OPINION

GOOD MORNING: Strange things I have noticed since the pandemic started

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

How many months has this whole pandemic thing been going on now? It seems like it is easier to forget every day. I am beginning to wonder if I am ever going to remember what it is like to work in a room full of people again.

I am also beginning to wonder if I am ever again going to be able to enjoy being in a large room full of strange people. 

One thing that I am really worried about is my little dog. She used to be very much accustomed to me leaving her crated while I went off to work each day. On really good days, I would be able to come home at lunch and let her out for a bit. On other days, she would stay there till I got home. I tried not to leave her in there for very long periods of time, but she seemed just fine with it.

Flash forward to now, after months of having my constant companionship, and this dog doesn't think she should leave my side of a millisecond. Before the pandemic, when I would go to put on my shoes, she went to her crate because she knew I was leaving. She was fine with. Some days, I really did think, she was just waiting on me to get my shoes and go. She wanted her nap.

Now, when I reach for my shoes, she starts giving me a piece of her mind. She is a schnauzer, after all, and talking is what they do best. She almost always still listens and does as she is told when pointed toward her crate, but I hear about it every step of the way. And the isolation has changed her as well. We don't get as many visitors as we once did and she gets very upset when anyone comes to the door. Her bark is almost at panic level. I have noticed that storms bother her more than they did before. 

I think my dog might need a mental health professional when this whole thing is over. Right now, she is curled up on the bottom of the electric blanket I am wrapped in as I sit writing in front of my window. 

When I first got the blanket out for the cold snap, she wouldn't go near it. She barked at it like it were some sort of creature. I had to unplug it and let her get used to being on it and then plug it in and turn it on low. She finally sat on it on low and has since adjusted to it at the higher levels. Who knew electric blankets were scary?

She also seems to think her main purpose in life these days is to bark as loud and as long as possible each and every time my neighbors leave or enter their apartment or cars. I have a neighbor who goes to his truck 20 times a day, every day. I don't know why, but I don't really care either. What I do care about is the fact that my dog thinks she has to tell the entire town about it each and every time. It got so bad that I moved my office to the back part of the house so she couldn't see out the front windows all day long. 

Sometimes, she still hears people going to their cars and tells me all about it, but it is less frequently than when we were sitting in the front room and she could see them all walk by. 

Happy birthday to Carol Hinton to Raytown, Missouri.