Even though I continue to work, I am lonely and feel moments of deep sadness. I worry about my sister who is working in a human hospital ER. My 90 year old mom, my best friend, has not seen anyone in almost a month. My daughter, my co-worker, also a veterinarian, and 7 months pregnant, is put in harm’s way daily. My husband, our main animal ER trauma surgeon, is working daily to help animals in immediate need.

I am leading 80 co-workers I care deeply about. They are my family too, most of whom I can’t see since we are working on separate teams in an attempt to prevent all of us from being infected at once. I must make difficult, and often heartbreaking, protocol decisions in an attempt to keep everyone safe, knowing I will eventually fail.

I do have refuge. My pets are helping me with companionship and unconditional love. They are a refuge in this storm. The scientific research also supports the benefits of pet ownership and human-animal interaction (HAI) for improving social connections, providing social support, decreasing loneliness and depression.

Those of us who are lucky to have animals in their lives know their importance. Local humane and animal shelters need help caring for animals during these unprecedented times. Consider fostering a shelter animal.

Here are photos of just some of the animals and people who have touched my life…

#HumanAnimalBond #AnimalsEnrichLife #WeAreInThisTogether #HAI