Doggie Dog Quarantined World
There is a good reason why people say dogs are a man’s best friend or why we have an idea of the “Cat Lady” with all of her cats. Because pets bring out the best in us, for me it’s especially dogs. I was experiencing being more drawn to the unconditional love dogs give during these past months throughout this CoronaVirus lockdown.
A quarantine away from quarantine
Like most I lost my job abruptly, it was scary to feel vulnerable to a new unknown disease as well as feeling unstable about my financial future. Being stuck in my apartment for a month in isolation with the sounds of netflix mixed with the constant pounding of my upstairs neighbor’s cement shoes, that I swear he wears, I had to brave an airplane ride to stay with family. I went to my brother, sister in law, 4 year old nephew and their 2 little dogs Molly,a terrier mix and Brian a pomeranian or “Pommy” as we call him. I already knew these pubs but something about this visit really made me love them more. Not since childhood had I been around a dog daily and this came at the perfect time.
Dogs fill the pandemic voids
I live alone and couldn’t see my friends for so long. The pressures of filling out unemployment forms and keeping 6ft distances in grocery stores leaves one with a feeling of vulnerability. But now I was living with a fierce protector, Molly. Sure, she’s just barking at and chasing squirrels but I need to feel looked out for right now and you never know when a squirrel will attack your lunch on the porch. Molly tucked me in at night. She followed the household's bed time and would happily smile at me wagging her tail waiting for pillows to be fluffed and a blanket layed for her to jump up and settle in. I’ll take a fluffy spoon with ‘dog treat’ breath over nothing any day.
Brain is much older so he just loves to be held. At times his neediness would make my wanna symbolically swipe left but I enjoyed the feeling of being needed. When you lose a job and regular routine one can slip into an emo state of ‘Where do I belong?” Brian basically answered with, “here on this couch, holding me while I sleep”. A much needed routine comes into play with pets. Walking, feeding times and for older or injured dogs, administering medicines. Holding, petting, and caring for the dogs was a great distraction from all that was and is happening with instant rewards of fuzzy cuteness just happy to see you. We always feel this with our chosen pets but the stress of quarantine really magnified their importance.
The Dog Business Is Booming
Dogs normally feel like you’ve left them for days and now many pet owners are home all day and pets are thriving. On zoom happy hours or conference calls people are being introduced to their co-workers pets that are chilling on their desks or on the dog beds in the background. Dog owners are taking over the streets with their need to escape the house more and having Spike as a good excuse to do so sure helps. Instagram is flooding with pet pics and dogs of all ages are definitely learning new tricks.
In March, Shelters were worried about lowered pet adoptions as shelters had to close but by April more people were taking on the call to foster dogs and adoption rates spiked.
We are still in a state of pandemic fear and now in the midst of a historic civil rights movement. If anything, the love and loyalty of our dog shows us how we should be to each other. If we can love these animals we can certainly love and care for one another and ourselves during this time. Pets bring out the human in us. You have to be caring, compassionate, patient and enjoy the company and benefits of the relationship you nurture. If you have the means to own a dog I would suggest it for the sake of your empathy and the wealth of your health in this time of challenge and growth.