Four-legged Friends Fill Hearts

By Brandon Shepard

Hours are ticking by slower and slower, it seems, and days may be dragging on. Tiredness and a lack of energy and stress may be felt as well. During this time of social distancing and a change in lifestyle, it is easy to develop the blues. Fortunately, pets may bring joy and happiness at home. Spending time with pets can help with reducing stress. According to Science Magazine, pets can also increase Oxytocin levels in the brain. Oxytocin is a hormone released when, for example, a mother gazing into her baby’s eyes and vice versa. Seeing the pet releases oxytocin in the brain stimulating for a better mood and the same applies to the pet itself. Teachers and students alike have special furry friends who have helped in hard times and here are a few that have made an impact in both teachers and students' lives.


Jada Tims, a student at West High School, has a bearded dragon as his special pet. The bearded dragon’s name is Stamos, derived from the famous actor, John Stamos. Stamos is about a year and 4 months old and reaches from the elbow to the tip of Jada’s middle finger. He also loves to climb everywhere. On couches, on people, and pretty much anywhere he can go. His favorite food is crickets and favors anything yellow as food. Ms. Tammy Ripley, a history teacher at West High School, has two very special animals in her life. Lady is a black miniature Schnauzer who is 6 years old. Opal Mae, a rescue puppy, is her other special pet who is 5 months old.


Pets are important in everyday life whether people realize it or not. Pets, regardless of what kind, brings happiness and reduces stress and makes life so much brighter. Whether the pet may be a bearded dragon or a dog that you treasure or any other animal, always count on pets to make up for bad days. Even though life may seem rough and overwhelming, just remember that pets will always be there no matter what. Bringing smiles and feeling voids, these pets will love unconditionally and will help along life’s treacherous journey.


Ms. Ripley’s Schnauzer, Lady

Ms. Ripley’s rescue puppy, Opal Mae

Kevin Becerra Rogelio’s turtle, Vladimir Rodriguez.

Dominic Maile’s bearded dragon, Veldora

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