Viral Upside: Dogs, Walkers, Runners, Neighbors

Where did all these people come from?

And where did all the new dogs come from?

People and pets I’ve never seen are out at all hours (but in keeping with the social distancing norm, they are in small groups or solo) walking or jogging with their leashed pals, or even out just getting exercise.

My town has always been a good place for people who like to go outside. No industry, light traffic, safe and well-policed. But COVID-19 has brought a new reality to my nice neighborhood, just as it did to yours: no pools, parks, gyms, spin or yoga classes. For that matter, no schools, few non-essential businesses and government offices, no spring break activities, no beaches, boating or shopping malls. Not much else to do but be social and civilized while we stroll the sidewalks and run the streets.

And so many dogs I’ve never seen before the shutdown. Are people adopting pets to maintain some semblance of sanity in this isolation-enforced society? It’s a nice thought. Maybe they’re borrowing each other’s dogs and taking turns walking. The pups must be pleased at all the attention. And pets stores are considered essential, so not only are there more dogs getting more walks, they are (hopefully) getting more treats. Oh, and cats, birds, rabbits, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs, too. Just because you can’t walk them on a leash or train them to sit, stay and roll over doesn’t mean they have no benefit at a time like this. Furry, four-legged, feathered, slippery, slithering or crawling, we need our fellow creatures for comfort all the time, but now they remind us that #thisquaratinelife will not go on forever, nor are they sitting in judgment as to how well we are coping. Though if possible, they would like you to try a little harder and keep looking for their favorite (and perpetually out-of-stock) food.

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