Britta Arendt

She’s a lover and a fighter and a midnight snuggler.

This quarantine thing gave me a new perspective on our family dog. She’s cute, and has that going for her but there are times I want to throw her to the wolves.

I’ve encroached on her day-to-day territory, as I set up my office on the dining room table. She stares at me from the couch and I wonder what she does when we’re not at home.

At about 9:30 a.m., she takes her spot on the kitchen floor where the sun hits just perfectly. If I go to get a glass of juice, I have to tip-toe over her so as not to disturb her sun nap.

I feel I need to apologize to the walkers who must feel like trespassers when they innocently pass by our house to the sounds of growls and barking coming from nearly every open window she can find. And the poor UPS guy! However, he must get that a lot since I’ve noticed he hardly flinches while dropping off packages on the back porch while the dog is drooling and scratching all over the back door.

When COVID hit and our daughter returned from college, I’m pretty sure our pup thought her prayers were answered. The bed that was empty for months now held her favorite person - back safe and sound and home ALL DAY! Besides the body warmth, she was available to toss a ball morning, noon and night.

Lunch during COVID has also been to the dog’s advantage. Because our son takes his meal to his bedroom, there are almost always a few morsels left on the floor for an afternoon snack.

When I wake to a quiet house and start to weed through my emails, in the silence I feel like this work-from-home thing is pretty sweet. That is, until I take a step toward the bathroom. No later than the moment I stand up, an eager paw is trailing my every move - so close as to often step on the back of my slipper. I also have to be sure to close the bathroom door or she would surely follow me right in to wait until she knew where I was going next (which is usually right back to the dining room table and my laptop).

In between ZOOM meetings and newspaper layout, there’s always a moment during the day when I hear her whimpers and scratching underneath a chair or couch. I believe it’s her way of saying “ENOUGH! Please pay attention to me and help me get that toy I’ve been missing for two days!” After I retrieve the 15 items that were hiding within the dust under the ottoman, I have to listen to constant bouncing - “Now, it’s time to put these things to use!” She seems to say.

When life resumes to what it was and people go back to the office, school and college campus, I wonder if our pup will be sad or glad. She’ll have her house back to herself and won’t get scolded for growling at the walkers. She’ll be able to spread out on the bed upstairs all by herself and feel like celebrating every time a human walks through the door.

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