What I Wish We Knew Before Getting a Puppy During a Pandemic
Luna is a six-month-old Merle Cockapoo and I consider her to be a living teddy bear. She is wicked cuddly and loves being held like a baby. We didn't plan on getting a new dog anytime soon, but Luna found her way to us a couple of weeks ago anyway. While it did take nearly a week to settle on a name for this ridiculously cute pup, she made herself right at home in no time at all. She plays outside with us, bounces from room to room to sleep each night, and is happy to nap while we go about our day, interrupting a Zoom call every now and then.
There are a few major things that I wish we knew before taking her in on Friday, April 17:
1. Dog groomers are not considered essential.
Before Luna, we’d only ever had yellow Labradors. They never really needed to go to the groomers since we just hosed them down outside and brushed them out. So, it was a new experience having a dog with hair instead of fur, and she needed a barber almost as bad as the rest of us during the lockdown.
We bathed her in the kitchen sink and then borrowed a set of buzzers and clippers from a friend with a similar breed. Luna was, and I cannot stress this enough, miserable. And we were so scared to hurt her the whole time. My dad was steady and tried his best to be quick about it. Luna was shaking like a leaf.
The Silvias have never had to visit a dog groomer before, but we already cannot wait for their doors to safely open so we never have to go through that traumatic experience ever again.
2. It might be really hard for her to adjust when things get back to “normal.”
There are currently six people living at my house. This dog doesn't know the meaning of being alone here because there has always been at least two or three people inside the home in the 17 days we’ve had her. I can only imagine how tough it will be for her to go from being around so many people 24/7 to being home alone for a few hours each day while we return to some form of normalcy in the future.
PreventiveVet.com posted an article on Monday, March 30 titled “Getting and Raising a Puppy During COVID-19.” The piece explains that a “puppy that is never left alone while they're young is at a higher risk of developing separation anxiety.” My heart is already breaking for Luna picturing her freaking out because everyone went back to work and school. Preventive Vet suggests allocating some time in the day to leave Luna to play by herself while we all find something to do in another room. When we think she’s ready, we all leave the house for a bit and see how she does when we get back.
“Your puppy knows when you're just in the other room or outside in the yard (their nose is a powerful thing!). Take this chance to hop in your car and find somewhere to park and read a book for a little bit. Not only is this giving your puppy some alone time to enjoy a stuffed KONG, but it's also making sure your car battery stays charged.”
3. It will be really hard for me to adjust when things get back to “normal.”
I have no idea what Summer 2020 will look like, but I can assume my days of working from home will come to an end long before then. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my new coworker and I’ll be sad to leave her when I head back to the office. Until then, I’ll just soak up all of the puppy kisses she’s so willing to give.