I am a dog. A real one, canus lupus familiaris, four paws, tail, the whole package. I’ve been part of my human family for about four of their years (28 of mine), the last one of which has been very strange, quite different than years past. I’m a bit worried.
Some things have not changed. The seasons come and go, I get fed regularly, and I still run around outside chasing the squirrels and rabbits that I share a yard with. But this year my human family has been home a lot more during the day, and I mean a lot more. In fact, they hardly leave the house anymore. While I love all the increased attention I get, I don’t think it’s healthy for them to be so cooped up.
I’m quite happy to lie at their feet and sleep while they are on the computer or watching television, but given the amount of time being spent on those activities none of us is getting much exercise. I’ve also noticed that the more they read or watch something they call “news,” they tend to get agitated and upset. The oldest male member of the family sometimes talks quite forcible back at the image on the television, which makes no sense to me as the image does not seem to be engaging him in direct conversation.
Speaking of conversation, I’ve also noticed that sometimes my human family engages in lengthy discussions on the phone (and presumably on their computers) on a topic they call “politics” which seems to end up getting everyone involved irritated and even angry. I do my best to make things better by bringing my toys to them and laying my head on their laps, but sometimes that tried-and-true tactic doesn’t help. If they’d ask me, I’d suggest that they spend less time on that topic and more time playing with me!
At the risk of overstepping my place, I think all humans could take a lesson from us dogs. Our love for our humans is literally unconditional. Whatever their moods or attitudes, their circumstances or worries, we love them all the same. At some point whatever is bothering our humans and keeping them indoors so much will be over. Much as I love being with them, I think they need the break. Maybe then they will relax more. And love each other a bit more.
(Transcribed by Cadbury’s human family member, Dan FitzPatrick)