The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

MVHS’ best friend

MVHS students share the roles that their pets have played in their lives

EE: MVHS Alum ‘20 Sachi Bhatkar decided to get a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic, and signed up to buy a golden retriever from a breeder. Her family got off the waitlist in 2022 and received their English Cream Golden Retriever, whom Bhatkar decided to name Rio.

SB: So my parents wanted something short and sweet, so it would be very easy to call him. I always liked the very majestic names because I thought he was such a majestic breed. So I went by ‘River’ first, then I saw the Spanish translation was Rio. And I think that was perfect because it’s just such a playful and short and cute name.

EE: Senior Olivia Gao’s cat, Mochi, a purebred ragdoll cat, arrived when she was in the middle of a P.E. class on Zoom. Gao recalls telling her teacher that she was using the bathroom, turning off her camera, and following Mochi around the house. Before she knew it, an hour had passed. Gao was struck by the fearlessness with which Mochi wandered the house, acting like he “owned the place.” Prior to bringing him home, however, adoption and finding a reputable breeder proved to be challenging.

OG: There were multiple websites where they had purebred really cute cats for only $500, which is really cheap because Mochi was like $1,200. But then once we messaged them and stuff, they were like, OK, give us your bank account and all that. So we were like, Oh, that’s a scam.

EE: Freshman Cameron Polidoro’s first memory of his dog, Celli, is when his family returned from a trip shortly after they got her. He recalls coming back home to a destroyed house — toys were scattered everywhere, and Celli had chewed up Polidoro’s belongings and even eaten part of a jar of Nutella. However, with some training, Celli’s energetic personality lent itself well to her duties as a guard dog.

CP: She’s a great guard dog. She’s saved us from a couple of big-time robberies. Our house got kind of broken into and my dirt bikes got stolen in the garage and she was the one that barked at 4 a.m. to warn us and my dad went out driving. We were able to eventually find all the dirt bikes but yeah, so she’s always kind of been there as a guard dog.

EE: Similarly to Polidoro, Bhatkar remembers frequent instances of Rio misbehaving.

SB: When I was driving past the park, he saw me because I yelled his name as I rolled down my window. And he dragged my dad because he was trying to chase me. And I feel like he has so much emotion in him that when he gets excited, there’s no stopping hanging and then we’re dragged with him

EE: Six months ago, Polidoro’s family had to have one of Celli’s legs amputated because she had a cancerous tumor in her front leg and that was the safest course of action. Polidoro notes that in the first few months after Celli’s amputation, it was hard for her to move around, but she slowly figured out how to run again.

CP: It was hard because she was always kind of crazy energetic, very food motivated. So it was really hard to keep her moving and keep her happy, and she has three legs. It’s almost even harder because now you have a dog that’s food motivated, wants to get to interact with people and is three legged.

EE: Polidoro notes that Celli is an adventurous dog, and his family frequently takes her on long road trips or to the beach. Likewise, one of Bhatkar’s favorite pastimes is taking Rio to the beach.

SB: My sister and I like to play monkey in the middle with him. We kind of try to make him get as tired as possible and we toss one of his dog footballs around and he’ll start jumping.

EE: Gao notes cuddling Mochi is a good way to improve her day.

OG: Whenever I’m feeling sad or like, I’m not having the best day I think just seeing him and being in his presence just makes me so much happier because he’s just so cute and like, he likes snuggling with you and like just that feeling of someone like wanting you and wanting to be with you. It’s just comforting.

EE: Like Gao, Bhatkar has found Rio to be very emotionally intelligent, and able to recognize when she is feeling unhappy.

SB: I was home alone. And I think I was crying because I got like a test back where I wasn’t doing well in the class. And I think he recognized that and he just comes in, pops up on the couch and sleeps next to me, puts his snout in between me to see if everything’s OK.

EE: Bhatkar notes that it has been hard leaving Rio for college and being away from him for most of the year. She says it has changed the dynamics between her and Rio, and caused him to become more affectionate towards her.

SB: When I was home he was a puppy. He was really small. But when I’m home, he always wants to play with me. He always wants to cuddle with me like all the attention is on me. Yeah, so I think I’m the special guest in the house now, because I’m not really home too often, but he treats me with so much respect and always wants me to cuddle him. I miss my whole family [when I’m not home]. But I frequently go through my camera roll to look at photos of him. Because I miss him so much.

About the Contributors
Anika Bhandarkar
Anika Bhandarkar, Opinion Editor
Anika is currently a junior and an Opinion Editor for El Estoque. When she isn't running (or thinking about running,) she can be found playing piano, reading, or playing with her two dogs Luke and Leia.
Stella Petzova
Stella Petzova, Staff Writer
Stella is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. When she's not doing homework, she loves to bike around Cupertino, paint, eat sushi, listen to music and pet her cat.
Alyssa Yang
Alyssa Yang, News Editor
Alyssa is currently a junior and a News Editor for El Estoque. When she isn't in a dance studio (which isn't often) she loves traveling, assembling modeling kits and playing too many crosswords.
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