Sheltering in Place… With Your Human
No, it’s not about sheltering in place with your dog. The question is: How is your pooch going to put up with you 24/7? Unless you already spend most of your time at home and your dog has grown accustomed to your face, energy and habits night and day, then this new sheltering in place can be an overwhelming and even traumatic experience for your extended furry family.
Ask your husband, wife or significant other what it’s like to live with you 24/7. ( On second thought…) But that’s what your dog now has to deal with. Your dog is going to have to adjust and deal with all your primate foibles, quirks, and eccentricities. Your pooch is going to know the truth of who you really are. If ever there was a time to get your act together…
To help your pooch get through this traumatic period, start by looking at your relationship from the other end of the leash. You don’t have to get down on all fours to understand what your dog is facing. Gone is the anticipation of your arrival at the end of each workday. Gone, the thrill of greeting you at the door after being apart for eight hours or more. Gone, the excitement of taking a walk and listening to you sharing the adventures of your day at work. Also gone is your excitement coming home after work and greeted by your best furry friend who loves you unconditionally, warts and all.
The first few days or even a week of sheltering in place, the additional face time with you is great. Longer walks, more playing catch with old stinky tennis balls, more snuggling, cuddling, lap and nap time. More! (Which, by the way, is Winifred’s favorite word. More. “Please, Mark. More, more, MORE!”)
But after a week or two, your dog may get tired of dealing with your likely depression over the enforced downtime. You can’t fool your pooch. Your dog is a creature of instinct and energy. Your dog sees and feels your anxiety, stress and fear. Understand that while your daily routine has changed dramatically, so has theirs. Something is very wrong. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at work?” And you can’t explain what is happening. You’re having a hard time coming to grips with it yourself. So understand if your dog is out of sorts, confused, worried and needs a lot more TLC than you normally give.
The other side of that is what if you have always been together full time? Winifred and I have been together 24/7 since the day she picked me out of the primates walking past her pen at a Monterey County SPCA adoption event. Her issue with me is when I’m not here, or haven’t taken her with me – be it several hours or 15 minutes. I take full blame for her separation anxiety, as I’m sure she feels responsibility for mine.
Ah, but now let’s fast forward. What happens when everything gets back to normal – or whatever our new normal is going to be? Just as our four-legged kids have gotten used to us being around 24/7, we are going to desert them! How do we explain our need to abandon them and return to work? Home alone. Again! Winnie and I suggest you need to have that conversation with your beloved fur babies sooner than later.
In all seriousness, how are we to prepare our dogs for that time when we go back to work leaving them alone? Now would be a good time to do some homework, research, talk to vets, and make a plan to prepare for what will undoubtedly be a traumatic transition – in many ways worse than what we primates have gone through in sheltering at home. At least we understand what’s going on. We need to help our furry family understand.
Then again, after so many weeks together your dog may have found that too much of a good thing, you, is just too much! Your pooch may discover that he/she actually prefers you in smaller doses. (Perhaps, not unlike some of the two-legged family we live with.) In which case your pooch will walk you out the door, wave their paw goodbye and watch you drive to work leaving them to poop, pee, nap, raid kitchen cabinets for yummy treats, and not have to listen to your yapping all day about things that have nothing to do with their simple joy of life.
–Four-legged Lessons for a Day Well Lived–
According to Mark, a life-long golfer, “Several years ago, I kicked the habit and took up with a seductive, brown-eyed 13-pound wild woman, Winifred. Truly, we humans have a lot to learn from our furry family…”
What People are Saying
“WONDERFUL book!! Filled with insight and wisdom and humor … it truly made my heart happy, my spirit light and my mind open to more fully enjoy life.”
K.W. Yoga Instructor, Carmel
“… I must have smiled like an idiot because it sounded like I had written it myself. I’m convinced that only because of what my dogs, Aaliyah and Muma, are teaching me untiringly, I’m a halfway acceptable person when dealing with the rest of mankind.”
T.D. Businessman, Zurich, Switzerland
“Great words to live by. I bought 3 for my dog loving friends back home. Thanks for giving us all this lovely book.”
B. C. Educator, Minneapolis
“I must say you do have us humans pegged as who we are…..How do you put up with us?… Winnie is a wise and wonderful dog. Not so sure about her crazy human, Mark, but he is entertaining…”
R. W. Big Sur/World Traveler
“Thank you for writing this gem of a book!!! You really saw into the small and sweetest details of life with a dog. And I sure hope I am becoming more like my dog(s). They are heart and soul to me, and no one is better company. Liz’s photos are terrific.”
D. E. Author/Actress, Carmel
“The perfect gift for people who treat their four-legged family
better than their two-legged relatives!”
Life is Good. I’m a Dog… And You’re Not!
A 92-page full color gift book.
Featuring Winifred’s Lessons for a Day Well Lived
To Order your personally PAWtographed copy contact
Mark and Winifred at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.