COVID restrictions have been tough. Here in Melbourne, we are now the record holders for the longest cumulative lockdown of any city in the world. For anyone who has experienced even just a few weeks under stay-at-home orders, you’ll know how frustrating and stressful it can be.
But during the lockdown period, some of our First Financial team members welcomed new furry friends into their lives… while others were extremely grateful for their long-standing pet-pals.
Like for many people around the world, having pets has helped our mental health and given us some truly happy moments during a very challenging time. We have been able to break up the long days with fun playful interactions, wellbeing walks and deep, meaningful conversations with our four-legged companions.
Working from home
We first started working from home at the end of March 2020. Understandably, there was some initial anxiety around the process because it was all so new… but we adapted well and the transition was relatively smooth.
To make sure we kept connected, we rolled out regular team meetings and even engaged in several social activities held on digital platforms. But it’s hard to replace the face to face social interaction we were so used to having with each other.
That’s where our pandemic pets really made a difference. Animal companionship helped to lift feelings of isolation… and they always gave us something new to talk about in our team catchups! Who doesn’t like to see a cat walk across a keyboard in the middle of a meeting?
Our wonderful dogs and cats
The RSPCA says that pet ownership offers many great health benefits… these include increased cardiovascular health, exercise motivation and a strengthened immune system.
They encourage a positive outlook on life and help reduce feelings of loneliness and boredom.
Plus, they are great care givers when we are feeling unwell. A cuddle on the couch with a pooch or a soft head nudge from a cat is always going to make you feel better.
Here’s what some of our team have to say about their barking or meowing housemates.
“We got Keithy Boy in September last year and it was the highlight of lockdown for us.
Being home all day by myself, he’s given me someone to talk to and to break up the day and its silence.
As much as a puppy is hard work, he’s been worth it every day. His unconditional love and affection make my heart happy.”
– Katie Stevens
“This is my little Hugo! He is a Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois); he is about five months old.
We got him mid-June this year, after waiting for what felt like so long due to the lockdowns delaying everything!
Having my little companion during lockdown has helped me so much, as up until recently I would be the only one in the house, home alone all day working.
I love going for mid-day walks with him on my lunch break!”
– Amy Clarke
“I adopted Patty in August 2020. His foster parents told me he was two years old; however, when the adoption certificate arrived with his birth date it turned out he was the ripe old age of 10!
That’s no bother to me though. He’s a very happy, healthy, cuddly, lazy guy and has been a constant source of love and laughs.
Can’t imagine life without him.”
– Rebecca Ruck
“Here are my donkeys – Kransky and Louis.
We got Kransky in 2018 and Louis in 2019.
Never a dull moment at home as they always want to be around either me or my wife.”
– Kim Nguyen
Also featured in our images are Lucy and Eddie, Ziggy the cat… who likes his mouse, Frank, Maisy and Ziggy, Molly and sweet Phoebe.
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