Pandemic pets: The best stories of animals during isolation

From a bulldog that got gloomy to a kitty who became a TV presenter, here are the best anecdotes from people around the world trying to work and study with pets for colleagues.


With libraries, offices and cafes off-limits (or trading for limited hours), most of us are faced with the challenge of having to work, study and parent within the same four walls—four-legged children included.  

The good news for pet owners is that our furry chums have proven to lower stress levels and enhance productivity.

It’s no wonder there was a rush to adopt rescue animals all over the world when lockdowns were announced, as people immediately realised the value in having a pet for company during social isolation. 

To celebrate the pets that have made our time more palatable at home, we’re recapping our favourite stories of animals in isolation.

After all, Rolo the sausage dog’s tail-wagging injury  has become one of our happiest moments in isolation. 

Ready to relive the other top pet stories from this time? We are too.  

1. Big Poppa the lonely bulldog 

A few weeks ago, “Big Poppa,” the bulldog entered our hearts. And he hasn’t left since.

If you followed the story, you would have heard how Big P made the balcony his home during isolation – refusing to move. Instead, he spent his days watching children play down below – a glum look permanently plastered on his face. 

At OUA, we’re bringing ourselves joy by imagining the change in those droopy cheeks once he’s allowed out more frequently again.

Sad bulldog on balcony
Image courtesy of Instagram @popthebulldog

2. The cat who got COVID-19 stress

You might have missed it, but well-know Australian musician Alex Lahey shared that her cat has been diagnosed with anti-separation anxiety due to the current circumstances. Who’d have thought a cat could be so affected?

According to animal behavioural scientists, the loss of routine and sudden change in our pets’ environments is enough to bring on a spiral of anxiety in some cases. Symptoms can include excessive barking, begging for increased attention or withdrawing away from humans.

We hope this cat got sorted with some time outdoors since their diagnosis. 

3. The kitty who became a weather presenter 

Whether it’s a small child or a pet, there always seems to be a surprise guest on our video calls this year. The world’s cats in particular seem to have taken up residence on keyboards just to make a point.

Did you catch the story of this kitty who helped his owner, a TV presenter, give a weather update?

Weather presenter holding cat
Image courtesy of Jeff Lyons

According to Certified Cat Behaviour Consultant Marilyn Krieger, “cats sit on spots such as keyboards and laptops because they are near their favourite person and can be at the centre of their attention.”

“Usually people reinforce the behaviour by petting the cat and/or talking with him. Cats quickly learn that when they sit on the keyboard, they get what they want — attention.”

Do you have a story of a pet that hasn’t quite handled isolation? Let us know on Facebook. We’d love to hear it.

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