Months of sheltering-in-place and the loneliness it provokes contribute to the desire to add pets to our lives. Since the start of the pandemic, pet adoption has continued to rise in the United States; shelters, rescue facilities, private breeders and pet stores have all reported a surge in consumer demand for dogs and cats. As the reality of a protracted socially isolated life sets in, those of us who once felt we had no time to devote to caring for an animal now have time to spare.

Like nearly 55 million other Americans since March, my wife Michelle and I recently became unemployed, and our morale was low from the daily struggle of simultaneous job- and soul-searching. On the plus side, quarantining offered time to bond more closely; without the jobs that once kept us too busy and distant for quality time, there were new opportunities to reconnect.

Since our dating days, we’d…

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