Bridging the Divided

Lesson Learned…..

Genesis 1:30 “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” (New International Version)

I love this verse. Everything that has the breath of life in it means God breathed life into every creature He created. Every creature has an eternal spirit. Fur parents know this, regardless of their religious beliefs. 

2020 has been an unprecedented year, a year that has reserved its chapter in the history books. Our world, as we knew it, was forever changed when COVID-19 made itself a household word. COVID-19 affected people, jobs, the economy, the upcoming election, and our pets. 

When we transitioned to home offices and the virtual working environment, our pets transitioned with us. Our pets were, at first confused, then thrilled, and became more dependent upon us, just as we did them. We were in this thing together. In the nearly six months since COVID-19 invaded our daily lives, our pets have become accustomed to their humans being home, whether we are working or laid off from our jobs. So, what happens when some of us leave home to reenter the real world? 

Everything with the breath of God is a sentient being, to one degree, or another. Sentient beings are aware, feel, are conscious, responsive, and reactive. Sentient beings interact with one another and their environment; our pets are sentient beings. When some of us return to our jobs and offices, our pets will, once again, experience the stress of drastic changes to their routines. We watched one of our Yorkies experience this stress first-hand.

Tasia, our two-year-old Yorkie, is a highly sensitive animal. From the moment she joined our family, she bonded with my husband. Oh, she loves me, and I credit her with sitting quietly by my side as I grieved the loss of Harley, in 2018, but clearly, her ‘daddy’ is her favorite. On Monday, his furlough ended, and he returned to his job. He works second shift, so he comes home around eleven o’clock. Tuesday, the dogs and I were settled in bed for the night when my husband came home. He said a quick hello to the dogs and me, changed his clothes, and went to the gym to workout. Tasia sat on his side of the bed and stared at the door until he returned home. Clearly, she didn’t understand why her world had changed. This was not our routine. It broke my heart. For the remainder of the week, Tasia was emotionally distant, not interested in food, or playing, and perked up only when my husband came home. We cannot change the fact that my husband returned to work, but he now takes gym clothes and stops at the gym before coming home. Lesson learned.

Our pets are part of our world, but we are their whole world. We cannot forget returning to our jobs and offices will significantly impact their worlds. What can we do to help our pets with the transition? 

Chances are we will not be notified to return to our jobs one day and be gone the next. Use the time prior to returning to jobs to leave pets alone for short periods. Upon return, lavish them with attention, play, or take a walk. Leave soothing music on, purchase interactive toys with treats while away, invest in a video cam system allowing for interaction with pets during the day, so they can hear and be comforted by a familiar voice. The transition will not be easy, but it will be more bearable for our furry companions to endure until we return.

Tasia is doing better. I work from home these days, so all of our dogs have a special place to call their own in my office. When I take a break we go outside and play for a bit, or take a short walk over the lunch hour. 

Our pets provide us so much enjoyment, companionship, and comfort. We need to provide the same for them…..

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