Furry friends create a needed routine and connection


Loyola senior Yenisel Santiago pets her dog, Maurice. Santiago credits her adoption of Maurice with restoring a sense of routine to life amid the disorder of COVID-19. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Will Ingram

More and more students have turned to pet adoptions to find a sense of connection that the pandemic has taken away. That connection to someone or something is a feeling that Frazier Woods, university counselor, said is important for college students.

“It is critical, as critical as a traffic light is to traffic, as critical as a speed limit sign is to traveling on the highway. Like it is definitely critical. Especially for those in their late teens heading into their twenties,” said Woods.

The sense of a routine is another feeling that Woods said is a key aspect to students’ success.

“It also creates a schedule for you because you have to feed that animal, you have to walk them, that kind of thing,” said Woods.

Having a routine keeps a person on track to accomplish the tasks needed in a day. Owning a pet that relies on you for everything keeps a person on a routine according to Woods.

That routine is something that Yenisel Santiago, Loyola senior psychology major, missed while taking all of her classes online for her last year, but got back after adopting Maurice, her English Bulldog.

“The fact that I can still go out and do whatever I want to do, but at the same time know that I have to be home because I have to feed my dog, it keeps me on a schedule,” said Santiago.

She said that the schedule that was created really helps her because she struggles with time management.

“This gets me out of my room to do school work, and separate my spaces into what tasks I’m doing. Because if not, it would be like a big plate of scrambled eggs,” said Santiago.