I know you are all bored out of your minds reading all these blogs about the puppies, Teddy and Sadie, when you would much rather hear about me. The past few months have been challenging for the canine nation. We have been taken on endless walks (file that under “too much of a good thing”), given hours of companionship and physical and emotional therapy to our stir-crazy humans, and have been fed unusual dinners that primarily include vegetables (yuck!) and eggs when no one wanted to venture out to the market because of long socially distanced lines.
Then came the reopening, and life returned to normal—sort of. Mom made an appointment to get her nails done, and frankly, that could not have come too soon. One day I happened upon her looking sadly at her toenails, which were half sky-blue and half natural nail. “I can’t get this stuff off,” she whined. It was then I noticed that one toenail was healthy natural nail, and the other half had blue streaks interspersed with shredded natural nail. Not attractive. “I will never get gels on my toenails again she wailed!”
I put my foot on Mom’s to comfort her. I couldn’t help but notice how my perfect black toenails caught the light.
Joey and Dad started hiking in the reopened park, and my human sisters, Pinky and Hattie, went shopping. I’m sure they were all social distancing. Everyone was supplied with masks made by Gramma Bella, who probably should confine her hobbies to the kitchen. Still, they covered the crucial parts, and Dad looked dashing in his miniature hula dancers, parrots, and hibiscus fabric mask. Joey’s mask, on the other hand, was covered with red dachshunds and was very attractive. Unfortunately, it covered one eye, but together we did some altering with Gramma’s sewing scissors. She even offered to make me a mask, waving around some pink fabric with rampant black-and-white poodles, but Mom assured her that I didn’t need a mask. And I don’t—canines really are superior creatures (even poodles).
During that lovely time of hiatus, the family even went to an outdoor restaurant, and I was invited. We had a grand time … until a woman in a table about 10 feet away started coughing. I looked up at my humans. Mom’s face turned white. The other family members either stopped chewing or were holding their forks in midair. A few minutes later, our waiter swanned by, and Mom said, “Manny, I think we will finish this at home.”
Manny glanced over his shoulder and said softly, “I understand. You aren’t the only ones. Wish I could leave with you, but I have to feed my family.”
I was so proud of Dad when he left a large tip for Manny, but I think I was the only one who saw Gramma Bella slip a folded hundred-dollar bill into his gloved hand.
And there, my dear readers, is the crux of the matter: Was the reopening too much too soon? Or was the human pack so desperate to congregate that they forgot basic precautions, like staying home when sick, wearing a mask, and social distancing? And we can’t forget the people who had no choice in the matter, like Manny, our waiter.
Regardless, we are sheltering at home again, and it’s okay. Gramma is becoming very proficient in making masks and is now donating her masks to the local clinic. But my favorite mask is the one she made Joey with the irregular edge and the dachshunds dancing on the fabric. One day we will all dance again …