Quarantine Through The Eyes of Your Dog

It is no secret that our lives have drastically changed in one way or another over the last month. We are conducting business, education, childcare, and socialization in ways that are new to everyone. It is tough for us, but at least we are able to absorb and process the change.

But y’all… My dog has no clue what is going on right now.

I have used so many adjectives to describe myself on any given day during quarantine, and I could easily apply them all to Tipper (our family Bernese Mountain Dog). She may not be working from home while homeschooling two kids and entertaining a toddler, but she is struggling in her own way.

A Day in The Life of Our Dog – Prequarantine

On any given day pre-quarantine, we are up and out of the house in an hour. During this short stretch of family time each morning, she eats, goes outside for a bathroom break, chases a few squirrels, and then back inside for some lounging. While we are at work, she spends her days in our mudroom because she likes to eat all things kid-like socks, crayons, and toys. But it is her happy space: small, quiet, and safe.

Most days I am back home after work with the kids around 4:30. If the weather isn’t miserably hot, she gets a short walk in most days, then eats again, chases a few more squirrels, and then gets ready for bedtime.

Essentially, Tipper sleeps 17 hours a day. She lives THE life.

A Day in Hell – Quarantine

Fast forward and coronavirus is running rampant through our states and cities and the government issues a “stay at home” order. All of a sudden, everyone in our family is home all day every day.

The cool, spring weather has captivated our attention and we are spending 125% more time outdoors as a family. This means our “low energy” dog is doing a lot more neighborhood walking than she is used to or cares to partake in. And between the dog hair and the dirt we bring in on our shoes from outside, she is running from the vacuum a lot more than she would prefer.

We are occupied with work, so the kids walk around bored in between schoolwork and outside play looking for someone to annoy. The baby is walking around ALWAYS looking to lay on top of the dog. ON. TOP. OF. THE. DOG. If she hears him coming, she instantly gets up and hides in our bedroom.

Every now and then I look up from my computer and she is just staring at me. She doesn’t have to speak to me, I know what her eyes are saying… I have seen a similar fear in my own eyes on occasion since this all started.

Why are y’all here all the time? Like you never leave…

When is this going to stop? I want to go back to daycare and get spa baths…

Why do they touch me all the time? All the time???

When are they going to leave me alone?”

I really am proud of her; She has handled everything surprisingly well considering she has no understanding of what is going on outside of our home.

I know she can’t be alone in this… Dogs everywhere are ready for this stay at home order to be lifted and summer camps to open so their house will be empty once again and they will be left alone for longer than 15-minute increments.

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 (kicking and screaming) by her husband Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner in the Quality Department at Lafayette General Health, with a focus on infection prevention. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 4 and Mary Kathryn 3. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.

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