Like most of you, my family and I have been social distancing for well over two months. In some ways, the days and weeks have flown by, but at the same time, I feel like I am living Groundhog Day, over and over and…again.
I’m a dog person. Whatever that means, and whatever stereotype you might assign to that, it probably applies to me. I’m that person that wears “I’d rather be [fill in the blank] with my dog” t-shirts, and I mean it. And, I’m proud of it. And, truth be told, it’s what’s made these seventy-something days bearable, and even enjoyable. If I’m being honest, this whole tragic situation has put me in a position where I have no choice but to do what I love – stay at home with my dog (and, of course, my family).
Here’s what my typical day looks like:
I wake up early, I grab my dog and we go for a walk. I go out really early, and I’m used to quiet walks with few people around, but these days it’s really just the two of us.
Throughout my workday, my dog is by my side. My work has taken a hit. My dog can’t shelter me from that, but the frustrations that may come and go during the day are overshadowed by his loyal gazes and bursts of playfulness (which I increasingly relish as I experience him age gracefully).
We go for walks. We eat. We play. We play with the kids. We put the kids to sleep. We unwind. We watch TV. I get to pick what I want to watch and when, and he’s supportive.
I know these are simple things, but these simple things are what make me appreciate dogs, and my dog, so much. I may be his physical provider, but he has always been my emotional rock. And, in a time with so much chaos and uncertainty, he has provided that much needed consistency that has not only helped me keep my sanity, but has actually helped me cherish the moments.
When I look back on this crazy coronavirus period, I know I won’t forget the fear, the sense of loss, the realization of a complete lack of control. However, if I focus on my own little bubble, there’s a piece that I will hold closely. Spending these days with my family – and my aging and loyal companion, my dog – is an incredibly powerful silver lining.