Gone with the Dog
It’s been 2 years and 21 days, since my Golden Retriever took her love away.
She was a hyper active, golden haired dog who always chose to fetch the ball or Frisbee instead of being caressed.
My aunt unofficially diagnosed her dog with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity). Even when we all know that such is the one, most typical personality trait of that breed. Along with the Labradors, Golden Retrievers tend to be playful and perky All the time.
Since the first lockdown began in 2020, I have been resenting the absence of my beloved pet.
Here are some things that are gone with the dog, and that I resent the most since the Covid-19 outbreak:
1. Long walks: True, I can walk by myself, but when Laika still lived, she forced me to walk her almost every day. It was a mixed sense of responsibility and the comfort of her company.
2. Playing with the ball and Frisbee: I am not going to throw a toy or a tree branch to the ravine and fetch it myself, right?
3. Yelling at her: When she couldn’t find the tennis ball, I used to throw small stones in the area, and yell at her so that she searched in a different area of the park/lawn.
4. Anticipation: Watching her excitement and barks of joy once she spotted me with the dog leash, a clear sign that we were about to go on a promenade…
5. Electric storms: Letting her inside the house during storms, and scolding her for scratching the door out of fear of thunders.
6. Waves of positive energy: Some studies have proven how uplifting and stress relieving can bring a dog wagging its tail. It is as if they swept away the dirt, replacing it with good vibes, just like your car windshield does.
7. Not so much cuddling: Laika was not the kind of dog that spends a long time cuddling with her master. After two minutes of tenderness, she´d go on demanding to play with the ball or even an empty PET bottle again and again.
8. “Dad’s” pride: Everyone praised her energy and fitness, although she was 14 years old already. Even when she was already drooling and exhausted, she kept fetching stuff. My neighbors and strangers who met her could not believe how old she really was. I actually met my girlfriend playing with Laika in a field trip. She fell in love with her, then with me.
9. Photo ops: As a photographer, I couldn’t help taking pictures of my dog jumping “savagely” into the ravines around my house.
10. Excessive friendliness: We kept joking how unsafe it was entrusting the house to her during the holidays. She would probably befriend them and convince them to play with her instead of at least barking at them. So, we had to invest in a security camera, instead.
Why don’t I get myself another pet or adopt a stray dog?
Because we don´t live in a big house with a garden, anymore. The recession caused by the pandemic is indeed global, and I’ve had to adjust to living in a tiny apartment building, where pets are not allowed.
However, if you have the space or your rehab allows pets, go for it.
Your dog will do as much –if not more- for your mental health, than your shrink or online yoga classes.