Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (If not now, when?)

About a week into quarantine, my husband and I were sitting on the couch when he turned his computer screen to show me an article he was reading. There was a picture of a cute dog, and a headline that suggested walking a dog was the best way to stay sane in these decidedly insane times. I rolled my eyes and took to Instagram to ridicule him for trying to use a global-health crisis to further his long-standing campaign to bring a pet into our lives. Three days later, we brought home a four-month-old puppy. His name is Barry.

While that might seem impulsive, my husband has been angling for a dog for roughly eight years—almost the entire time we’ve been together. He regularly sends me pictures of happy-looking dogs, volunteers to walk his family dogs even in the middle of Chicago winters, and has jumped at every opportunity to dogsit, an attempt to not only hang out with a four-legged companion, but also slowly convince me of how wonderful it would be to welcome a furry pal into our home. I, in turn, have given him lots of reasons for why a dog hasn’t made sense for us: We work a lot, we travel a lot (for business and pleasure), we like going out with our friends for dinner and drinks. In short, I valued the freedom and flexibility we enjoyed as a childless couple in a big city, and I worried that a dog would rob us of that lifestyle before I was ready.

The fact that dogs will be dogs has continually helped my case. Every instance of a puppy visitor peeing on our brand-new bedroom rug, eating the bread I just baked after snatching it off the counter, or ripping apart a piece of Tupperware in an attempt to get at the leftovers inside felt like a point in my favor. A dog was just too much trouble. Then the coronavirus handily dismantled our lives…

My experience so far suggests that there’s probably something to that idea. While housebreaking was hard, and it certainly isn’t ideal when Barry decides to bark for more attention while I attempt to have a series of Zoom meetings, our puppy is making us unreasonably happy. During a lengthy period of sadness and uncertainty, it has been cathartic to laugh at the random things Barry has decided to be afraid of—black plastic bags, parked bicycles, large trucks, the back alley, and stacks of cardboard boxes, to name just a few. And our walks provide a sense of purpose and structure. Having a new puppy has also helped us forge stronger connections with our friends and family—giving us all something to DM, call, FaceTime, and text about other than illness and angst.Barry has given us the invaluable gifts of levity and joy during this extraordinarily miserable crisis. I’m not really sure how we’ll repay him, but we’ve got lots of time, right here at home, to figure it out.

~ Gillian B. White, from “I Got a Pandemic Puppy, and You Can Too” (The Atlantic · April 11, 2020)


Photo Source: (via Newthom)


  1. Oh Bless! Well now we all want a new puppy!! 🐶

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t be without a dog. My only caveat is to get him used to you not neing there – in short doses. Go for a walk without him occasionally, so he doesn’t feel suddenly abandoned when life gets back to normal.
    Where there’s a will… When the last of my kids left school for uni, I had a brilliant dog walker to walk my three every weekday when I was at work. (Here’s hoping dogwalkers can survive lockdown, when everyone’s walking their own dogs). My daughter’s neighbours love having their dog for occasional weekends, (although now she has twins, so they are home more often anyway).
    And – you won’t want to hear this – I’ve always kept more than one dog so they’re not so dependent on human company.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Aaaaawwwwh…… we were discussing that subject yesterday when everybody who didn’t have a child at hand, had a dog on a leash… and since our hols abroad are off too, our project of getting our dog is running ahead of time. But here you cannot buy a dog NOW. The doggies practice social distancing ….. YOUR TIME HOWEVER HAS COME .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is what happened to us 4 years ago when we retired to Spain. I was suffering from a bout of homesickness and hubby (who had wanted a dog for years) suggested we get a dog. I was against it but we went to see Dot, a mere 5 hours away, and brought her home. Every day we say, what would we have done without her. And now, well it sure has made the isolation more doable. Here in Spain, there is surge in dogs being rescued. But the concern is that after the pandemic is over, people will no longer want the dogs they just recently rescued and abandon them. I do hope that doesn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awwwww puppy!!! I read this over the weekend, laughing at the alliterative pandemic puppy – and yet, I could add to it – pandemic puppies prompt paroxysms of pleasure

    Liked by 7 people

  6. My little pack has brought me innumerable hours of joy, and they have been a Godsend during this shut-in period. They get me out in the fresh air several times a day, they make me laugh, and perhaps most importantly, they remind me that if you have food, water and a soft bed, you are set. They keep it simple and keep it real. And they have no idea that this crazy time is any different, which somehow makes it less frightening for me….

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The problem with my dog-walking vicariously (including the pleasure these past weeks multiple times a day to watch a neighboring sweet Labradoodle go from diminutive puppy to tall and lanky puppy) is that I don’t get to hear the snoring or wake to the morning Yippee!-And-I-lurve-you-and-must-kiss-you face. I wish you personal puppying, but I quite understand Susan’s hesitance!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. such a great point. i have a friend who adopted her first puppy, and two who rescued kitties. it’s been great for all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m thinking this is a not-too-subtle way of letting Susan know just how much now would be a great time… I hope you guys can come to an understanding…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Having just posted Beaumont’s blog on Monday (As he reminded me – it’s called – Sundays with Beaumont not Mondays) what I wish for you is that if you do get a puppy, they are not as irreverent nor as pushy as Beaumont! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Best Monday Wake-Up Call EVER ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Bob Yanno says:


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Many animals have been adopted during this ‘viral thing’ … good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. besides pandemic puppies, I wonder how many pandemic babies there will be in nine months…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Oooh what is cuter than a puppy? even love that ad on TV for some kind of antihistamine with a man and his new puppy nose to snout in the grass!
    I love so many of these comments–does anyone know how I can activate the Like star? I could do it when I first joined, but now nothing works. Loved Cathy’s love and wisdom; so, get two!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My son is home from college, shelter-in-place with us, along with his new adopted puppy, Boba. Furry Prozac for us all!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Cute doggie 🙈🙈💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

  18. yes, and t’s been quite a good thing for all of them

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Christie says:

    Melting…Barry you are so sweet & darling…I love you…my sweet pup might be jealous or maybe so excited to finally have a pup playmate in the house…the two cats would not want any more competition…the three of them jockey for my constant attention…and my hubby says they just all love you so much…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Smiling and nodding….I know two peeps who got dogs last week. One was a puppy and the other a rescue. Many dogs are being let go by their owners because they can’t afford them. It’s the perfect time DK 🐶🐶

    Liked by 1 person

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