The Georgia Aquarium may be temporarily closed to the public as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't stop two adorable puppies from taking a field trip there and cheering up viewers around the world who are stuck sheltering in place.
Odie and Carmel, two 8-week-old Jack Russell Terrier mixes, got to take a dream trip to the aquarium and their special day was captured on video so that viewers staying at home can follow along on their adventures.
"We wanted to bring joy to peoples’ day, especially during this time, and we thought what better way than with puppies!" Paige Hale, senior manager of communications at Georgia Aquarium told TODAY.
"The team at Atlanta Humane Society was excited to help us with this to showcase the Aquarium and the great work AHS does, too."
The cute pups got a VIP view of the Ocean Voyager exhibit, a 100-foot long tunnel that surrounds aquarium visitors with ocean life, including whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of colorful fish. Odie and Carmel looked around with curious eyes and took turns jumping into the lap of Chris, an aquarium employee who was filming their visit.
The sweet pups also enjoyed running in circles, giving kisses and sitting together on a ledge watching a school of fish go by. Energetic Odie enjoyed running down the long tunnel while Carmel was slower to get started. Both enjoyed taking a nap in the aquarium's "bubble window" and Odie even let his sister rest her head on him!
"With everything going on, we’ve been working hard to create content that brings people joy," Christina Hill, director of marketing and communications at Atlanta Humane Society told TODAY. "There have been a lot of brainstorming sessions and discussions to ensure we’re doing our best to bring smiles to everyone’s faces during this time.
"The Georgia Aquarium collaboration came out of one of our brainstorming sessions. They’re right up the street from us and also had to make the difficult decision to close so we thought bringing puppies there would be a fun way to engage our community during this time."
And although the aquarium is currently closed to the public, would-be visitors can live vicariously through Odie and Carmel as they romp around and check out the aquarium's multiple webcams including the Ocean Voyager webcam, the jelly webcam and the Beluga whale webcam.
"The response to Carmel and Odie’s visit has been amazing," said Hale. "We wanted to give people something fun and joyful given the unfortunate news of late and the comments we’ve received have been powerful and positive. Even though we are currently closed to the public we still wanted to bring the aquarium to those at home."
Kate Mullaney of the Atlanta Humane Society said in the video that they wanted to "make sure we're filling up your feed with all the cuteness we can provide."