What is quarantine?

By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | May 18, 2020

In my last column, I described for you my experiences during this strange time, about the never-ending walks with my human and how we never leave the neighborhood. I’ve also realized that I took some simple things for granted; like seeing my four-legged pals at the dog park and meeting new humans.

But to stay upbeat, I’ve taken on some new activities. I’ve been diligently working with the cats, trying to teach them some tricks. Sadly, that hasn’t been going very well. They refuse to give paw, bark or wag their tails when they are happy.

So, I thought I’d focus on another type of project, and that is learning new words and concepts.

The new word that I’ve mastered is “quarantine.” My human told me what it means and I’d heard it once before when we brought a new kitten into the house. “Bitsy,” the new kitten, had to be separated from the other kitties in case he had some kind of illness. He was a stray and my human said we had to isolate him for 14 days to make sure nothing bad showed up like ringworm, or an upper respiratory infection. So, Bitsy was in quarantine.

Oddly, it sounds like that is what is happening now with you humans. Not with ringworm, but definitely with an upper-respiratory infection or any other manifestation of that scary virus.

I remember Bitsy hated being isolated in the guest room, but it was for the sake of the other kitties and our family so that is just what we did. I now know what quarantine means and that it can impact not just kitties, but humans too. Better to be safe than sorry my human told me, and I agree! But I’m sure that the humans who have to quarantine are probably as sad as Bitsy was.

I’ve also learned another term, and that is “first responders.” My human said these individuals are the bravest of all and really our heroes. She said that they show up to help sick people, put themselves at risk and do what is needed to keep our health care system working and people safe.

Wow, these first responders sure do sound like heroes and when I meet one, I will definitely give him or her a bunch of kisses and a lot of tail wags!

The third new word I have learned is more like a concept than a word. It’s called “anticipatory grief.” My human was listening to a podcast by some psychologists and they were mentioning it. They said people are stressed out thinking about what might happen because of this virus.

These anticipatory bad feelings don’t make any sense to me. Worrying about the future or what we “anticipate” is entirely foreign to us dogs! We always live in the moment, no matter how strange that moment is, like now for instance. We are so much happier by doing this. If I had anticipated my life before I was rescued, I would have been totally stressed. I could not and would not have known that things were going to turn out great for me.

No one can predict the future so to grieve what you think may happen is not something I think my human, or any human should do. Maybe we could try “anticipatory celebration” instead since that would work better, I think.

I am hoping to influence my human try to anticipate good things, instead of worrying. And I’d also like her to start some new projects like I’m doing. Since right now, she spends more time eating potato chips, staying in her pajamas and watching Netflix.

Stay safe everyone!

With love,

Benny H.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Sheril G Doughty | Jun 01, 2020 06:26

Love love love- so uplifting and sweet- thanks so much.

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