2020 was without a doubt the most difficult year that any of us have ever experienced. Now that we are in 2021, we continue to struggle but we can decide how we move forward. This is not only true with other humans but it is true with our dogs as well. We have all been isolated and stressed during the COVID pandemic and it has taken a toll on many of our relationships but if we change our perspective, it does not have to. The pandemic has made me “dig deep” and work on being more patient, empathetic and compassionate, even when I am frustrated and mad, with both other humans and my dogs.

Build a loving relationship with your pet.

During times of stress, focus on your relationship, not obedience or goals.

Being locked in with 3 teenagers and 2 dogs can be overwhelming, and it was at the beginning. However, after almost a year, I see so much love and

understanding that has grown over the last 10 months. Fewer behavior issues (with the dogs and the teenagers), less arguing and much more patience. What changed? I started to enjoy the little things – the loving looks from my dogs, the jokes with the kids, the playfulness during our time together – has caused me to shift and I am learning to enjoy the journey and stop worrying about the destination.

If you are stuck in the house with dogs, try to love more and worry less. Enjoy it when they greet you after you have been gone, take time to play with them or just pet them. Take more time to focus on your relationship and less on obedience or goals. Time is tough for everyone right now- why not try to bark less and wag more!