It’s a smaller world after all

Over the last three months, it’s become a smaller world. We got a vivid reminder when our dogs got so excited this week.

It was thrilling! Hope came home from work and she’d BEEN SOMEWHERE!

They could tell because their sniffers are so much better than ours. She’d gone someplace different, she brought home delightful new smells, and it was the most exciting thing that had happened in ages!

Reality check

Which just proves how limiting life has been for the last three months. Hope had been to the salon and gotten a haircut. Her first since the pandemic restrictions began in March. It was the first non-grocery-store “adventure” we’d had, and the dogs were ready to sniff all about it.

Tango, Booker, Torque, Simon

The dogs’ reaction really brought home how different life has been. In more “normal” times, coming home after a haircut would rate a perfunctory once-over at best. We, and our dogs, used to have pretty busy schedules. Dog classes two nights a week, occasional obedience, rally, or agility trials. Get-togethers with friends. On top of being at the shop six days a week, our schedules were pretty full.

Normal homecoming

Most dogs know their people’s schedules. They know the routine for the day; when who is supposed to leave, how long everybody will be gone, and when each person is coming home. Our dogs are no different. When we’re on schedule, our greetings are pretty laid back. They’re happy to see us when we come home, but it’s not the “where-have-you-been-and-what-have-you-been-doing” interrogation. And that’s the way it should be.

We know that times still aren’t “normal,” and probably won’t be for quite a while, if ever. The dogs’ reaction to Hope’s “field trip” took us by surprise, but it showed us that we’ll have some work to do to re-socialize our dogs when we can resume some of our normal activities.

Summer cancelled

Unfortunately, that won’t be this summer. Our obedience club, with our participation, decided to cancel all of our sessions until September, at the earliest. We’re not “living in fear” as some would portray. We are ensuring that no one will be put at risk for a recreational activity. All of us are volunteers, many in the “at risk” category, and we’d never forgive ourselves if the unthinkable happened. It’s just not worth it.

It does mean that, as things open up, we’ll have to take our dogs out more, visit places we haven’t been, remind them how to behave in public. It’s a good reminder that dogs’ worlds have also changed, and, in many ways, gotten smaller over the last months. Just as we’ll have to get used to a bigger world again, so will our dogs.

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