“Welcome to the new normal” seems to be a phrase we bandy about quite a bit lately but at what point does this “normal” cease to be new and at what point is this at all “normal?” I used to be constantly complimented on my shoes and now I receive more comments about my face masks than anything else, who’d have thunk it a year ago? My workplace is still under work from home guidelines so pjs are often my new business casual and I recently discovered a treasure trove in my sweater drawers of long (six months!) forgotten items that I may either wear or purge.
March: In like a lion
We scrambled. We had kids, or grandkids, or dependents, or what-have-you who suddenly were plucked from their daily reality to, in many cases, not see their friends again. People learned to navigate Zoom, to relearn math (or was that just me?) and struggled every day to tap into reserves that we never knew existed.
In rescue, we “cleared the shelves” in March by doing very no-contact meet and greets and placed nearly all of our dogs so that fosters and all of the rest of us could navigate our “new normal.” Naturally, that didn’t last too long and requests trickled in. Really. I thought they might pour in but they trickled. Maybe some people were home and more able to address some underlying issues or perhaps they were pushed aside while we struggled to find our footing. Fosters took breaks in an effort to regain their balance and from my chair, the break in the action was a welcomed respite. While I do work from home, my office is upstairs-a land to which Ray is not allowed to venture due to his legs and Julius visits intermittently, so my “off time” was still a valuable commodity and snuggle time on the sofa was still a hard scheduled event. Having fewer dogs in adoptions meant fewer applications to work on and fewer calls to make. My weekends are now free and my home is even more organized than before. I think the “new normal” is feeling good to me.
In the Good Old Summertime
Businesses slowly open up as other restrictions are added. Working from home isn’t so bad when you have an inground pool in which to sit during lunch breaks. We baked and gardened and crafted and our dinners became “cleaner” and better due to more time near the kitchen coupled with the willingness to try different recipes.
Rescue continues on in the new format and we take on some more complicated cases while silently preparing against the onlsaught of Separation Anxiety cases that we know will arise when folks return to the workplace. In the meantime, we deal with Heartworm + dogs, broken pelvis, broken legs all of whom need us to make them better. There’s no question, it’s what we do, but heartbreaking when we can’t “do” for everyone who asks.
Fall Back Position
We’re still at home and people are losing their minds over whether or not Trick or Treat will be cancelled or how many people can attend a Thanksgiving meal. Maybe we’re just stir crazy or maybe we’ve forgotten how to “people” to some extent. We still aren’t doing Adoption Events but dogs are moving out and moving in. I’m hearing a lot of potential adopters say that it’s hard to adopt a dog these days. “Inventory” is low and callbacks are slow. Our highly adoptable dogs get multiple applications and our less sought after dogs continue to wait for the stars to align for them.
Closing Out the Year
We ended the year strong despite the challenges with 118 total adoptions, which was the lowest total since 2015, yet still highly rewarding.
Basically, we’ve reset and shifted some of our focus but in the end we keep doing what we do.
*Despite my years long radio silence, I have several draft posts collecting dust here so I’m trying to finish them at least a bit and publish them.