Yes I know you’re all tired of hearing about THAT virus but let’s take a deep dive and try to find some positives whilst we all get through this time of uncertainty.
From a dog’s perspective, one of the most positive aspects to come out of this period of “self isolation” is the fact that many dog owners are being forced to stay at home. Can you imagine the enjoyment this is bringing to those dogs that normally spend countless hours by themselves during the work week? Even though mom or dad are at home working, the simple fact of having company will brighten a dog’s day. During work breaks, dogs may also find they are getting exercised more frequently as well: a win for both dog and owner.
With the kids not at school, dogs now find they have more play mates than usual. Dogs need mental stimulation as much as physical exercise and play is one way to stimulate their minds.
Even though kids are supposed to be learning on-line wherever possible during this time, moms and dads have realized that they need to provide more structure to their child’s day, otherwise things can go south in a hurry. How about taking time with your kids to help them learn more about dogs in general or your own dog in particular. The more I talk to groups, the more I realize there is a gear change needed in terms of understanding dogs and their behaviour. What better way of spending some time than helping your child bond with your family dog or get them to research one or more aspects of the canine world. Another way kids could spend some time during the day is to take your dog to the local dog park. Depending on the age of your child, parents may or may not need to accompany them, not just from a control/ safety perspective but to encourage the child to observe your dog when interacting with people and other dogs. Come up with a list of questions for the child to answer about what they observe. Having made the observations, the child can then do further research on-line to learn more about canine behaviour.
As heavily involved in the work of therapy dogs as I am, one thing I realized a while ago is that the vast majority of dogs can be your own therapy dog, whether they are certified therapy dogs or not. Whilst we inch our way through this uncertain, stressful time, give yourself the opportunity to just be with your dog and let it provide you with the natural therapy that you may be seeking right now. As well as having Finn on my lap a lot, I find myself talking to him about a range of topics. No, I haven’t lost my marbles! I simply find it a great way to relax and continue the bonding process which is so important in developing a loving, long-term relationship with your dog.
EVERY negative situation has some positives if you dig deep enough and look upon the glass as being half full, not half empty. Dogs can help you with this.