As we get older, we become more forgetful, that is for sure, and like the last years of the pandemic have taken over our lives, our brains have become scattered and overwhelmed. As dogs, we have pretty good memories when we are conditioned to memorize something, but truly for everyday events, we have a couple of minute memory and then move on. I think that is how dogs forgive humans so fast. We start fresh often. Now, if we get hurt too many times or scared too many times, that goes into our long-term memory bank, and we have trauma, just like humans, and that memory comes to the surface when we feel threatened. We also have strong memories of smells, voices, places, and the feeling of love.
Tom has also been dealing with what they “Covid Brain,” which was brought on from his major bout with Covid two years ago. He has trouble remembering things as quickly and sometimes has very short blackouts of memory. I think everyone is having some trouble with their brain. Reconditioning the brain even to see faces without masks will take some time. To be in large groups of people talking and to be able to engage once again in a pre-pandemic conversation is stressful. Honestly, even for me, walking in town freely was a breeze a year ago, compared to the bustling main street with people everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to have visitors and people engaging with other people, but it is still a lot for the brain to take in.
This morning Tom lost his keys (This is not uncommon), and he got furious at himself. He even used some bad human words out loud. I hate to see him made at himself and yelling at himself. If I could talk, I would say, “Don’t call yourself stupid!” but I cannot, so I sit there and smile at him and let him know he is loved even if he feels stupid. The chaos of the world makes everyone feel vulnerable, and that alone can make your brain tired. Remember to do what we do as dogs; get a lot of sleep, eat snacks, take long walks, smell the roses, and let them drop out of your brain for the things that really don’t matter. And don’t hold onto memories that hurt. Sometimes, a human’s brain fills up too full, the bad, negative, hurtful feelings. And don’t feel stupid when you lose your keys. There is someone somewhere at that exact same time who lost their keys. I often tell Tom he needs to have patience with himself like I have patience with him. Sorry, I need to go. I just forgot it’s time to give Tom some love.