The Covid 19 virus is responsible for all kinds of changes in our lives.
Among the most notable for us this week – because the neighborhood around our shop is a ghost town, thieves helped themselves to Hope’s car’s catalytic converter. In the village parking lot, in broad daylight, with a power tool. And nobody saw. Nobody heard. The first clue was when Hope closed the shop on Tuesday evening, got in her car, and heard the roar of a vehicle without a working emissions system.
We know it’s just a thing. It’s already in the shop for repairs. We’re using it as an example of how much life has changed for all of us in the last week. These are frightening times, for us, too. Nobody seems to be shopping, either in person or online, except for “quarantine” supplies. We actually started a Google spreadsheet, open to everyone, to list their small businesses. We’re hoping that those still fortunate enough to have a steady paycheck will support us, and other tiny companies, that are struggling right now.
We’re trying to stay upbeat and cheerful, and, honestly, if it weren’t for our dogs, I’m not sure we’d be successful.
Dogs are our sanity
Aside from staying in evenings, instead of going to training classes, our normal routine is pretty much the same. But we know many people’s lives have been even more drastically disrupted and your dogs may be acting unsettled and jumpy.
We’ve shared studies verifying that dogs are emotional creatures – just like us. Not only that, they’re also highly attuned to the emotions of the people they love. If you’re worried about the virus, chances are your dog is picking up on your tension and may be acting out simply because he doesn’t know what else to do.
If you’re now working from home, or staying close to home as a precaution, your dog’s going to be delighted. At first. After a couple of days, the dogs will figure out it’s not the weekend, and their schedules have undergone a major change.
Since dogs love routine, switching gears isn’t the easiest thing for them. They may find it impossible to settle, or find a comfortable place for themselves. If you have more than one dog, best buddies may start getting on each other’s nerves. The best thing to do is establish a new routine for the dogs, including some activities that will exercise their brains as well as their bodies.
And we understand that in some areas, the option of going for a nice, long walk is restricted. And not everyone has access to a fenced yard for fetch. So what can you do?
Schedule “together” time
We’ve mentioned how, before we go to work, we have little game sessions with our dogs every day. It doesn’t take long, about five minutes each, but they love it (so do we!). It has other benefits as well – we start every day with a smile. Playing with our dogs does that.
It also gives them a structure for their day. They know they’re going to play hard for a little bit – each one individually. They each get “mom’s” undivided attention. And they know when their turn is over, they get their favorite treats and they’re done. It’s time to go take a nap. That routine is well-established and welcome.
If you’re not sure what to do for your play sessions, we’re inviting you to check out our training method – the 2-Minute-Trainer. Membership, with full access to the beginning guide, all videos, photos, and tips, is free for the first two weeks.
The benefits are countless for both of you. You grow your relationship, communication, and bond with your dog. And your dog, just by playing games with you, becomes an even better companion, with excellent manners and a vocabulary of words and behaviors that will delight both of you.