Although we are all away from ISU and missing our friends and colleagues, there are other furry friends that are happy to see us when we are home. Many of our dogs, cats, and other pets are now getting more attention and super excited to have us home full time.

            “Of course I very much miss seeing students and my colleagues every day, but I enjoy spending time with both of my pets,” Honors College Dean Greg Bierly said. “My old dog, Logan, is especially happy that I’m here and almost never leaves my side. My office is now in my basement and he sleeps the day away either on the couch a few feet away or at my feet.”

            Logan is not the only dog happy to have more one on one time with his owner.

“My dogs -- a basset hound named Henry and a mystery mutt named Chloe -- could not be happier to have me home all the time!” ISU professor Lori Henson said. “I love spending more time with them, but it's not easy to work with them demanding my attention every time I try to make a call or work on my laptop!”

It sounds like both humans and pets are having to make some adjustments! For some, their pets may be posing some unique challenges, but for others, their pets are a source of relief.

“Lilli our 4 month old cocka-poo is a true bright spot as we physically distance to flatten the curve.” ISU dean Linda Maule said. “Lilli also has become my social media sidekick. She has a lot of advice for Sycamores.”

Many students are also enjoying being home with their pets.

“My pets and I are great! They love my family being home! They get lots of walks and cuddles,” said ISU student Taylor Hooton.

Some pets are enjoying even more than walks and cuddles.

“My dog is happier because he gets free food from my work,” ISU student David Galligan said. “He misses my brother and I while we’re away.”

Pets are also adding some fun to the classroom as well!

“I think my students and colleagues find it funny when I have to yell at the dogs when they bark during conference calls,” Henson said. “Henry likes to make funny noises while he's rubbing his back on his bed, especially when I'm on the phone.”

ISU professor Emily Capettini wanted to include her cat Mya in the classroom so she created a page on Blackboard called “Ask the office cat” which allows students to interact with her cat. Mya likes to be involved in her owner’s life.

“Mya is affectionate and likes to participate in whatever work task I’m up to. I’ve spent a lot of time grading with her in my lap or napping under my desk. When I’m doing yoga or stretching, she’ll headbutt me: there’s no break in speed—Mya walks towards me and lowers her head, bumping into my back or arm until I acknowledge her,” said Capettini.

While she may be an older cat, Mya is no stranger to technology.

“Recently, she entertained some friends on a Zoom call because she sat with me and watched the outline highlighting who is talking shift from person to person. She’s an older cat, so she’s not as mischievous as kittens or young cats are, but that usually means she waits for her moment,” said Capettini.

Has Mya seized any moments recently?

“I’m doing some home renovations that require lifting up the grates on floor vents. I left them unattended for a few minutes and Mya took her chance to have a grand adventure. Said adventure ended when I had to pull up the grate in another room to retrieve her, a little dusty but not hurt, from where she had gotten lost,” said Capettini.

Talk about a pet with some personality!

After ISU returns to normal operations, not only will we have to transition, but so will our pets.

“[Lilli] will probably have to go to a doggy psychologist when I go back to work, my son goes back to school, and my husband can return to his daily routine.  She definitely will feel attention deprived,” said Maule.

“Logan‘s also getting longer, higher quality walks than ever before, and will probably be shattered when the university returns to normal operation,” said Bierly.

But for now, it is important to look at pawsitive and enjoy quality time with our pets at home!