The Dog Day of Quarantine, literally

Like many of you, Jason and I are going into our eleventh month of quarantine lockdown, or as we are now calling it, the Dog Days of Quarantine.

We are lucky in having each other and the work each day that keeps us busy, but we also have another member of our family to keep us occupied. Her name is Zola, our little French bulldog, and we believe that she has secretly realized that there's something strange about the time we're living in, and she has decided to pitch in.

Her way to do this is a combination of humor and worry.

First Zola seems to feel that anytime we're just chilling after a long day, she must amuse us. She'll start to bring over toys to play with. If we don't pay attention to her, she brings over another, then another. Soon there is a pile of toys at our feet. She insists that at least twice a day we play tug-of-war. Whenever anyone rings the doorbell, she comes to the window with us to see who it is. By the end of the evening she becomes a lap dog.

Her other surprises for us are found throughout the day. At some point, unbeknownst to Jason or me, she'll take her toys out of its holder and place them around the house. After I've tripped over numerous toys, I've told Jason that I believe she's trying to kill me.

Like other Frenchies, she wants to eat almost anything she finds on the ground, and this has become a game for her since she knows she's not supposed to. When she finds something on the ground, she'll look around as to say "they aren't looking, are they?" then she'll go for it. If we catch her and get the item, she has this look on her face that says "fine, you win this time."

I guess what I'm saying is that we've made it through this horrible quarantine by having quality time with our chosen family. And as strange as it seems, this quarantine has taught this old dog a new trick: how to appreciate family life.

Mark Segal

Mark Segal is an American journalist. He is the founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News and has won numerous journalism awards for his column "Mark My Words," including best column by The National Newspaper Association, Suburban Newspaper Association and The Society of Professional Journalists.

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