Dealing with the pandemic

We owe you an apology. We’ve been advocating dog games and dog training as a way of dealing with the pandemic. Of taking your mind off whatever anxiety and stress you’ve been feeling. 

But that’s not fair. That’s our escape, our way of dealing with what’s going on. It takes our minds off the worry we wake up with. When our new best friend, insomnia, isn’t paying us a visit.

We aren’t using our time to learn a new language, clean all the closets (not to mention the garage), spruce up the garden, or start a new fitness regime. We’re coping by doing things that are comforting and familiar. We suspect you are, too.

Common bond

The one thing we all have in common, the one thing that’s keeping us sane, is our dogs. 

Although we freely admit that the extra attention may just be stressing them out a bit. Hope’s French Bulldog Torque is getting extraordinarily clingy, and Fran’s Boston Terrier Simon is a tad cranky with the lack of naps.

But if this is the new, hopefully temporary, normal, our dogs are just going to have to get used to it. Instead of our regular two-nights-a-week training classes, we’re harassing them on a daily basis. We have short, individual training sessions with each dog every morning. It lets us start the day with a smile. 

It’s our thing. What’s yours?

We’d already started the habit of morning training. We firmly believe that habit is the most powerful force in the universe. When all of our routines and habits are thrown out of whack, as a good portion of the country has been, it’s an odd feeling. We don’t quite know what to do. So we fall back on habits – both good and bad. And revisit the things that are comfortable, soothing, and familiar.

How are you spending your time staying home? Are you okay? One of the things I (Hope) love to do is bake. Consequently, the freezer is filling up with cookies and cakes. Which is wonderful for occupying time peacefully, but terrible for our diet when even normal activities are lessened.

Lots of walks

It makes life a little easier that going for walks is still okay – as long as we maintain physical distance from everybody else. Since our favorite leashes are all six feet long, it’s really easy for us to judge the right “social distance” length – it’s a leash span! Now that the weather’s getting a little warmer, more people have the same thought and we see more people out and about. So far, everybody in our area is respecting the distance rules. 

And we’ve seen lots of little kindnesses like the “Bear Hunts” for children in the area. People are leaving teddy bears, or pictures of them, in their front windows for kids to find as they walk.

Tough week

The authorities are telling us that this week is going to be a difficult one, for a few reasons. Most horrific, of course, is the number of people killed and sickened by COVID 19. 

But it’s also not easy because this week includes holidays that are cherished for bringing families and friends together – Easter and Passover. Our family is figuring out how to gather by video chat – relatives from across the country and the world (Scotland & New Zealand) were supposed to be celebrating with us this week. We will celebrate together, somehow.

Comforting souls

But the ones we’ll be hugging will be our dogs. We’re grateful for their loud, exuberant, snorty, aggravating, adorable, soft, soothing presence every single day. Our dogs are helping keep us sane. It must be universally true. We saw a news report today that, for the first time ever, Chicago’s Animal Care & Control facility has no dogs to adopt. They’ve all found homes, comforting people dealing with the pandemic.

Dealing with pandemic: Woman napping holding a Boston Terrier
Fran & Booker

So we hope you’ll excuse us if we got a bit nagging with our talk of dog training. We think most dog lovers would have as much fun as we (and our dogs!) do, but it’s just not the right time. We’ll be here if and when you’re ready to try. Until then, hug your dog!

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