Even New York’s “First Dog” Has Coronavirus Anxiety, Says Governor

Even if you don’t call New York home, millions of Americans tune in to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefings, where people take comforted in the governor’s cool, calm, and fact-based approach to the escalating global pandemic.

But even the governor — whose rational demeanor has become something of salve in these trying times – admits that it’s okay to feel down from time-to-time, especially as weeks of quarantine and social distancing start to set in.

“There’s no medical definition for cabin fever, but I believe it exists,” the governor said in a recent coronavirus briefing. Even Cuomo’s dog, a young Siberian-malamute mix named Captain, is apparently feeling disjointed by the pandemic’s disruption to the first family’s daily routines.

“The dog is also experiencing cabin fever,” Cuomo said of Captain, whom the governor adopted as a puppy in early 2018 upon the insistence of his daughters. “The order of the pack has changed. … He doesn’t know where he fits. He has anxiety.”

Of course, pets — just like their people – deal with isolation in all sorts of ways. Most pets enjoy the extra time with their humans, although they don’t understand why their humans don’t want to constantly play. One very good boy in Colorado even started delivering groceries to a sick neighbor.

Other pets (generally these are cats) resent the constant intrusions into their “territory.” Mylee the cat was so upset by her family’s intrusion into her personal space that she started rage meowing. Others have aggressively destroyed their humans’ stockpile of toilet paper.

Regardless, Cuomo plans to deal with his cabin fever by taking up running-while-social distancing with his daughter Cara. We hope Captain will get to go along, too!

How is your pet dealing with life in lockdown? Tell us about it in the comments!

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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