My Dog is my Rock
During this COVID period of isolation and immense disruption, our dogs are often a stablizing force in our lives. Read these contributed Red Barn client stories of how dogs brought light in a dark time and be inspired by how your relationship with your dog can grow!
Do you have a story you'd like to share? Send us a paragraph (up to 250 words) describing how your dog has been your rock over the past few months of COVID and we'll publish it here. Have your family find and paint a rock (no smaller than 4 inches and no larger than 6 inches), then drop your rock off to the Red Barn Event Centre and we will add it to our COVID19 Memory Garden at the front of the building. If you cannot paint your own rock we will have someone do it for you for a donation of $10.00. This money will be used to fund the purchase of new plants for the garden.
How has DTango and Sullivan helped us through this stressful time you ask... well... they are Bull Terriers and they did it in true BT style. Everyday they found new ways of making us completely focus on them instead of the outside world. Whether it be because they magically woke up lame (with no cause) or because we had to figure out why their stomachs were on the fritz all of a sudden. From pushing us to the brink of complete frustration to making us laugh uncontrollably wishing we had cameras to catch their antics. They never ceased to amaze and be a laugh riot, even while sleeping! A fear reactive DTango stepped up not only to raise puppy Sullivan but also in helping me cope with my migraines, in a time when having to go to the hospital just isn't an option. The whole family spent the entire summer focused solely on the pups, whether it be teaching them new things, getting trick titles or turning the whole backyard into a happy and bright purple and yellow agility oasis for them. They forced us to forget about the chaos of what was going on in the world, and instead gave us one of the best summers we have had in a long time.
It's hard not to say that I think Wembley and I were meant to be with each other. I got him as a puppy to help ease my separation anxiety I had when my boyfriend ended up living away from me for college. I had a new best friend to help me cope with my daily worries. One day I noticed he was beginning to limp and just as he turned one, I got the awful news from the vet that he would need knee surgery on both back legs for luxating patella and a chip fracture in his bone on one side. Scared and nervous we went ahead with the surgery and he quickly made a full recovery. He taught me how to cope with stress, this little puppy that can now do agility, run and play and still snuggles me every day.
So back in March 2020 the world turned upside down as a virus was quickly spreading across the world and we were told to stay in our homes and isolate. I live on my own with 2 cats and a dog named Hailee. Hailee was my rock during this period of isolation. Thank goodness we could go for walks, sometimes three times a day. We practiced our CARO rally stations and glad I did as we just received our Championship Masters title. I also discovered that she could receive trick titles online. So we practiced our tricks and the challenge for me was video taping us as I had no one to hold the phone. We had so much fun in doing this. It paid off as she received her Intermediate and Advanced titles. We are now working on her Expert title for tricks... and it's even trickier than the others. But we are having fun and it keeps us busy. So very proud of her and she was my rock through all this pandemic and whenever I was feeling down I would just look at her and say thank you! Hailee is a busy dog... always wanting to do something whether it be catch, play tricks etc. She stayed beside me thru thick and thin... If I had a tear in my eye or feeling sad she would be right there beside me. I am so very grateful to have her in my life.
Where do I begin? My year started out rough with the loss of Izzy and Mac was there for me. He gives me lots of hugs and keeps me busy. Covid 19 came along and I found myself at home 24-7 . Macauley has been great to be home with we have done training online, we completed and submitted and achieved Mac's Champion Trick Title! We have become even more of a team. My days would have been extremely long if Mac wasn't in the house!! He is definitely My Rock!
Magic is my rock. Every day begins with Magic waking me up by jumping on the bed and snuggling with me. It always makes me smile and fills my heart with joy. Every day ends with Magic putting his head on my chest and me saying, "I love you Mr Baby". No matter how bleak our world has become, Magic's devotion, his wagging tail, desire to learn and sense of humour ground me. Working or playing with him gets rid of my anxiety about Covid and any other curve life throws at me. His unconditional love keeps me going. Magic is my rock, my soul, my world.
Well, everyone who knows Cody is aware he is a challenge. He is a happy go lucky setter who just wants to have fun and be a free spirit. Who knew that during the Covid 19 shutdown he would spend some time helping me from a fall and being very cooperative and coming when called. When I was able to walk him after my fall, he was very gentle and walk nicely beside me. If Covid was good for anything it was good for Cody, I had to be very consistent with him and he responded positively to this. He is now coming in to me whistling for him or calling BREAKFAST. My Surfer Dude is just like the Big Kahuna and is happy to be with me and is starting to want to please me. When I fell, he was the first one to me and looked very sad. He truly is becoming a wonderful dog to live with and I contribute that to the time I was able to spend with him during the Covid shutdown.
This year was such a difficult year for everyone. I am so happy I had my Keeper right beside me through out the Covid 19 shutdown. I am single and live in a rural area that is very quiet in the winter. On March 16th right at the beginning my Keeper chased a bunny and I got tangled in my young dog's leash, I fell and damaged my knee. My dogs ran immediately towards me and helped me get up and get into the house and into my bed. Keeper stayed beside me all night and throughout my recovery she was right there for me. When I was able, she went for slow walks helping me rehabilitate my knee in the hopes when all was well we could go back to agility. When the weather improved, she gamely went out and tried to jump even though I was barely able to walk but we did it together. Keeper also made sure I kept some kind of routine during this time. Being trapped in the house and without a family it was a little lonely. I am blessed that I have Keeper who made sure I kept up a routine of doing some training when able and then work on my crafts. She made sure I knew it was supper time which was a really big help. I am also blessed by the friends I have made doing performance sports with her and we all kept in touch.
During the Covid lock down, Roque is my rock because he enjoys jumping in on my conference calls with work and attacking me which makes me laugh and keeps me awake during the boring times. When I sit out at the picnic table to catch some sun while I work, he takes that opportunity to kiss my face because it's the perfect height for doing so. Tundra is my snuggle buddy through this time and is always up for cuddles when I need a break. He makes me laugh with all his craziness and also insists we keep up with our training by signalling it's time to train after dinner. He keeps me motivated! For sure my dogs have brought so much joy to my life and I love them to bits! I'm quite fine with working from home indefinitely.
Sadie Rocks !!!! We are so grateful for our wonderful Australian Shepherd. During these difficult times with Covid she helped with a positive distraction. She gives us constant love, & happiness. Also Danielle & all involved with The Red Barn has helped us all with our Agility home courses & Zoom meetings; connecting us all & their doggies. Sadie and I were able to keep our passion going, we actually strengthened our bond & trust & confidence.
My puppies, Molly and Murphy, have been incredibly supportive during these crazy times. They make sure I'm never lonely by following me everywhere; they willingly give up some of their naptime just to see me safely to the next room. They have been my personal trainers and not allowing me to gain too much weight with our regular walks and playtime. Murphy is in charge of entertainment; his innovative games keep me on my toes. This week it is bringing me the bath mats, and he will return them to the bathroom for a treat. Molly is the head of security; she lets us all know when anyone walks by outside since we aren't allowed visitors. We have also kept up on our education through Red Barn's online classes, with lots of fun homework to practice throughout the week. But I have to say the best part of all of this is, regardless of all the time we spend together, I still get greeted like they haven't seen me in days, even if it is just them waking up from a nap.
The last few months were the hardest months of my life. I have graduated from Canadore College on April 17, which was good, but the days went downhill from there. My papa called me every Friday at 8 pm and sent out newsletters every Friday, to all his grandchildren. His health took a turn for the worst and he passed away on Mother's Day. My dog has been there for me through this whole awful time that I was experiencing. We cuddled together before bed and my dog allowed me to express my sadness to her by placing my face in her fur as I wept. I almost lost myself and decided not to do anything, but she makes me happy when I get to see her every day. Agility training has been a major part of my life for more than three years and getting to spend every minute with my dog makes me feel overjoyed when I see that she is having a good time as well. My dog has always been there for me when I needed someone to talk to that is not opinionated. She is affectionate towards me when she is trying to give me kisses in the morning and is always there when I need a hug. My dog and I have a strong connection with each other with how we care for each other. My dog has always been a big part of my life and she will remain a big part of my life.
My two shepherds- Czilla and Prego have been the best support system during these difficult times, that a person could ever ask for. They motivate me to stay positive, healthy and strong by hiking, tracking, doing article searches, fitness foundations and just simply having fun with them. I am sure, periodically, we all forgot how to smile and laugh over the last few months. Never forget to remind yourself how lucky you are to have that unconditional love from your pets at all times. They never feel sorry for themselves and they are truly happy with the simplest things that life has to offer them. May we all treasure their companionship and never give up hope; for without our pets - it could be a lot tougher. Stay strong and be safe..." This too shall pass."
Last month I experienced a head injury and concussion that had me hospital. Upon return I lived in the dark for several days with vertigo, headaches and unable to eat. My dog stayed on my lap comforting me the entire time, only leaving to relieve himself and he would return. He was a true comfort during this concerning time.