As with the rest of the world, these past few weeks have required adjustment. We are now past the 2 week mark and with my spouse working from home for at min the next month we’ve learned somethings about our dogs and their routines.
First we’ve learned that if my spouse is to be home all day, every day, he can no longer reinforce Zora when she barks at him for attention or to go out. That behavior was tolerable (for me, let’s be honest, I’m the noise sensitive one) the past 5 years as it was limited to relatively short chunks of time. In the first few days of his working from home though Zora practiced the behavior way more than I could function with. Thankfully they are both trainable, so now Zora silent “barks” at him once or twice, which doesn’t send my sensory system into fits, but still gets his attention.
For many years my near daily routine has included a walk with the dogs first thing in the morning. We quickly realized though that it was more productive for all if I instead flexed my schedule so the walk could take place during my spouse’s daily work phone meeting. The dogs were a bit flummoxed with this change at first, but now seem content to wait a few hours till their walk. My spouse gets an uninterrupted meeting and the dogs get their walk. I also realized this new time of day, no one is out in the neighborhood so social distancing is easy.
Work video conference calls appear to also involve pets. So Zora and Tom have participated in a number of those at this point. My nieces also request my sister call me so they can see “Tommy and Zozo.”
The other thing we’ve learned is how much my leaving the house really is driven by Tom wanting to do stuff. Truth be told my spouse and I are both homebodies and massive introverts. We were kind of made for this state of social distancing and staying home. Tom on the other hand is clearly missing our multiple times weekly trips to the city for volunteering and the activity of walking with others or running errands. So our new daily routine includes more at home excitement for him (and Zora of course). We play hide and seek, training games, and the dogs participate in my video lessons for clients.
As we settle in to our new state of (hopefully temporary) normal, I hope that all of you and your pets are finding your routines too.