playing kitten

Everyday Heroes of the Pandemic

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standard poodle
Come on guys, smile! Isn’t it great to be together all day?

There are thousands of human heroes saving us all during the pandemic: nurses, doctors, truckers, janitors, IT professionals, delivery people (UPS, USPS, FedEx), etc. But there are just as many – maybe more – tireless therapists working in our homes 24/7 to get us through the pandemic. Yes, if we are honest, all of our dogs, cats, parrots, etc. have become our therapy animals. Most of them are untrained and won’t get the special vest, but their work is unending. I invite all pet owners to join me in appreciating the round-the-clock work that they do!

playing kitten
You work too much, Mom. See how easy it is to play? Follow along and do as I do!

River is our youngest, and yet she has enthusiastically jumped into the fray. I see her going to each family member throughout the day, checking in, and dispensing her special brand of love. If someone ignores her, she will lick an elbow to get the human’s attention. She knows that it’s good for us to look up from the screen periodically. She knows that we need quiet affection without judgment for our mismatched wardrobe and stretchy pants. She knows that the love she’s beaming at us is what we need.

standard poodle
Let’s cuddle! See how easy it can be?

We have a new person living in our house, a friend of a friend of our youngest who had nowhere to live when his semester abroad was suddenly canceled mid-semester, and he had no campus housing available. This poor soul doesn’t know any of us, is trying to salvage his academic work and GPA, and deal with our family rhythms and personalities. After watching for a few days, realizing that this new person is not going away and is not a threat, River has taken him on as her own. River has incorporated his young man into her fold, ministering to him just like the rest of the family.

gray cat
Gracie watches everyone from her position in the cat tree. Does someone need some affection? Does someone need a mood intervention or a good purr?

Gracie is also chipping in. She has come to the new guy for petting before laying her head on his shoulder for a good purr. The healing power of the purr is strong in this one, and she ministers to the young man without holding back because that’s what therapists do. She moves on for a nap before engaging with one of the other humans; a cat’s work is never done.

Dog with toy
I’ll share my toy with you!

Each companion animal contributes in their way, and we appreciate their willingness to go for a walk or a cuddle – whatever we need. They are supporting us just like they do every day, but now we are home all the time. Just like that, they up their service hours and continue to provide the affection and distraction that we need to stay sane and connected during difficult times.

Three cheers for our home heroes!

watch dogs
Staged on the stair landing with a good view of all the lower floor of the house, River and Tribble keep an eye out for someone who needs a good cuddle, a walk, or play time. They keep their paws on the pulse of the family.

35 comments

  1. KDH your such a special person, thank You for caring for the young man, and for your hero’s for making him feel connected in these very bizzare times. I love my heros. They are life savers so often too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unconditional love is very healing, whether it comes from pets or people. Our guest has moved on to his own apartment, as had been his plan before leaving for France. He’s making a lot of changes in his life, and was able to find a job, too. Things are looking up for him.

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  2. Very nice. I am sure your pets are wondering why they have the family home all the time now. Have you explained it to them? Where is Garnet? I thought Garnet was
    still living. Am I wrong? Hugs from me to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a heart warming post Karel…Gracie is the cutest cat. And Tribble & River are so adorable & so in tune with all of you there. It is funny how our 4 leggeds ‘know’ when things are different. I spend alot of time at home due to health & mobility issues but now I’ve been home 24/7 for 2 weeks….BellaDharma sits on my lap daily & purrss. She sleeps with me during the nite. When I cry (which I do nitely as I watch the news) she sits close by. Then she engages me in playing toys with her…so that I go to bed not crying! Her ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha Henry would be so proud of her! BellaDharma has become a full fledged “Purry-medic”!!
    Stay safe there…
    ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen & **purrss** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I like that – purry-medic! This is the work our companion animals are called to do – minister to us, help us balance, and remind us that we are lovable! BellaDharma is good at her job!

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      1. She sure is good at being a “Purry-medic” as this pandemic continues. And without my Lidocaine shots I needed her to divert my attention more than ever!
        She has done that & I was blessed to get my shots this past Monday the 27th. I feel MUCH better & can enjoy playing toys with BellaDharma now. She sits in my lap at least once a day purring away & I have to say she DOES keep me calm! 🙂

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  4. How generous of you to open your home to the young man needing a roof over his head. We’re sure he also appreciates the pet therapists at work in your home too. The house would be much quieter and a bit boring without our pets to help us get through this crazy time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s the pets that bring the fun energy, for sure. My husband and i bring the work and “nose to the grindstone” energy which does nothing to make the home feel cozy. The new young man has delighted in the therapy he has received, and that makes us happy. We are sharing the love via our companion animals. Take care and slip a few extra treats to Walter and Millie in thanks for all the therapy they give you!

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  5. Lovely post! I have been trying to work from home and the stress level has been high but the resident stress therapists have been working overtime on that issue, I would be lost without them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They really know how to take away the stress energy. Nami spends most her day in my lap as I reach over her to the keyboard. If I get upset, she leaves, so its like a biofeedback device – only better. Purrs are so therapeutic!

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  6. I remember the few months after we lost Lexi that my husband and I were alone in the house. It was an empty house, indeed. Our wonderful dogs, cats, birds, etc. are truly our heroes. Love to see the great pictures of your heroes and first responders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My therapists and first responders are my favorite photography subjects! I can’t fathom a home with no companion animals at all. Their open affection is as vital for me as my own need to shower them with love and affection. What good is a loving heart if we have no one to love?

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