I’ve never seen my peeps so glued to the news, especially T. She’s typically more aware of the nature around her than what’s happening in the rest of the world, but this global pandemic has definitely got her attention. Mine too. Even though I’m a dog and not at risk of getting sick or passing it on.
The news is generally not good. The virus is spreading rapidly, it has a higher rate of death than its flu-cousins, and the necessary response has been to close borders, stop travelling, shut businesses, and keep people away from each other. Luckily for us canines, the humans haven’t been told to stay away from dogs. Now that would be a crisis for all of us!
Anyway, at this time of trouble and strife, I thought I might share some doggie wisdom (with a few additions in keeping with the current situation) from a poem called “All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From My Dog”, author unknown.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
— But, in the interests of social distancing, just keep driving joyfully, don’t stop and visit anyone.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
— Unless they’ve recently been out of the country or hanging out with a sick friend.
Run, romp, and play daily.
— Even if it’s just around your apartment while you’re self-isolating.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
— Like hiding a cough and pretending you’re well so that you can go out to pick up a case of beer or a pizza. (Or dressing like a bunny. I’ve been sitting on this photo for two years and I’m only including it now because I know everyone could use a good laugh. You’re welcome. )
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
— Good advice in any and all circumstances.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
— Like a treatment or vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
— Or possibly just stand six feet away, say comforting things, and wave.
Thrive on affection and let people touch you – enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck.
— Again, I’d go with waving.
When you leave your yard, make it an adventure.
— Isn’t it always? But yes, do that, and take your dog with you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
— Tempers will flair as the life you know is temporarily put on pause. So, if you must get your point across, do it as gently as possible.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t pout – run right back and make friends.
— In the event of item above.
Bond with your pack.
— This one is super important. You’re all each other has at the moment so stick together.
On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire.
— Or make a cup of tea and cuddle with your dog … or spouse works too.
When you’re excited, speak up.
— Call or email or text a friend!
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
— I know you’re having to miss some of your favourite things right now, so rejoice in the little stuff.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
— Because this you can still do.
If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you’ll get what you want.
— It’s true. It works. Unless you’re under quarantine. In that case, don’t bother.
Don’t go out without ID.
— Or just don’t go out. Stay home with your dog.
Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.
— Because it’s a great way to give your immune system a boost.
Always give people a friendly greeting.
— Like a wave … from at least six feet away.
If it’s not wet and sloppy, it’s not a real kiss.
— Which basically means that kissing has been postponed until further notice.
That’s my advice for how to get through these next weeks and even months. Instead of going out to a movie or concert or party, use this time to catch up on those tasks at home that have been sitting on a shelf (Nollind’s actually cleaning shelves), tackle a creative project (T’s writing another novella), or practice a skill/learn a new one (T and Nollind have been playing their guitars almost every evening).
As for me, well, things really aren’t that different. I eat, I nap, I walk, I follow my people around the house and the farm. It might start to feel a little weird when the weeks go by without getting together with some of our favourite people, but rest assured, we’ll be in touch!