LEWISTON —  Heather, a 9-year-old goldendoodle, loved having her humans home 24/7 — right up until her grooming appointment got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and members of her family decided to try grooming her. The phrase “drowned rat” was used.

Norbert the bearded dragon’s gotten spoiled now that he is being picked up all the time.

Spoiled Norbert. Submitted photo

Jack, a terrier mix, mostly just wishes the house would go back to being quiet during the day so he can get some peace.

As humans deal with staying at home during a pandemic, pets are dealing with having them there.

Winnie, unhappy. Submitted photo

“Though Winnie loves the extra walks she is getting, she does not appreciate the noise from my two second-graders while she is trying to take her all-day naps,” said Brittany Blais of Lewiston, who shared a photograph of her pooch glaring at the camera.

More than three dozen people responded to a Sun Journal query about their furry family members and Maine’s stay-at-home order. Most said their pets were enjoying the extra attention.

“Bear keeps waking up from his naps and smiling for no reason at all, just happy his humans are home!” said Mary Caron of Lewiston.

Courtney Bryant of Farmington can tell her rat terrier Mojo is loving the change, too.

“Lots of walks, even if mom doesn’t want to. Lots of cuddles. He has gotten a lot more treats than normal? I think he’s training me more than anything,” she said.

Others found “loving it” took some time.

“I started a new job that’s fully remote at the beginning of March (lucky me!) and my kids all had different reactions. My naturally anxious and routine oriented dog was very confused for a few days but now loves his new bed next to my desk (and all the extra treats he gets!),” said Robin Harris of Lewiston. “The cats are thrilled and love to ‘help’ all day long!”

While some pets are happy with a few extra walks a day or a bed by the desk, others have decided to take full advantage of the 24/7 situation.

Molly naps after destroying the living room. Submitted photo

“Molly not only has me home now, but also my college aged daughter. We’ve had to discuss why she can’t throw all the couch cushions on the floor, refuses to do anything for my daughter without treats and, despite what ‘Mean Girls’ taught us, fetch is a thing. All the time,” said Melanie Gould, sharing a photo of her Lewiston living room in a shambles, cushions and tennis balls strewn everywhere as dog Molly relaxed on the couch.

And then there is what happens when their humans work. Or try to.

“I teach and hold classes on Zoom,” said Angela Gilbert, a seventh-grade teacher from Lewiston and dog owner. “My students are now used to seeing Pippin’s face pop in and out of the screen.”

“A grumpy bunny named Sweet Sue wishes I could be home more often, but my work hours have increased with everything that’s going on,” said Brianne Dunning, whose job with a spray foam insulation company is considered essential. “She does love when I do spend time with her and the other rabbits though, which is several hours each night and an hour at sunrise before I go into work.”

Or there’s what happens when their humans are not at work and have time to spare.

“Heather was loving having all her humans home 24/7 until her grooming appointment was canceled due to the virus and she had to be subjected to this ‘torture’ at our hands,” said Grace Lavertu, sharing a photo of her goldendoodle looking wet and forlorn. “I have a newfound respect for the groomers who deal with these doggie divas. . . thankfully she doesn’t always look like a drowned rat.”

Heather the goldendoodle after her family tried grooming her. Submitted photo

“Daisy turned 6 months old and we were able to celebrate together with whipped cream and a party hat,” said Renee Freve of Lewiston. “I normally only celebrate their yearly birthdays, but because I was home I figured, why not? It took forever to get a good picture of her in it because she was so excited.”

There have been some downsides to all that togetherness. Annoying humans are now annoying all the time. Pets did not sign up for this.

Daisy in her birthday hat celebrating turning 6 months old. “I normally only celebrate their yearly birthdays, but because I was home I figured, why not?” said Renee Freve of Lewiston. Submitted photo

“Jack, our Yorky/Jack Russell mix, wishes we would leave for a while so he can have some peace and quiet. He’s used to being alone and likes it that way,” said Richard and Carol McKenney Bannister.

For at least one Lewiston family, though, being housebound has had its advantages. Rachel Bailey’s cat, Ivy, recently underwent surgery, and Bailey has been able to care for her.

“Ivy is an older girl. She had some teeth out and had two masses removed from her hip. I have fed her wet food only for two weeks and watch her like a hawk,” she said. “I’m so glad I can be home with her right now.”

Animal Tales is a recurring Sun Journal feature about animals and their people. Have an idea for Animal Tales? Call Lindsay Tice at 689-2854 or email her at [email protected]

Ivy after her surgery. Submitted photo





Robin Harris’ cat, Nimh, helping her work while dog Jude dozes in his new bed beside her desk. Submitted photo

Mojo loves the extra walks he’s been getting with his humans home more. Submitted photo

Sweet Sue gets grumpy when her human , an essential worker, isn’t home enough. Submitted photo

Bear wakes up smiling every day because his family is home with him. Submitted photo


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