If you’re like my human, then you could also be feeling the stress of this pandemic. I know she doesn’t like wearing that face- covering muzzle when she’s out and having to constantly wash her hands. She also doesn’t see her friends as much and when they do get together, they keep a safe distance from each other and don’t hug. She even confided in me that it’s very sad and scary and that she’s never experienced anything like this before in her life. She wants it to be over but tells me that she’s not sure when it will end. I don’t like seeing her upset and want to help, just like I want to help all the humans I love. So, this column is my attempt to cheer you all up by offering my perspective. How thinking like me may help you to make the best of things. It’s worth a shot, anyway!

The way I see it, life passes really, really fast. Not to be a downer, but I won’t even live two full decades. Now, before you feel sad, I want you to remember something really good about that. Because I know that time goes fast, I treat the time that I am here as very, very special. I live in the moment and am a content and happy boy. At the base of it all is my incredible gratitude for being rescued from a kill shelter! That never, ever leaves my heart and my gratitude infuses everything I do and think in my life, including during the tough times. It really does, because I am very well aware that the odds were stacked against me for even being here! I never thought I would survive that shelter, but I did! So, for me, everything that comes after is a gift!

Think about your life, too. When you look back, were there times when you were at risk, or made a poor decision or were in a bad situation that put your life in danger? Everyone usually has a few times that they look back on and thank God that they’re still alive. Times that they feel blessed to have come out unscathed. Yup, you survived just like me and we are here! That fact alone, that we still get to be here, makes everything – and I mean everything – that comes after a gift. I know this deep in my heart and try to view every moment I am alive that way. Why not?

While I wrote in my last column all about my bad time at the veterinarian’s office, I still enjoyed my car ride there. I was also totally ecstatic when it was over and I got home to my pack! So, my greater appreciation of the good things that day was a good reminder. Along those same lines, I know that even though we can’t do what we did before the pandemic, many of us appreciate even more what we can do. We also have time to think about what really matters. Some things my human really misses, like times with groups of friends and live music and sports games in crowded spaces. There are other things she doesn’t miss and won’t put them back into her life when this pandemic is over. She also commented to me that in March, the last time she was out to dinner, had she known a pandemic was coming that she definitely would have ordered dessert! That was the last time she ate out in a crowd, maskless and with reckless abandon! I told her that the lesson there was to always order dessert!

In conclusion, my perspective, or my advice is to think like a dog and be grateful! To believe and trust that there is always a gift in everything. We just have to make a choice to see it that way. Like me; since I always focus on wagging my tail.

With love,

Benny H.