Through, Adrianne Hutto & Jocelyn Visnov, Ass. Production editors
With the stress of a new semester and the uncertainty of COVID-19, many students are finding ways to cope. One of the ways they do this is by adopting pets to live with them and their roommates off campus. This allows students to relieve stress with the company and comfort of their new furry friends.
The Quadrangle spoke with three off-campus students who adopted or welcomed pets this semester.
Chris Cranson is a senior in finance at Manhattan College. Recently he rescued his puppy, Thunder, from a dog breeder on Staten Island.
âI’ve always liked the idea of ââsaving,â Cranson wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “Because, you know, as they say, he’s the one who really saved me. “
Thunder, who goes by several nicknames including Thundie, Big T, Thunder buddy, and Notorious DOG, is an Australian Shepherd and is already finding solace in their Bronx apartment.
âYou know what they say: dogs are man’s best friend,â Cranson wrote. âAfter coming home from a tough class or exam, nothing brings me more joy than seeing my boyfriend meet me at the door when I walk in. “
While there are always challenges getting his first pet, like Thunder is for Cranson, he finds a balance between caring for animals and his schoolwork.
âI think at first it was difficult to own a dog for the first time,â Cranson wrote. “But we learned to take care of each other together and everything has been going well since.”
Overall, the experience has been a rewarding one for Thunder and her new owner, bringing joy to their lives.
âI think it helps my stress levels a lot because it only brings me happiness,â Cranson wrote. “It definitely affects my self-discipline when I realize that I have a little man who is counting on me to take care of himâ¦ I miss some social things but I wouldn’t trade him for the world.”
Another student, Gabi Panassol, a final year student majoring in history at Manhattan College, found the same comfort in her 7-month-old kitten, Olive. She and her roommates recognized that they wouldn’t have time to properly care for a dog, so they decided that a cat would be a perfect choice. With the help of one of his former roommates, Panassol was able to adopt Olive.
With Olive becoming an adult, Panassol and his roommates feel like parents and have faced certain attitudes.
“It’s interesting because [Olive is] like a teenager now. So sometimes she has fits and we all have to learn to deal with that, âsaid Panassol. “But she is so cute, she is such a companion to have and she sleeps with us and makes herself very comfortable in our blankets, especially since it is cold now.” So it’s been so, so great. And sometimes when you’re feeling down and she’s just lying on your lap and trying to cuddle you, it’s so good.
It’s the little things about having a kitten that sparks joy for Panassol, as she always has a ball of energy running around the apartment.
âLiterally anything like she’s the cuddiest cat compared to you can just be sitting in our living room watching TV and she’ll get up next to you and try to be all sweet and sleep for a while. about four hours, âsaid Panassol. “And then at night it’s cold, so she’ll come right next to you and she’ll sleep like my neck or my headâ¦ waking up to that, it’s so nice.”
Victoria Steinhoff, a senior graduate in Business Analytics, has always been an animal lover. After growing up with dogs, she began welcoming them when a family friend put her in touch with an adoption agency in her home state of Delaware. Steinhoff enjoyed the hospitality experience so much that she decided to bring the joy of raising animals to her off-campus apartment here at MC.
Steinhoff bred three different puppies through an agency called Waldos Rescue Pen. Each puppy stays with her for about a month. As a foster parent, Steinhof has many responsibilities beyond looking after her current four-legged friend. She is in constant communication with the adoption agency and reviews applications from potential families seeking adoption, ensuring the dogs go to a loving FURever home. So far, she has only had positive experiences with welcoming dogs through Waldos Rescue.
Currently, she is caring for a small black dog named Lola, whom she has had for about three weeks now.
âMy roommates love animals too, and they were all okay with that,â she said.
With four people around, foster dogs become very well socialized. Steinhoff explained that his schedule and that of his roommates align very well with having a foster dog.
âI have the impression that the student schedules align better with the dogs that need to be housed because you are not really far from your apartment for more than a few hours a day,â he said. she declared. âIt keeps you more in a routine, which is sometimes a good thing becauseâ¦ you can’t sleep very early. Because they have to get up and walk. said Steinhoff.
Plus, having a dog around is often a good stress reliever in the lives of busy students.
“[Dogs are] just a great addition to have as in our party, between all the dogs we welcome is like, so much fun to come home and have a dog to look forward to and like it’s kinda like a outlet like you want to take your dog for a walk or like you want to take him to play with him in the park or like, playing with him in your apartment like it’s really like stress relief and I like it Steinhoff said.
If your off-campus accommodation accommodates pets, consider becoming a PAW-rent or adopt homestay. http://www.waldorescue.com/getinvolved for more information.