From Covid to the cost of living crisis, the news we are being exposed to regularly often weighs down on us. At least, that is how I have been feeling from time-to-time. It got me thinking, that maybe this is contributing to and shaping the ways in which we spend our spare time; scrolling TikTok and other socials, bingeing TV shows, playing video games, and the list goes on.
During my downtime engaging in these kinds of activities to avoid the dull realities of the world, I have found a consistent stream of happiness inducing content.
Welcome to my list of mood boosting fluffy/fuzzy four-legged friends:
First off the ranks, the star of the show. By now, I am sure you have probably heard of Capybaras; the world’s largest rodent, eater of wood (I kid you not, they just chow down on trees, bark and all), water lover, and friend to all.
Capybaras are presently trending on Tiktok and this makes me immensely happy. However, I have been Capy obsessed for quite a few years now! The world of Capybara lovers involves fiends like Gort, pulling hup, and coconut dogs. If you don’t understand this lingo, you need to go take a deep dive in Capybara land. Thank me later.
Some of you may have been introduced to the mischievous creatures that are racoons from games like ‘Sly Cooper’, or on the big screen (I am looking at you Disney). These chubby balls of fluff often get a bad rap as thieves or trash lovers. Now, whilst these accusations may be true, Racoons actually make for some real heart-warming viewing.
For instance, take the Racoon who places his fairy-floss in the water and is overcome by confusion. This is just the beginning! There is something about the way they awkwardly try to use their hands to get food that makes me smile.
Wow, do I wish I could have a pet hedgehog! These small, spiky beings give our native Echidna a run for their money. Do they have teeth? Yes. Spikes? Yes? Are they a little bit aggressive? Absolutely. However, they are small, and thus retain ample cuteness.
They really like resting, rubs, and getting their heads stuck in toilet rolls.
Macroscelides micus elephant shrew
I had initially titled this as ‘Wiggly nose shrew thing’ and frankly this is a great description. These little mammals were discovered in 2014 and gosh they’re cute. They are small, they are fluffy, and most importantly they have a rather long, wiggly and quite flexible snoot.
Speaking of long snoots (and this is often key in my adoration for animals), the giant anteater takes the cake. Not your typical warm and fuzzy inducer but trust me, give them a chance. They are immensely fluffy, very long (in body, tail, snoot and tongue) and they are frankly so goofy. Also, that tail is something else!
Now, jumping into the land of dogs! Growing up, I always had pet dogs, Poodles, to a Kelpie and Rottweiler. Since reaching an age of social media use, I have become aware of the varied dog breeds that roam the planet, and thus have expanded the horizon of realistic pets I could own that give me the warm and fuzzies (because no, unfortunately I cannot own any of the above as it stands in Australia).
First off, the Borzoi, my absolute favourite. Again, long snoots are an important factor here, and gosh are they long. You may have come across the Borzoi on Tiktok, alongside the ‘Let me do it for you’ sound. Borzois are very large dogs, with lots of fluff and a very impressive snoot in the dog kingdom. Unfortunately, they are Russian, love the cold and thus are quite difficult (and costly to get in Australia).
My close second to the Borzoi is the greyhound. Again, we see a lovely snoot with a very placid personality and another long boi. Unlike Borzois, Greyhounds are much more achievable as pets and there are many sweet hounds that need to be rescued.
Finally, the Shiba Inu. Although not long, these little fluff balls have such character and remind me of perfectly crisp toast. Plus, who wouldn’t want their own Doge.
Hello! My name is Tegan and I joined the Opus team in 2021 as an outlet to escape my PhD writing. I am yet to find my niche category, but you can probably expect pieces about postgraduate life, creativity, psychology, literature and all things cute and fuzzy. Outside of Opus and my PhD, I am also a peer mentor, team leader, tutor, and sessional academic (so you might just see me in class sometime!).