Both, the real ones and the stuffed ones!

It’s safe to say, nobody was prepared for the big changes that were coming, as a result of a certain pandemic: transforming your house into an office for work, the irony of “learning to learn” in a digital way, having to live our everyday life without being able to go outside.  Those are all difficult things to deal with, and it’s no surprise that during these rough times, it’s the animals who, as always, keep helping us pull through and make these stressful months a lot more bearable.

Whether it’s petting your dog while you’re crammed with work, looking at videos on Twitter of penguins roaming around empty aquariums, or reading uplifting stories about pet adoption rates going up constantly, animals make us believe that among this confusing moment in life that looks like a big storm, the sun keeps finding gaps to shine through, for both humans and our animal companions.

Take, for instance, the animal shelter managed by Rio de Janeiro City Hall. They’ve launched a “pet delivery” system that allows animals to find new homes amid the COVID-19 crisis.

With the pandemic making it impossible for Rio residents to visit shelters, this particular facility came up with the idea of taking the animal to each person and conducting interviews through social media. This way, people won’t need to run the risk of contagion, and many furry friends waiting for a new home will have to wait no more. Owners give the animals a home, animals become the perfect companions now and forever…everybody wins!

© REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Thankfully more animals are getting adopted nowadays, but meanwhile, others are getting university degrees. Such is the case of eight-year-old Moose —now Dr. Moose—, who was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in veterinary medicine by the Virginia Tech University.

Moose has been serving the university since 2014 at the Cook Counseling Center as a full-time therapy dog, helping reduce the stigma associated with mental illness around students as well as staff members.

According to Virginia Tech’s Instagram post, Moose “has participated in more than 7,500 individual and group counseling sessions, and has completed countless hours of outreach. Congratulations to the new Dog-tor!

In our hearts, there will always be enough space for all kinds of animals… even the stuffed ones. A restaurant in Thailand knows this for a fact and has welcomed them as regular customers.

To ensure social distancing guidelines, as well as to provide its lonely customers an adorable company, Maison Saigon is seating stuffed pandas at some of its chairs

© NDTV

The restaurant’s rule is that pandas cannot be moved under any circumstances, avoiding people sitting too close to each other. Like other Asian countries, Thailand has been slowly lifting some restrictions, allowing restaurants to reopen with certain rules to keep the virus from spreading. Some customers have stated that the pandas make them feel less lonely while they eat by themselves. Wouldn’t we all love to have this cute buddy as our lunch date?

Through thick and thin, animals have always been there for us in so many different ways. They keep proving how kindness and compassion can thrive even in the most difficult times. We have so much to learn from them, and we owe them a big thanks. After all, they truly are the best companions we could ever ask for.

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