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Beat stay-at-home blues with four-legged friends
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Nicole Worzek Burch enjoys her porch swing with Annie June, one of her three beloved dogs. - photo by Jennifer Woods
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Great danes Big Guy and Zero love going on rides with their owners Ethan and Jasmine Evans.

These are confusing times for us and more than likely just as baffling for our pets. Their routines have been changed with the COVID-19 order to stay home.  

As the saying goes “dogs have owners and cats have staff.” The felines are probably unaware anything is different, but man’s best friend has noticed and is loving it. Pets are a great way to enhance spirits during this time of home isolation.

With three big dogs that range from ages 4 to 13, Nicole Worzek Burch shared that her “kids” have been staying busy barking at groundhogs, playing in the yard, hanging out on the screened-in porch and going for walks. Burch works for the Warren County School System and is working from home. She said her dogs are missing their daily naps and they seem to follow her from room to room more now. 

The trio consists of Annie June, who is a great dane boxer mix, Nancy, a pit hound mix, and Townes, a full-blooded red tick coon hound. “They have made being at home better. You can’t help smiling when they are around. They love unconditionally,” said Burch.

Pete Sands has always walked his two border collies so they can burn off some of their energy. “The only difference now is that the schedule is more regular for them to get their exercise,” said Sands who works at Bridgestone.

What started out as a plan to get one puppy four years ago ended with sisters Roxie and Jo both going home with the Sands family. Sands stated, “They are so close and it really has been great that they have each other. We walk three miles a day and they love jumping in the pond in our neighborhood. They love kids and will outlast them every time when it comes to their energy.”  

His advice for other pet owners is to get outside with them for walks or playing fetch. 

Great danes Big Guy and Zero were found out and about downtown Friday in the back of a pickup. 

“They go nuts when we ask them if they want to go on a ride,” said Ethan Evans. 

“We walk downtown all the time and go on hikes with them on family land,” added Jasmine Evans. It was hard to tell who was having the most fun enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Here are some other ideas to try and mix it up with your pooches found in an article on 

Hide dog treats around your yard, then let your dog outside and let him sniff away, as he scours the lawn searching for his reward. 

Put together a fun agility course for your pet using household items you already have. Be sure to have your dog’s favorite treats on hand to “guide” him through the course. 

Your dog likely loves treats more than anything else (besides you). Whether your dog loves peanut butter, carrots, pumpkin, or liver you can find a dog treat recipes online that will be loved and easy to bake.