As Warde students emerge from solitude to resume human interaction seven hours a day, five days a week, their pets must return to their solitary confinement. Dedicated Warde student-pet owners are now ripped away from their families, who have become essential aspects to their online school routines.
Students went from lying in bed with their dogs all day to kicking them out of their rooms to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Yet, 67% of students are still late to school. Sophomore Hazel Hendler blames her chronic tardiness on her dog’s protests.
“I spent hours laying out my sweatpants and hoodie the night before, only to find that the next day, my shoes were chewed and my Warde apparel was covered in dog fur.”
The orchestra has seen a tremendous drop in performance, which can be attributed to cats breaking instruments as revenge for going full time. It’s definitely not because the musicians were too lazy to practice. (When they were home, the pets enjoyed concerts).
This cat chaos contrasts the positive impact of furry friends in education. Studies show that when students were home, those who had pets improved skills in critical thinking and debate, as well as their reflexes. The research revealed that this was a result of students arguing with their dogs about giving out dog treats and talking through math problems or essay ideas with their cats. Fine motor skills improved as students had to quickly fix their computer every time a cat walked across the keyboard. Students exercised their legs by getting up every three minutes to let their dog inside.
In fact, debate team winner Finn Johnston credits his cat, Garbage Can, for his excellence.
“Every single time I argued with my cat about whether or not I should sleep in for a google meet, I won.”
The most jarring social adjustment to full in-person is that students are unable to find that same intimate connection with classmates as previously found by showing each other their pets on Google Meets.
In a year without a comfortable school experience, many students have turned to different depictions of high school life, with shows and movies such as Outer Banks and the classic High School Musical. This entertainment that students cling to includes letdowns that, no, there are no cafeteria flash mobs, no, there is not a treasure hunt for you, no, you cannot take your mask off, and no, there is no bring-your-pet-to-school day. When students could not come close to even their loved ones, they came closest to experiencing a real “Bring Your Pet to School Day”.
The benefits and glory of the dynamic immersion of pets and school will not end, though. Fidos For Equity is creating a petition to change something. It’s unclear what that something is, exactly, because the organization hired a rooster as an intern and it has proved very difficult to read their chicken scratch. Parameters include spacing orthopedic pet beds six paws apart from the desks and having fashion students design clothes for them.
For the health and well-being of the Warde student body and its affiliates, it is high time for pets to be acknowledged into Warde’s dogma.