Here in Dallas, we’re only 7 days into quarantine and I feel like a different person already. I won’t talk to you about my new appreciation for my depression-era grandparents or the medical community or the folks stocking the shelves at my favorite high-end grocery store making sure I can remain gluten and dairy free (mostly) during this unanticipated pandemic. I want to talk to you about my new appreciation for my dog and why I’m reaffirmed how important it is to provide them with a life that fulfills their purpose.
If you know me, you know I live rather recklessly with my dog from some folks point of view. I run him without a leash. I take him to dog parks. I let him stick his head out the window and sometimes I don’t make him wear a seatbelt. My rationale being, a dog doesn’t understand the potential risk of these activities and so I weigh the risk v reward and decide I want him to experience as much joy as possible while he’s alive. And if you know me well enough to know that this is how I like to live with my dog you also know I’ve trained him to be able to respond to me quickly at the first sign of danger. This is the trade off; discipline for freedom.
What I’ve been thinking about in these 7 days is how much we ask of these creatures when we ask them to stay home all day, promising them “tomorrow we’ll go for a walk” or “tonight we’ll see if we can go to the dog park” or “your dog walker will be by in a few hours”. They wake up, ready to go fulfill their purpose every morning. They want to run full out, track scents, chase that squirrel, flush those birds, meet that dog and just be with us. But instead they are rushed to eat, rushed to use the restroom and then left in silence with little to no stimulation day in, day out.
I’m left fantasizing about the day when the dog comes first and we get to work when we get there and maybe the dog even gets to go with us. He behaves at every turn because he’s fulfilled and deplete of his wild energy. So with that, it is my hope that we all step up our efforts in engaging with, exercising with, being with our dogs every chance we get, with all the resources we have and make certain their life is fulfilled and satisfying just as mine is when I’m permitted once again to engage in my profession that I love so much instead of quarantined within these four walls.