Pandemic Anxiety: Tales From a Former Tail Chaser

Dear Lucky G,

My name is Flynn. I live in the United States with my human friend Len.

Lately, Len and I are having a rough time. Len used to go to work and when he did, I got some time to myself. I really looked forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be with people. Just look at me! I’m a big adorable fluffball (well, a dog breed called a Bouvier, to be exact).  But I also like some alone time to nibble at my favorite bone or nap in the sunlight.

For a long time now it seems, Len is at home all the time. But it’s not just that. He walks back and forth a lot in the house, he barely sleeps, and he doesn’t want to play much with me anymore. He seems kind of nervous or worried.

 As for me, I have started biting myself a lot more and I find myself angry barking. I don’t think I am really mad, but it sure sounds like I am! I don’t even want to chase my tail anymore!

I don’t know what to do about Len or about me. Can you help me please, Lucky G?

Hi Len,

First of all, Flynn, you are not alone. The world is going through something really scary stuff right now. A lot of pets and their people are spending nearly all of their time together. We do not really know how this situation will end. What I do know is this. It sounds like both you and Len are having some anxiety. Anxiety means that you feel unsettled and nervous because you don’t know what’s happening or what’s going to happen next.

There are some tools I can recommend to help you get through this together.

Spend quality time together. Really encourage Len to do some fun stuff. Bring your favorite toy, grab your leash, wag that tail at the door until he gives in. When  the two of you are on the couch, snuggle up and show Len you understand how he is feeling because you are going through it, too.

Spend time alone. You got used to a routine when Len was at work. You really need to get some of that space back. Find a quiet spot in the house or in the yard. Just do your thing. That is okay to do. People need this space too.

Talk to someone. If you aren’t feeling better after going through these steps, you and Len may need to talk to a doctor. You can maybe get something as simple as essential oils to calm your anxiety or you may need a prescription medicine. His doctor and your vet may have just the right solution for your anxiety.

Be patient. This is maybe the best advice I have for you, Flynn. The world will eventually calm down. Things will return to semi normal or a new kind of normal. Until then, give Len and yourself lots of love.

Thank you for writing!

Your friend,

Lucky G

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