Covid Companions: Story 2

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Story 2

Submitted by Patricia Waterhouse
Northumberland, UK

“All those who know me are aware I have a lot of dogs … Some we’ve bred, some we’ve bought and some we’ve taken in at the behest of friends when they’ve sadly had terminal illnesses. Life revolves round them all, they are family but never more so than during this pandemic. 

They have been a blessing and I’m not sure sanity would have been kept without them. 

Like everyone, we have been isolating, due to a long standing health problem we have also been shielding. Once again, like everyone, I have found this to be a lonely experience but oh how much worse it would have been without the company of the dogs.

Whilst I read about people having duvet days, doing zoom calls in pyjamas, watching endless box sets, there’s been none of that. Whilst the older etts would happily stay in bed with me all day, the younger ones would decide Mum must want to play trampoline on the bed, have the duvet pulled on the floor and have a bed full of kibble … no, that just wouldn’t work !

So we try to carry on as normal, pretend there is no pandemic, we can’t possibly catch it , but ….. there is this big black cloud permanently there …. what if we do catch it? What if we end up in hospital? The fear of what would happen to the dogs was a permanent fear. Yes, we’ve made arrangements for them, but … there’s always a but! So when these black days seemed overwhelming, the worry about our family and friends unbearable, there was only one thing for it.   Party time !! 

We sang, when I say we I mean I attempted to sing and conduct they choir! All in their best black & tan outfits they sit on the backs of the settees and join in! There are the old favourites like ole McDonalds farm, the animal noises in that go down well, as do they in “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly“.  Then there are the ones we make up , usually about the subject that is on my mind! This and then a good walk usually helps to forget our problems and all is well again. If the weathers bad, we sit and cuddle together. 

Of course there have been really dark times, close and dear friends lost, not to Covid directly, but as a result of being unable or unwilling to seek medical treatment as quickly as maybe would have been the case in normal times. There have been buckets of tears, mostly mopped up by the nearest Black and Tan.

There have been harsh words said about others that only they have heard. There have been many secrets told to them, things from many years ago that hurt, they’ve heard it all. I know I can tell them as a secret shared with them is never told. They understand, they empathise. Who else can you rely on never to criticise you or to think badly of you?

They are our playmates, our entertainers and yes, our therapists. The last year has been hard but it would have been so very much harder without them.”

Submitted by Patricia Waterhouse
Northumberland, UK


How have your ETTs helped you through 2020/2021?

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Let’s pay homage to our very best black & tan friends.

  • How has your ETT helped you through the COVID-19 Pandemic?
  • Have you stayed connected to other ETT owners throughout the Pandemic?
  • How have other ETT owners supported you at this time?

Stories can be submitted and shared completely anonymously if you wish.

Let’s hear it for our dogs <3

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