Way back in August, which feels like a million years ago, my husband and I took in a stray hound dog who was running up the side of the road. With no identification, we decided to take her home, name her Pearl, and begin the process of finding her a forever home. We had one dog at home, a majestic mastiff named Vivian, and although we have rescued dogs for years, we agreed that we weren’t ready for another dog. Vivian is older and easy, and we were happy with the predictable flow of our normal lives.
Shortly after bringing Pearl into our home, we discovered something new. Pearl was pregnant. Very pregnant. We’re not dim. We noticed that her belly was distended and her teats were hanging a little low. But we assumed that she had recently had a litter and we were in the clear. So, like good dog parents, we girded ourselves for the upcoming joy of puppy birth, bought a ton of “puppy rearing” supplies that we never used, and prepared a whelping bed for Pearl. And a few days later, *poof*….puppies were born. Seven of them coming out one right after the other for six hours. We now had nine dogs in our house.
While I’m happy that I experienced puppy birth and nurturing, I would not want to do it again. It was a lot. We stayed home for months. There wasn’t a lot of sleeping. Puppies continuously need to be tended to. Constantly. But by December, we had found wonderful homes for Pearl and all but one of the puppies. The runt of the litter. Little Miss Belle.
After a few weeks, many arguments, and much puppy mayhem, my husband and I decided to keep Belle. Her bossy nature and undeniable cuteness won us over. We were now a two-dog family, one of which was a three-month-old puppy. Little did we know what was about to happen and how our decision about Belle and our recent adoption of isolative tendencies were going to make all the difference.
Enter COVID-19. One could argue that we’ve been practicing social distancing since September, but we’ve been “formally” self-isolating in our home since mid-March. Our team here at Web Strategies can work remotely, and my husband works remotely anyway. We are now stuck in a house together with two dogs. And I can say, without hesitation, that this little puppy gives me so much joy, it hurts. She provides humorous distractions with the silly things she does. She keeps Vivian busy with her constant need to play. She keeps us on our toes with her bad dog shenanigans. She likes to nap in my lap, which quite frankly helps keep me sane.
Apparently, “pandemic puppies” are a thing. And while my brain is hesitant to recommend rescuing a dog during these strange times, my heart hopes that you do. If you have the means and the time (which I would expect you do) and you understand that when this is over, a dog is a long term commitment, there are thousands of dogs that need loving homes. Dogs provide so much love along with the opportunity for exercise, routine, and relaxation – things we all need a little more of right now.
If you decide that you are ready and would like to add a four-legged friend to your family, please check out your local shelters and rescue organizations. As Belle and I can tell you, it’s totally worth it. Good luck!