Boston Hemophilia Center

Contact the Boston Hemophilia Center 617-355-6101
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Contact the Boston Hemophilia Center 617-355-6101
International +1-617-355-5209

Pets on Pandemic Parade

by Peg, Geary, BHC Project Manager

Sharing our lives with animals

During the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, people have been quarantined in their homes, and many have even worked from home. Homes used to be our havens, but for many, they became places of confinement, boredom, and stress. Life has been difficult, but pets have become saviors of sanity for many of us! Those of us with pets can tell you why…

  • Unconditional love is calming, therapeutic, and satisfying.
  • Pets are comforting. Many pets like to be close physically to their humans and we enjoy their warmth when they curl up next to us.
  • Pets are good company. Anyone who has animals has talked with them, sung to them and shared their feelings. Pets let you know that you are not alone.
  • Our pets are dependent on us. Pets rely on us for their health and safety. They teach us responsibility.
  • Many animals must go out to exercise. Taking them on walks gets us out in the fresh air and keeps us physically active.
  • Creative play can be therapeutic for our pets, as well as ourselves.
  • Special relationships with our pets may be stress-reducing.

In this article, BHC staff members share stories and photos of their pets who comforted them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet the pets

murphy the pup struts their stuff for the cameraMurphy

Mac Elderly pets are beloved members of our families. This is Murphy Mac, long-time companion of Deb McNamara, senior administrator of Hematology and Hemophilia, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Although he doesn’t look it, Murphy Mac is approaching his 15th birthday! Since Deb works more at home during this pandemic, she is able to spoil him more than ever. After all, he is a sweet and affectionate fella who loves to cuddle!


cosmo the 5 year old lhasa apsoCosmo

Cosmo is a 5- year old Lhasa Apso and like most dogs, he is enjoying all the quality time he has gotten with his humans since quarantine! His favorite person is Mary Kate (MK) Covallo who is a BHC program coordinator. Cosmo loves stealing socks, chasing his tail, and barking during all of Mary Kate’s important Zoom meetings. In the evening, you can find him curled up on the couch with his humans, being a good boy. MK says, he has truly been a comfort during these months of quarantine.

kuma smiles. kuma means bear in japaneseKuma

For Cliff Haas, BHC 340b operations manager, two pets are better than one during this pandemic, when they all enjoy each other’s company at home! Cliff and his family were lucky to adopt this adorable puppy in 2020. His name is Kuma, which means “Bear” in Japanese, and he is a CavaPooChon (King Charles Cavalier, Poodle and Bischon Frise mix). Cliff, his wife, and his two daughters adore this mighty ball of energy. Kuma loves to go on walks and loves his little treats. He is great company for this busy household and loves to snuggle on the couch when any of them takes a break.

Toto the bird smiles for their closeupTotochan, alias Toto

Toto is a Green Quaker Parrot, aptly named because of their habit of quaking at random times. He has never been a chatty fellow, but he can say his name. He is much better with kinesthetic tricks, like shaking hands and putting money in the bank. But Toto is certainly not shy about asserting his territory or taking food from your plate. He’s a plucky fellow! His favorite foods are rice, pasta, and of course, mango. Toto is frequently free to fly around and will sometimes assert his dominance by dive bombing Cliff and flying off to another perch, which is usually hilarious!


mia poses for the cameraBHC’s research manager, Revital Freedman, PhD, and her son share their lives with two of the most lovable cats, Gaia and Mia. Gaia is a beautiful tabby cat who spends her days with Revital’s son, while he is studying remotely. She has made herself at home on his desk and provides him with much entertainment, which as we all know cats are very capable of doing!


Gaia plays with a red bandGaia

In the picture here, Gaia is mesmerized by a red elastic band. Like most other cats, Mia seems to practice social distancing from any other living soul — except, of course, when Revital has a laptop in her lap! That’s when Mia decides she’s a lap cat, too. When Revital tells her, “Cm’on Mia, get off. I need to work,” Mia gives her a heart-melting look which says, “Am I not as important as your work?” And, of course, she is!

Macadoo poses for their closeupMacadoo

This beautiful Lhasa Apso is the constant companion of Erica Hallson, BHC administrative assistant II. His full name is Macadoo, but he looks more like his nickname, Mac. Erica says that 5-year-old Mac makes her and her husband, Nate, smile every day — and that’s a lot of smiles! Like most pets, he does drive them crazy sometimes. He can be stubborn when it comes to wanting a treat or wanting to stay out for a longer walk. Yet, Mac loves them unconditionally and can always make them laugh. Erica and Nate love him to pieces, and he makes the pandemic bearable.

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