Like Family: 5 Pet Parents Share The Little Ways Their Beloved Companions Make Quarantine Life More Bearable

No matter how long our pets have been around, the unwavering affection they have given us remains immeasurable.

Having a pet around can bring us comfort and social support, and can help us deal with loneliness, especially now that we spend most of our time at home. That’s why it makes a lot of sense that more people have been welcoming animal companions in their homes.

Even before the pandemic, our beloved pets have been giving us happiness and affection. As the years go by, the bond we form with them only strengthens. Here are five fur parents who share some of their unforgettable moments with their pets.

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Daniela Medalla and her dog, Jeggy.

Daniela Medalla

“When he was given to us, he looked and smelled horrible,” Medalla says of her dog, Jeggy. The mini schnauzer appeared to be abandoned by the previous owner. Before selling him, Medalla’s family decided to take care of him for a while—from cleaning up his fur to feeding him properly.

In the process, however, the family fell in love with the smart dog. His name takes off from how their helper calls Medalla’s brother “Jego,” a nickname for Diego.

Among her favorite moments with the mini schnauzer is “when he learned so many new tricks like shaking hands, sitting, and guessing which hand the treat was hidden.” The family would let him perform these before every meal and so it’s no surprise that Jeggy would be happier to indulge in his food.

Macky Fah, her youngest daughter Renee, and their cat Tyga.

Macky Fah

As a stray cat, Tyga was adopted three years ago into Fah’s family. “He waits in our hallways early in the morning to greet us. His favorite is my eldest Cara,” she shares. Like any other cat, Tyga can fall asleep anywhere, even inside a dollhouse. When he is awake, “he stays within our vicinity when we have family meals.”

She encourages the adoption of strays as, like Tyga, they can offer (and are also in need of) comfort and affection to owners especially when they sense stress from them.

Apart from the cat, Fah also has a pet tortoise called Turq. Her friend had given the reptile to her as she “was so fond of anything that had anything to do with the sulcata.”

Fah admits, though, that she tends to lose the animal numerous times. “Turq loves to walk around my roof deck which is like a [forest],” she says. The tortoise would hide among the shrubs and plants, making it difficult to spot him.

Tyga and Turq may have their distinct personalities—the tortoise, for example, is fond of having his underside rubbed—but they are both well-loved companions of the family.

LEFT: Roberta Periquet’s mom Lisa with their five Whippets. RIGHT: Lucan.

Roberta Periquet

With a house full of pets, it can be quite a handful to care for them. But Periquet and her family don’t mind the occasional disorder. After all, their pet companions give them much happiness and comfort, especially in these difficult times.

The cat, named Lucan, was a gift from her sister Rosanna. “One day I walked into my room exhausted after I came home from a ski trip, and this sweet guy was waiting for me,” Periquet recalls. She adds that her feline companion is similar to a dog. Unlike cats that are typically independent, Lucan keeps following her and asks for a cuddle which she is glad to give.

The family also has five energetic dogs. The Whippets take after the names of Greek and Roman mythology characters: Midas, Athena, Juno, Hercules, and Hector. “They like to move together and are all very gentle and affectionate despite having a bit of a naughty streak,” Periquet shares.

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Alexa Andanar and her pet dog, Kyoto.

Alexa Andanar

Originally from Russia, Kyoto was five months old when he arrived in the home of Andanar. The Akita can be considered a quarantine pet as he came right before the pandemic hit. Given the lockdown and continuous quarantine measures in place, the family spends a lot of time with the dog. “Kyoto never leaves my side,” Andanar affirms.

While many establishments like gyms and fitness studios remain closed, Andanar is left to exercise in the comforts of her home. It may seem an ideal environment but one little distraction comes in the form of Kyoto.

“[He] would pull my hair or sit on the yoga mat just to stop me from working out!” She exclaims, fondly recalling the memory.

The dog may be an amusing diversion but above all, he is the source of comfort for the family.

Nicole Ortega with her pet dogs, Harry (white) and Harper (Shih Tzu).

Nicole Ortega

Ortega says she has a specific preference for dogs. “I like pups to look like a ball of rolling cotton on the floor,” she says in jest. Harry is what Ortega calls a “Maltichon” or a cross between the family’s favorite breeds: Maltese and Bichon Frise. The white dog finally got to have a companion when the family brought in Harper, a Shih Tzu, over the lockdown.

“They’re actually my daughters’ doggies. I’m just their lola,” Ortega admits with a laugh. Although they are not her pets, she fell in love with them and spoils them. She would treat them with human food like cheese. “They’ve become quite the gourmets who join us for our weekly happy hour,” she explains.

The dogs created many memorable moments with the family. But what Ortega will always remember is how “they’ve been a constant source of joy and total stress busters during these times.”

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