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New Yorkers getting dogs to combat coronavirus stress


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managed wordpress hostingNew Yorkers getting dogs to combat coronavirus stress 1
They’re looking for creature comfort amid the coronavirus.

As the deadly global pandemic rages around them, an increasing number of New Yorkers are trying the latest at-home de-stressing tactic — getting a dog.

“I’m in the Berkshires, Day 9,” Jed Garfield, head of the real-estate firm Leslie J. Garfield, texted to The Post this week. “Spend my days racked with stress and anxiety. Got a dog.”

Picking up the pooch — a 40-pound, 5-month-old Goldendoodle — from a breeder in West Stockbridge, Mass., was one of the best things he’s done, Garfield said.

“His name was Baxter, but we call him ‘Doggie,’” he said. “It’s crazy. Once you do it, you see why people have dogs their whole lives.

“It’s really, really fun — and one of the best things about it is it totally distracts you so you are less stressed about everything.’’

Gian Manawis, who works as an associate adviser in Garfield’s office, said she and her husband Spenser picked up an English bulldog named Thurman on Thursday.

“We know four other people who got dogs last Thursday — and our neighbor across the hall got one on Friday,” said Manawis said, who lives in Midtown.

“We can spend time training him now from home since we can’t be in the office. And in these uncertain times, it’s a great way to relieve stress.

“He is really calming,’’ she said.

Matt Bershadker, president of the ASPCA, said the current phenomenon is no surprise.

Animals “provide invaluable comfort and companionship, especially during times of crisis — and they certainly appreciate the attention they get,’’ he told The Post.

Bershadker said that in the past week alone, he has seen a 70 percent spike in animals going into foster care through the ASPCA’s New York City and Los Angeles programs compared to the same time period last year.

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Among those joining the crowd was actor Leonard DiCaprio’s girlfriend, Camila Morrone, who said last week that she is fostering a pup while self-quarantining.

Meanwhile, Whatsapp chat groups are currently filled with New Yorkers talking about their desire to foster a dog.

An Upper West Side mom said her kids have been desperate for a pooch for years — and now may finally be the time for her to break down.

“My husband and I were working full-time and didn’t have the bandwidth. Now we are both at home, and the kids need a distraction,’’ said the woman, who did not want to be named.

“I didn’t want to commit to adoption, but I thought it would be a great thing to foster right now.

“In times like this, everyone could use the comfort and distraction of a dog.’’

Bershadker said pups are a safe alternative.

“No current evidence suggests that the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion animals,’’ the ASPCA chief said.

Holly Rilinger and her fiancee, Jennifer Ford, adopted a pair of chihuahuas while in the Dominican Republic with Jennifer’s two kids as they all wait out the virus.

“We went for Spring Break. My parents live here part-time,’’ said Rilinger, a health and wellness coach. “Now we’re camping out here as long as we need until things get better in New York.”

She said the pooches have been a godsend amid the stress over the uncertainty of the times.

“When they sit with you, you feel their little heart beats, feel their breath, they are so soft,’’ Rilinger said. “It’s one of the most fortuitous events that ever happened to us as a family.”

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