Friday, August 14, 2020

THE VERY BEST COMPANIONS

by Karna Small Bodman

As we have been “hunkere

d down” for so many months, here’s a question for you: besides families, of course, who has turned out to be a most comforting companion to millions of people, especially those living alone? The answer is dogs! Even before the pandemic, we loved living with our two Labradoodles, “Gambit” (a friend suggested we name him after the title of one of my novels) and “Cammy” (the heroine in that story). They have indeed been our saviors, especially now.  

However, if you wanted to adopt one of these dogs who happen to be hypo-allergenic and don’t shed, they are in such demand that when a friend asked where she could find one, I checked with several shelters as well as breeders. They all said they had NO puppies available now, but they do keep a wait list for their next litters. Once a puppy is adopted though, seeing the joy on a child’s face is worth the wait. This image below is from our friends at DanMarLabradoodles.com . By the way, the owner will personally deliver a new pup most anywhere in the country (She drove both of ours from SC to FL).

Just recently, news outlets have been reporting the huge demand for dogs. The New York Times featured a story about a shelter in New York, Animal Haven which regularly receives 40-50 applicants interested in any particular dog shown on their website. The director says, “We have been able to place some of our more challenging animals that people weren’t looking at before. I think there is a loneliness. The love of an animal can help you through these difficult times.”

Just the other day, The Wall Street Journal had a front-page article about how some companies, are even giving out “pet perks” to their employees working from home as a way to encourage pet adoptions. The firms evidently realize having a pet will make a stay-at-home worker more content. For example, Zogics, a cleaning supply company in Massachusetts, offers new pet owners a $200 pet store gift card, discounted pet insurance and a lifetime supply of pet shampoo. A Cloud-based design platform Ceros that used to allow employees to bring dogs to the office, is now doing virtual dog Zoom meetings.

Our local Naples Daily News reports that having a dog gives these difficult days a certain structure because owners now take their dogs on long walks, which is good for everyone. One mother explained that their dog sits with her daughter, keeping her company during school-at-home hours. Our son managed to adopt an adorable Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix (pictured left) who loves to stay close to their daughters when they are taking courses online.

In a large survey, 54% said having a pet “gave their lives a sense of purpose.” By the same token, a Doctor of Behavioral Sciences says, “Dogs crave your companionship and look at you as if to say, ‘Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in the last five minutes.’ And no one else in your family looks at you that way.”

Many terrific authors have written books featuring dogs not only as companions but heroes. Remember the bestselling book, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN  by Garth Stein? It was made into a major film starring Kevin Costner and was described by well-known author Jodie Picoult as “The Perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs; that compassion isn’t only for humans; and that the relationship between two souls . . . meant for each other never really comes to an end.”

A new release from New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz, Devoted, is an epic thriller that features an amazing dog “Kipp.” The Associated Press comments, “Canine or human, it is hard to find a more lovable character in fiction than Kipp. Devoted has every mark of a classic.”

Finally, if you would like to adopt a dog to be your best companion, do check out the Humane Society’s Shelters as well as organizations such as Pet Finder. Best of luck. 

Now do leave a comment and tell us about your own experiences with pets during these challenging times, and thanks for visiting us here at Rogue Women Writers.

3 comments:

  1. That is a great idea, Karna. My husband's been out of work 3 1/2 months and a new puppy would have been a great distraction for both of us. Unfortunately my worry is that if he does go back to work in his former capacity and travels a lot, and I work 12 hour shifts, and we don't have close neighbors who might check on it...not ideal. We always planned to get another dog (and two cats, I add) after we retire.

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  2. You're so right, Karna. One of the most important elements in my grandson's support system as he's been isolating here with his family is his two kitties, transported from Brooklyn for the duration! To watch the joy in his face as he plays with them reminds me of all the best things in life. I've enjoyed reading about your two adorable dogs in your past blogs, too!

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  3. I agree - now is a great time for many of us to bring a fur baby home. I just got a little Yorkie baby girl from a breeder in Oklahoma, who breeds various small dogs. www.soonerpuppies.com. It was a great experience, and my little darling couldn't be sweeter.

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