The past few weeks have been scary, unpredictable, and unsettling to say the least. We have all been affected in some way by “the current situation.” And we have all dealt with it in different ways. A few weeks ago, in the midst of media overload, working from home, attempting to facilitate the kids’ schoolwork, and trying to maintain some kind of order at home, I found an unlikely outlet.
I started looking online for a dog.
Last time I started looking for a dog online, we ended up with our first dog, our beloved family friend for almost 13 years. When I saw him, I knew he was “the one” and he was a wonderful companion who stayed with us through the first few years of marriage, moves, two babies, and many family milestones.
We lost that first pup two years ago, and it was hard. He was a great dog. And while we missed him so much, I wasn’t in a huge hurry to get another pet. But the children started asking for a new dog right away. I said no for a long time. My husband was traveling a lot for work and the kids had never been very consistent with their pet duties before and I wasn’t convinced they would be any different with a new dog. But, in the past few months, something started to shift. My husband no longer travels for work, my children started showing more responsibility, and I started getting puppy fever.
Something about the global pandemic pushed me over the edge and I knew it was the right time to open our hearts and home to another dog.
So, what started out as a nice distraction from media overload turned into a new addition. One day while browsing adoptable dogs, I came across a young lab mix with the sweetest face and I had a good feeling that this was our next dog. I showed her picture to the rest of the family and we all agreed we wanted to meet her. We filled out an application and brought her home for an adoption sleepover to see if she would be a good fit. Things were a little crazy at first. She had a lot of extra energy and we quickly discovered that we had an escape artist on our hands. But, we started working with her and she has quickly grown on us. Within a few days and with a lot of walks and exercise, she started settling down and adapting to life in her new home.
And yes, she is “the one.” Our new dog.
Our family is not alone in adopting a dog during this time. Based on the updates on my social media feeds, many of my friends have also been adding their own four-legged family members. A shelter in Florida recently emptied a kennel full of dogs for the first time ever. We must all be thinking we need a new friend to keep us company while sheltering at home.
Studies have shown that there are many benefits to owning a dog, and we have found many benefits too:
- We adopted a two-year old dog who is already housebroken and crate trained.
- Getting a new dog during this time has added structure to our days.
- We are all getting more exercise by walking the dog several times a day.
- She is funny and entertaining, which gives us a great distraction.
- She has become my walking buddy and I am enjoying that time with her.
- We are excited about our new friend.
- We have some extra time at home now, which has allowed us more time to work on training and bonding with our new pet.
- The children are 10 and six, which are great ages to learn about responsibility from pet ownership.
- It’s fun to work together as a family to train the new dog.
- Dogs are just fun!