a Receptionist for our Legal practice, Woolley, Beardsleys and Bosworth Solicitors, and has been looking after two dogs during the pandemic. Both dogs have kept her and her elderly parents company over the past year.
"When I started furlough in 2020 I had the opportunity to care for my elderly parents, who are both sick with Alzheimer's. That’s when I adopted my parent's dog, Sam – the white and tan Jack Russell Terrier. I've been taking him on long walks across the local park and around the surrounding streets.
My mum and Sam are inseparable and have an incredible bond which has kept them going throughout the last twelve months. Having pets is such a delight and a mainstay.
One of the things about having animals in your life is that they work like an anchor in uncertain times. They need to be looked after with very fundamental, simple things like exercise, food and love – things we all need, whether we’re human or a dog. I can’t imagine my Mum’s life without Sam. Just having that connection with him is very enriching and makes her life so much better. In reality I don’t think she would have made it this far without him.
Pets are much loved companions for lonely and isolated people. I’ve also sponsored a beautiful Guide Dog called Marley and am enjoying his journey to help change the life of someone living with sight loss. This is something I’ve always wanted to do."
Gandalf, Nugget, Albie and Hagrid... & Jenny
Jenny is the Marketing Manager at Chesterton House and has had pet guinea pigs for the last 11 years.
"Guinea Pigs are small but mighty, each one has their own distinct personality, which they make known to you! While piggies don't require daily walks or too much attention, it has been lovely to be there while they've played, nibbled and looked adorable throughout the day. I think mine have taken advantage of the situation, offering occasional wheeks that have worked a treat - in that they get a treat!
Unfortunately, guinea pigs live short little lives - to around 4 to 6 years and we lost Gandalf and then Nugget during the lockdown. Piggies are companion animals and need a friend to live with and so I was pleased to be able to find a cage mate for Nugget from Avalon Guinea Pig Rescue in Wollaton and we welcomed Albie into our lives. When Nugget crossed the rainbow bridge 8 months later we returned to the rescue and found Hagrid. (My son's name choice! Maybe you can guess which he is?!)
Guinea pigs may be small but they offer so much support with constant snuggles and brightening your day with their presence."
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