By Griffin Callaghan, Staff Writer, May 2020
Calvin Kocher (Class II) jogs slowly through his basement. Patpatpatpatpat. Homer and Stella begin the chase. These two ducklings need the constant attention from their “mother,” he said, “and they [also] love to crawl up onto me and nuzzle into my neck.” Shipped from the McMurray Hatchery in Wisconsin, these ducklings are just some of the new pets joining Nobles families during quarantine, although few other families have made such a unique addition.
This isolated time is the perfect opportunity to give new pets enough attention and love that can be difficult to provide when everyone is busy. Zoe Carlson-Pietraszek (Class II), another Nobles student whose family has gotten a quarantine pet, explained, “We thought quarantine would be a perfect time to get a puppy because we can, all four [members of the family], be hands-on for more time than we normally would during her crazy puppy months.” The extra time and attention can definitely be helpful, especially with puppies who still have some maturing left to do.
Credit: Calvin Kocher
Another student who has gotten a puppy, Mari Capone (Class I), was able to get her new friend early due to the unforeseen circumstances. She said of the timing, “It worked out because we were originally going to get him in late April, but because of quarantine, he came from New Hampshire a month early.”
Credit: Mari Capone
Animal shelters nationally are also seeing greater adoption rates, meaning that more families are deciding to adopt from shelters. One potential worry that arises from the increase in adoptions is the potential for less time to properly care for these pets following the end of quarantine. Kocher recognizes this potential, but also says about his ducklings, “When they’re older, they will hang out with the horses and sheep...They’re probably going to be given less attention after quarantine, but that’s more likely going to be because they’ll be full grown ducks, so they won’t need as much attention.”
Not everyone has ducks that will become their own independent animals, and not everyone has horses and sheep to keep their pets company, but some Nobles students do agree that as the animals mature, they might need less time. Carlson-Pietraszek said, “I am not too worried about giving Lula [the puppy] proper attention after quarantine, because I think she will be more used to our home and family at that point. She will also be more mature and require less work from us.”
Credit: Zoe Carlson-Pietraszek
So while these pets may need to learn a bit more about alone time following the end of stay-at-home orders, for now, they can continue to receive all the love, attention, and care that any puppy (or duckling!) could ask for.