It seems, cautiously, we can say things may be looking up as far as Covid is concerned in our world. Tom reminds me that we must be grateful every day and be ready for surprises, and not always good surprises. It has been a long two years for humans and for us dogs, and it seems maybe life is finally turning the corner. This does not mean Covid will be gone, or life will go back to an exact pre-pandemic structure. 

Tom and I have been balancing between bad news and good news recently. We have many friends recently who have been diagnosed with cancer or people who have lost their loved ones due to suicide or accidents. Very sad. But lately, we have been to concerts and theaters and have seen old friends and traveled safely. Tom has also begun to make plans for theater productions and travel. Planning makes Tom feel good and in control like many of you humans. All of this makes us feel hope. The world has finally seemed to begin to open up a little, and that feels like the sun coming out after a long storm or a scrap of food finally dropping for a Thanksgiving table. It is true. The isolation has made all of us feel trapped, sort of like being inside of a cage. Believe me, I understand that feeling. 

Ten years ago, when I lived in a cage before the Middleburg Humane Society humans found me and Tom adopted me, I felt isolated and trapped. No hope. That time in my life was my “Pandemic.” To be taken away from the human I loved and not being able to leave my cage and to have limited stimulation sent me into a dark place, I confess. I think this is what humans must have felt during these last two years. Some days were hard to wake up to. I had to tell myself every morning that there was a reason I was waking. And lo and behold, after a few months, I was saved and then adopted. I never want to go back to those “cage” days, and I am confident that must be how most of you feel about this pandemic. 

It’s hard to balance out the good and the bad, honestly, but it seems there has been a new baseline for both good and bad news in this new world, and that has to do with our expectations being manipulated throughout the pandemic. Just when we thought things were getting better, we were told things were about to get worse. This makes it hard to trust the good and believe in the future. Even for dogs, this time has been confusing and disappointing. I missed seeing our house full of people and traveling to faraway places. Tom made a list of all the good things that happened during the pandemic to look back in time and see the positive that happened to him during one of the scariest times in history.

I think we should be ready for the good and prepared for the bad but expect the good and try to make good for ourselves and other people. We know now what it feels like to have a different kind of universal loss. Every human and every animal experienced the same thing. We were all scared and uncertain about what tomorrow might bring. We are not ever going to go back to the way things were, and in many ways, I think this happened to heighten our gratefulness in life. Humans needed a wake-up call. I am sorry to say that to you, but it’s true. You needed to be reminded of how fragile and precious life really is, including nature, friends, gathering, art, music, animals, tiny beautiful things, and most of all, freedom. Let’s all put out some hope into the universe, and hope this time is the beginning of a more thoughtful, appreciative, and joyful life for all of us.   

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