All it took was a bundle of sloppy kisses and quivering energy to convince Jolyn Koehl that something was missing in her life.
Between feeling lonely and stressed during the pandemic, Koehl said there were moments of extreme gratitude and connection, she told CNN.
"Everything I loved about the city was unavailable; restaurants, concerts, happy hours. But it forced me to slow down and consider how I might want my life to change after the pandemic," she said.
Koehl, a vice president at Zeno Group, a strategic communications firm, decided to foster a 3-month-old puppy named Zemo from Paws Chicago due to working from home, an abundance of free time, and the need for a "temporary companion that would" get her off the couch, she told CNN.
"He hates garbage trucks and barks when I leave the apartment. My schedule revolves around when he needs to walk and pee and eat and the people were right," Koehl said. "It's a lot of work. But after a month of waking up to his patient, eager eyes as I open my bedroom door, watching him hurdle towards me after he's done playing with his park friends, and listening to him snore and sigh as we spend another evening on the couch, I understand why people do it."
Zemo recently went to his forever home, leaving behind "nose smudges on the window, a half-eaten jar of peanut butter, a squeaky ball under my dresser and a place in my heart forever," Koehl said.
In terms of whether she'll be adopting a dog, Koehl said "it is only a matter of time now; just need to find my own big backyard first."