Anyone stressed? Raise your paw! The pandemic is affecting our stress levels–subtly or not so subtly. Whether you are feeling worried about what is going on or just overwhelmed by the life changes or you are just busier than ever, you may be stressed. And your dog may be feeling your stress. Subtly or not so subtly.
Forgive yourself. It’s okay if you’ve snapped at your dog for barking at the letter carrier yet again. It’s okay if just this once you just didn’t find the energy to go for a good walk with him. It’s okay if you feel like a slug and don’t want to teach a new trick today. Your dog forgives you. Please do the same for yourself. No guilt.
We can always do more for our dogs, but we are also allowed to take a break once in a while. Having one less task on your to-do list might just ease your stress a bit. Your dog is just Over the Moon that her person is Home All the Time lately! Imagine how exciting that is! Sure, her human isn’t particularly interesting, and she spends too much time listening to talking heads on CNN or staring at that little light-up box in her hand. But she’s HOME! HOME! Hooray for that! Woofity woof woof!
(Of course I will have to write up something on separation anxiety soon because our dogs are way too used to our being around now. But let’s not talk about today.)
I’d love our dogs to have lives filled only with sunshine and roses and positive energy and cheddar biscuits and long interesting walks. But the reality is that we lose our patience sometimes. We get into a lazy mode sometimes. Dogs can adjust. They do primarily live in the moment. And they love us despite ourselves. We should be half the people they already think we are.
Today, forgive yourself. Tomorrow, perhaps that long walk will reduce both of your stress levels. Perhaps teaching a new trick will give you both such joy you can forget for a moment what is going on in the world outside your home. And yes, perhaps taking an online Zoom “dog workout” online will remind you how very clever your pooch is. (Contact me for more info.)
We are so lucky to have such great furry company, aren’t we? It’s a lovely time for Staying at Home. Stay safe!