Nicole Cueto sobbed as she locked the door of her apartment and heard her dog, Marty, crying hysterically on the other side.
“He was anxious and upset,” the Manhattan resident recalled of the incident earlier this year when she had to go out to work for the first time in months. “It was extremely traumatic for the both of us, and I could not focus on my job for days after.”
To help him cope, Cueto has invested $340 in professional pet training and counseling — a fraction of the amount many concerned owners are forking over — and Marty is becoming accustomed to being apart from his person.
The boxer mix is among millions of animals across the US who are already suffering from separation anxiety or are set to experience its painful effects after enjoying human company 24/7 since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.