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Only 1 More Day. What Got You Through 2020?


If you're hearing my voice, you have nearly made it through 2020. It's not a bad moment to ask what helped you through it all.


To judge by social media, many people got a cat or a dog. Tom Bredemeier relied on a different sort of pet.

TOM BREDEMEIER: So I've always been interested in beekeeping for the past couple of years but have never been able to get involved with it because it's a spring activity. And I'm a teacher, and I'm really busy in the springtime.

FADEL: Bredemeier says it stings not to see his students in person anymore, but he's had more time.

INSKEEP: He'd once taken a beekeeping class, so Bredemeier finally ordered a box of bees.

BREDEMEIER: And it's really weird to hold the box because it vibrates. And the UPS driver was like, here - you take it.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) Contact-free delivery. Bredemeier says the bees made him stop and notice things.

BREDEMEIER: I think the beauty here is the ability to get up and get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature that's around you, to be present in that nature.

FADEL: Dr. Krupali Tejura got through 2020 by sending a pet.

INSKEEP: She's an oncologist in a Southern California hospital and worried about her elderly parents because she can't safely visit them anymore.

KRUPALI TEJURA: They're kind of in their golden ages where they should be enjoying life. And they cannot.

FADEL: So she had her dog Jambo (ph) stay with them. He's a golden retriever.

TEJURA: A dog can read every human emotion. So if my mom is upset, he will put his head on her lap. It's like he's there to - I'm going to start crying. He brings them love and light.

INSKEEP: I'm going to start crying, too. Now, Beth Hyman is also no stranger to sharing pets. She is executive director of the SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary in New York.

FADEL: She helped rescue an adorable steer named Crouton, so adorable that people encouraged Hyman to create a Twitter account for him.

BETH HYMAN: And I thought it was the most ridiculous idea.

INSKEEP: Yeah, but it's a pandemic, so not so ridiculous. Crouton grew a big online fan club during this pandemic.

HYMAN: They have deemed themselves the Crouton Crew. And they're fantastic. They're very active.

INSKEEP: Hyman has been posting videos of the sanctuary's animals. And the Crouton Crew loves it.

HYMAN: They definitely do tell us it's the last thing they do at night before they go to bed. You know, they've got to, you know, check in and, you know, see what Crouton's doing.


FADEL: Some listeners on how animals have helped them move through 2020.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE ACORN SONG, "MISPLACED") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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