My now-back-at-home daughter and I have decided that during this unsettling time of quarantine, one of the best things for both our physical and mental health right now is to take our beloved family dog out on a long, daily walk or hike.
On our trek this morning, as we took in all the colorful spring wildflowers with an even greater appreciation, we passed quite a few other hikers out with their dogs on the trails, and we humans often found ourselves stopping for an extra minute, at a social yet safe distance, to let our dogs greet each other up close and personal, as dogs will do – with their noses happily sniffing and tails wildly wagging.
We mused at how wonderful it must be to be an animal right now, blissfully unaware of what is happening around the world and how human concerns are presently expanding, while our typical sphere of activity is shrinking inward.
My daughter and I decided that if our dogs and other family pets could talk to us right now, we imagine that this is what they’d be saying to all of us:
If dogs could speak…
“My Dear Family,
I’m not really certain why you all are back home right now, spending day after day, and night after night in the house with me, but can I tell you all something? I am absolutely loving this!
So, thank you.
Thank you for being here, because you are all my favorite people in the world, and I normally miss you dearly, most hours of the day. Thank you for all of this extra time you are spending with me. I appreciate all of the extra cuddling, petting, and especially those wonderful belly rubs.
Thank you, kids, for the extra snacks you are gifting to me, and for patiently taking the time to try to teach me some new tricks. To be honest, that “roll-over” move is still quite a challenge, but the treats are motivating me to keep working at it, and I just may get there soon with all these extra training sessions.
Thank you for all the bonus walks I am getting, too. I am loving the car rides, the trips to the dog park, and just accompanying you guys through the drive-through and on your curbside pick-up outings. (That bite of your cheeseburger the other day was just heavenly!) I can see more people than usual smiling at me as I stick my head out the window and enjoy feeling the breeze in my face and flapping ears.
But I can sense that at times you are all feeling a little stressed and worried about something. I’ve noticed there have been some days with tears of frustration and of anger, and I’m not really sure why. I hope it’s nothing I’ve done! I’m sorry for whatever it is that is causing your sadness but thank you for coming to me for some stress relief. I promise you that I am working hard to keep you all happy, as best as I can.
And thankfully I am hearing a lot of your laughter too, because that is something that I always look forward to when you are all here together. Thank you for letting me lie next to you for so long when you are watching movies and playing board games. Thank you for giggling as I happily lick your face. Thank you for the extra blanket you placed over me when I fell asleep near the window the other day and thank you especially for allowing me up on the bed to keep you a little warmer at night – even when Mom doesn’t usually love that!
Whatever it might be that is causing this new way of life for all of you, with you here and spending so much more time with me in the house, I am so very grateful for it. I really, really don’t want it to end any time soon, but when it does end – as I have a very good feeling it will, I hope you’ll remember how wonderful all of this extended family time was for me.
Please always know that I’m here to simply love each and every one of you, and I hope I’m doing a good enough job.”
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