Pandemic Puppy Love

Amelia Knopp, Staff Writer

The slow pace of quarantine life presented unique opportunities for busy families to welcome pandemic puppies into their homes. Several Manhattan High School students added coronavirus companions to their families, providing endless entertainment, exercise and much-needed puppy love during these trying times.

Sophomore Allyssa Ingram’s family welcomed their golden retriever puppy, named Tucker, in April. Ingram said that her younger sister had been trying to convince their parents to get a furry friend for some time, and the pandemic provided perfect timing. 

“We needed a little bit of joy, and something to keep us going, especially when we were home all day,” Ingram said. 

Ingram says that Tucker’s energy and high spirits bring an appreciated distraction during stressful pandemic times. 

“Tucker doesn’t really know what’s going on [with the pandemic], so he really brings us a lot of happiness, and he helped us to get out of the house… when we had nowhere to go and nothing to do,” Ingram said. 

Freshman Carter Booe’s family began considering a puppy addition right before Thanksgiving break of 2020. Booe’s five-month old puppy, Benny, is part Old English sheepdog and part Great Dane. 

“Our other dog was starting to get bored and lonely because everybody had stuff to do once we went to school during the day,” Booe said. “So, the idea came about to get another puppy just to keep him company.”

According to Booe, Benny is adjusting to the pace of life as his family returns to five days of school and activities. 

“He’s definitely kind of clingy. I think that’s a direct result of getting him during [the pandemic], because everyone was home when he was just a little baby,” Booe said. 

Senior Megan Wuggazer’s family got a Cavapoo puppy, named Annie, right before Easter of 2020. According to Wuggazer, the pandemic helped fulfill her long-lasting wishes of becoming a dog owner. 

“[My siblings and I] have been asking [for a dog] for a long time, but before the pandemic, we were always so busy that our parents said no,” Wuggazer said. “So once we didn’t have anything to do because of the pandemic… it was the final push to allow us to get a puppy.” 

Wuggazer says that Annie provides an abundance of entertainment. 

“Looking back, I really don’t know what we would have done [without Annie]. I remember so many nights of us just sitting in the living room for hours, playing with her,” Wuggazer said. 

Junior Monroe Say welcomed Toaster, a white goldendoodle, to her family in August. 

“We knew it was going to be easier to get a puppy in a pandemic because we were able to potty train him a lot better… and we knew that we had more time at home than we ever have,” Say said. 

Say says it was difficult to leave Toaster at home when school resumed on a five-day schedule. However, Say says that Toaster appreciates a quiet home after a surplus of pandemic family time. 

“We honestly think that Toaster enjoys his alone time [now] because there used to be so many of us home,” Say said. 

Sophomore Saylor Salmans’ dog, Gwen, gave birth to four Maltipoo puppies in October. 

“One day I came home and it was the night before my embryology test. So I was planning on studying, and then four puppies came out,” Salmans said of the eventful night. 

The Salmans adored all of their new additions, but kept one puppy, who they named Greta.  Salmans said that Greta is accustomed to receiving lots of love at home, but pandemic puppies will have to adjust to their owners’ increasingly busy schedules. 

“Having a pandemic puppy was challenging because she was so used to attention all of the time. Now that we are gone [at school five days], it’s kind of hard on her,” Salmans said. 

Salmans thinks that Greta enjoyed the constant companionship of the pandemic lifestyle. 

“I think we have a closer bond, because we were home more,” Salmans said.