This year was a mess in some way shape or form. I think we can all agree on that. COVID-19 impacted our daily lives and momentarily put a hold on a lot of things. By now, you're probably sick and tired of hearing and reading about the pandemic. You're not alone by any means. It was a year of learning for many. But, there were some winners to come out of 2020 on top. And, you personally know some of them. By mid-March, a majority of the United States went into lockdown, including Michigan. Schools, universities, bars and restaurants, businesses - anything that wasn't considered "essential" - closed doors uncertain about the future. As most establishments closed, many remained safe and social distanced by staying inside their homes for countless weeks. Which brings me to my points of who the real winners of 2020 are. Pets. Dogs. Cats. Lizards. Fish. Snakes. Whatever type of pet it may be, they are the real winners of this year. In most cases, never has there been a year where pets and humans have spent so much time together. Nine months ago had to be a very confusing time for our beloved pets, but looking back at all those months, I can't recall any complaints from my spunky corgi, Stella. Did your pets ask, "Are you ever going to leave?" If we've learned anything in 2020, it's that maybe we should be allowed to take our pets into more public places. Why is it that our dogs can't sit next to us in the office? The answer to that question remains unknown. While so many things were canceled or put in doubt this year, the love any pet shows its owners remained constant - if not, greater than ever before. Maybe you developed a new habit or created a voice for your pet in 2020 - I did both and then some. I look forward to spending as much of 2021 with Stella, and hopefully a new friend for her. I'd like to end this column by congratulating my Facebook friends who, during this pandemic, were somehow able to find time to become infectious disease experts and outsmart some of the world's top doctors. (You know you have them too). Bradley Massman is the editor of the Herald Review. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.