Pets and Pandemic
Vol.6 Issue 5
Woman and her cat working from home.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) employees are teleworking with new co-workers; their pets. These employees are not only adjusting to working from their kitchen table or home office, they are additionally adjusting to their new attention-seeking colleagues. This new situation suddenly put these employees on their pets’ turf because their pets have their own agenda for the day, and do not see us as co-workers. These sweet new workmates show little respect for our zoom meetings, deadlines, or personal boundaries. However, being able to stay home with them for the time being is a nice change for us and our animals. We want to introduce you to some of our furry MMAC employees.

My dogs have mixed feelings on me working from home. One makes sure I stay working and the other wishes I would go back to work. Nancy Keller, AMK-315.
While teleworking one morning I let (my daughter’s dog) the mom of these 4 puppies out to go do her business. When I went to let her back in, I found her dead in the front yard. It appeared that something had drug her through our pond. The puppies were just 2 weeks old. Since I am the only one at home during the day due to our maximum telework status, I was able to bottle feed these puppies until we found homes for all of them. My daughter kept one, and that puppy was able to go on a camping trip with us last weekend. Monte Thurman, AMP-400.

The new kid is named ’Snapple’, as he was born on National Sweet Tea Day.
We have 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 goats (and a brand new ’kid’) and a horse that keep life very entertaining. Our indoor animals are super funny and keep me smiling all day while working from home. All of our animals are rescues and our newest is our cat, Meekah. The funniest thing is that she likes to suck on a pacifier and she walks through the house meowing loudly with it in her mouth until someone acknowledges how cute she is. Amber Crawford, AMK- 233.

My dog, Finn, enjoys teleworking more than me! Over the weekend, Finn looked over Coffee Slinger’s menu when their truck was in Edgemere Park. He’s not nearly as happy when he is stuck inside due to the rain. John Doddy, AML-30.

I don’t think my dogs (or I) will ever want me to go back on campus to work, that’s for certain. My lunches consist of walks or enjoying the outside air with the dogs and none of the dogs have to wait to go potty. They seem much happier just to have a human here than to be by themselves for most of the day. I may not be able to actively engage with them all day but with me at home, they have access to the office that gives them a nice view - which they take advantage of throughout much of the day. I’m enjoying it almost as much as they are. Becky Frady, AMK-321.

My rescue dogs Charlie, Pablo, and Jax have REALLY enjoyed having the whole family home. At first, they were like, "Why are you here? You’re imposing on our nap time with Dad!" Fast forward 3 months and now they sit with me wherever I choose to work on any given day. During these stressful times, they have been very beneficial for our mental health. I mean if you are going to be stuck at home, be with the ones who snuggle and don’t talk back! Karlee Baldwin, AMP-1.

Sam loves telework and is great company during social distancing. She’s also a therapy pet, usually for other people. During this period, she’s been very helpful with the chaos and stress of day-to-day work. I’m a strong advocate for pets in the workplace. When properly trained, they improve morale and engagement. Robyn Burk, AMK-1.
Stella has been more exhausted than usual from all of the meetings she’s had to sit through since we’ve been teleworking. She thinks that she has to be sitting in my lap or running circles around my desk any time that I’m in the office, paying attention to anything other than her. Since I live in Stillwater most of the year, she hasn’t quite adjusted to me being home for the summer yet, so we’re still very excited and loving it. Katy Williams, AMC-3.

Accounting is ruff work. Let’s paws for a minute to let Brodie check my work. Brodie often takes a break from lounging and sunbathing to assist me with my job since I’ve been teleworking full-time. Rachel Pounders, AMK-315.

It has been a real blessing to be teleworking at home for the past few months. In February we brought home two Husky puppies, Kaya and Miko. I always felt bad that they were inside the house in a crate for 6 – 8 hours a day while my family was at work and school. Ever since I started teleworking from home and the kids started attending school classes online from home, Kaya and Miko have been in heaven. They now get early morning and late evening walks. They are no longer by themselves, stuck in a crate or outside in the backyard for hours. Even though I am busy working all day, they still get periodic attention and have free-roam of the house. They are now 7 months old and are really spoiled. They probably don’t even remember the first month of the life in our house and being stuck in a crate. We jokingly have a conspiracy theory that the dogs of the world plotted together to create COVID-19 so that everyone would have to stay home with them and give them more love and affection! Kaya and Miko are not going to be very happy when the world figures this out and life goes back to normal in the fall with the kids returning to school and I possibly return to work in the office. I should probably start getting prepared now for the retaliation and start hiding shoes and other items that can be chewed up by them! Kim Sheppard, AMC-3.

While this pandemic has changed the physical location of where Aeronautical Center employees work, we are fortunate enough to still be able to do our jobs and work alongside our beloved furry companions.

Man and his dog focusing on computer work from home.
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