“May you live in interesting times” is an English translation of what many people rightly or wrongly associate with a traditional Chinese curse. Although the actual origin of this phrase has been argued for over one hundred years, the irony of its existence and the present state of affairs in the world are obvious.
We are clearly living in interesting and uncertain times. This situation causes us to become uncharacteristically nervous and fearful. Our natural demeanor changes and we are now acting in ways we never, or very rarely acted in the past. We are aware of what is going on and, for the most part, can process and accept the changes in our demeanor.
We can also understand that the natural and repetitive tasks that we perform on a daily basis have instantly changed. Some of these changes have been drastic. We are now working from home. The kids are out of school. We aren’t going out like we did in the past. We can understand that too.
I keep saying “we”, but there is one “we” that I have not mentioned. Our dog is at home with us too. He never got the COVID-19 memo. He never read the CDC guidelines or understood what was being said on the nightly White House Coronavirus briefings. All he knows is “something has instantly and drastically changed”. And, he has no idea why.
Our dogs need a consistent and repetitive environment to feel safe and secure. When things instantly and inexplicably change, they become fearful and unwillingly take a dominant role. This can lead to inappropriate, physical, and possibly aggressive behavior.
It is important to properly communicate with our dogs that everything is still fine, and we will be keeping them safe. Robin and I have a great article addressing how to properly address the COVID-19 “new and hopefully temporary norm” with your dog. Please read our dog training article titled “How Should I Deal with My Dog During the COVID-19 Shutdown”.
We will all get through this. Let’s make sure that “we” also includes our dog…