Virtual Learning With Sidekicks

As difficult as it is to have school from home, there are a few clear advantages; one being the addition of our furry, scaly, or feathered friends to our learning environment.


Photo by Isleigh Sharpe

Isleigh Sharpe´s dog, Susu, doing online school!

Jennifer Argo, Staff Writer

Remote learning means participating in class with pets, parents, siblings, and more in the background. Though some students cite their pets as a distraction, more appreciate the comfort and companionship of their fellow “classmates.”

Whether it’s dogs, cats, bunnies, lizards, or even fish, it can be hard to focus during class, but it can also be fun. Pets add a sense of companionship and familiarity that you don’t typically get when you are at school in a traditional sense. According to a February 2020 CNN article, owning a pet is associated with “higher survival rates, fewer heart attacks, less loneliness, better blood pressure, better psychological well-being, lower rates of depression and stress levels, fewer doctor visits, increased self esteem, better sleep and more physical activity.”

“I’ve had more positive experiences with my pets during virtual learning because I’ll be sitting at my table stressing over a Calc test or something and one of my dogs will come up right next to me and she’ll want attention,” said Ryan Connick, a senior at West Brunswick with five dogs. “So then I get to stop and take a break from whatever is stressing me out just to love on my dogs.”

Students from West sent in pictures to give us a glimpse of what remote learning with their pets looks like.

Ryan Connick and her dogs on Google Meet. (Photo by Jennifer Argo)
Caroline Bryant´s puppy, Holden, is looking as cute as ever! (Photo by Caroline Bryant)
Samuel Latta’s chickens are so cool! (Photo by Samuel Latta)
Looks like Lonna Ward´s bunny, Luna, is wearing her sunglasses. (Photo by Lonna Ward)
Yoda wearing Lona Ward´s sunglasses again! (Photo by Lonna Ward)
Kailey Carlisle´s dog, Roxy, definitely seems to have the right idea about homework. (Photo by Photo by Kailey Carlisle)
Caroline Bryant´s dog, Daisy, posing in the sun! (Photo by Caroline Bryant)
Izzy sleeping soundly on Ansleigh Taylor´s bed. (Photo by Ansleigh Taylor)