Pets offer support to students, staff

Melanie Palenica, reporters

The majority of Morton East students are leaning and loving on their pets during the pandemic.
Originally, people may get animals because they want some company and joy in their lives.  On the other hand, animals can also help you with your social-emotional health without you realizing it.  Over time, pets help with depression, stress and anxiety.  Currently, due to COVID, many more people have gotten pets to fill up the emptiness of their house, to occupy time during the quarantine.   While pets can be a burden to take care of,  they are also loud and active — adding drama and exercise to your life.  In a random survey of 10 Morton East students. 6 reported that they own at least one pet.
Some get feline support.
“My cat makes me happy especially when she tries to cheer me up when I’m down. She brings me so much joy in the morning when she wakes me up,” senior Itzi Espinosa said
Others get canine support.
“I feel good being around animals. I prefer dogs but don’t feel any major mood changes when I’m with them,” senior Felipe Vasquez said.
Another student isn’t a pet person but sees what they can do.
“I personally don’t like animals.  I don’t mind them, I’m just not an animal person, but I do think animals make people happier. My brother has three puppies, and he loves them and they sure make him happy,” senior Vivian Valencia said.
Teachers agree.
“I feel happy around my dogs Luna and Nellie.  They are almost always happy, and they are happy just to be with me. When I get home from work they don’t know if I have had a great day or a terrible day. All they know is that I am home, and they love me. It’s hard not to be happy around something that positive. My dogs can also bring me out of a sad or lazy mood because they need me. I’m not allowed to hide inside all day because they need to be walked and exercised. Dogs are also amazing listeners. They don’t judge or disagree, only support. Some people may not realize it, but dogs can detect emotions and adjust to them. My dogs might lean into me more or lay on me if they sense I am not my usual happy self,” English teacher Brad Reid said.
Of course, there is one downside to pet ownership.

“Dogs always make me happy — except when I have to clean up their messes,” sixth-grader Brandon Palencia said.