By Safiya Ansari
So, you want a puppy during this strange time? I have seen more and more people adopting pets during the pandemic, possibly in hopes of entertaining themselves. However, it is important to know the responsibilities that come along with getting a dog. In early March 2020, my boyfriend, Kyle, and I adopted a French Bulldog puppy. After three years of Kyle begging me to get a dog, and me saying “We will one day, just not today,” I finally caved when he showed me this picture of an eight-week-old French bulldog named Emma.
I remember saying to him. “You’re really going to show me her picture and make me say no to that face?” Well, spoiler alert, I didn’t say no. The very next day we drove six hours from our home in Buffalo into Pennsylvania to see her and bring her home. Her name became Remi and my life has most certainly not been the same since.
The first night, she cried in her crate for hours and hours, keeping Kyle and I up for the majority of the night. She did this for a week or two. However, aside from all the nighttime crying at first, she was a great puppy. She was potty-trained in about three weeks, and very seldom has accidents in the house. Me being the patient one in the relationship, I taught her to sit, stay, heel, roll over and stand within the first month. She is exceptionally smart and loves the treat rewards.
Other than very occasional chewing and just being extremely high energy, everything seemed to be going relatively smoothly. So you might be thinking, “So Safiya, what’s the problem?” Well, the beginning of March is when quarantine really began. We did not plan it this way, but it seemed to be a convenient coincidence, considering we would be able to be home with her all day since Kyle and I were not working every day because of COVID. That is great and all, but we failed to plan what would happen when we went back to work.
Now, my situation is a bit different due to the fact that I am actually allowed to bring my dog to work with me, thanks to my amazing boss and coworkers. However, for someone who will not be allowed to bring their dog to work with them, this is something important to think about. Consider this: Your whole life you have lived with another person — ate with them, slept with them, hung out with them sunrise to sunset. Then one day, they move out, and you can’t figure out why. This is how your puppy will feel when you go back to work and they are home alone all day. They won’t know why you left, or that you will be returning later. They may feel abandoned, lonely, sad and confused. They were raised knowing that you would always be there with them, and then one day you aren’t. This can be extremely difficult for puppies to adjust to. I can’t imagine my little Remi thinking that her mom left her and won’t be coming back.
So please, if you have or plan to adopt a puppy, there are some solutions that I would personally recommend — one being to make sure you begin to adjust your pup to the idea of spending time alone. It will be much easier for you as well to know that you’ll be gone but your little pup at home will be doing just fine. If that is not working, perhaps doggy daycare or a sitter may be a good option as well.