As many of us have come to find out, working from home is not as simple or as appealing as we first believed it would be. We can drop in some laundry, do some gardening, take morning coffee on the deck, go off on a midday neighborhood walk. But the reality is we are tethered to our computers and phones more than we thought. And then there are the interruptions, the Amazon delivery at the door, the growling lawnmower across the street, the lure of Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix. To say the least, it is an adjustment. To say the most, it is unnerving. And that’s just for humans.
What about the pets?
Some of my at-home work has been teaching college (now online), some is writing, some is broadcast work. Yes, I, like many broadcasters and journalists are working from their home offices. In my case, I’m in my wife’s office since it’s closest to the ethernet connection. And many times as I’m live on the air, I must tend to my needy dog. Sam loves that my wife and I are around so much, certainly more than five months ago, but now there is a new kind of anxiety. When I’m talking into a microphone to absolutely no one, as Sam believes, it apparently is quite unnerving. All this talking, but there’s no one there, Sam must be thinking. Is he talking to me? And so, during my broadcasts, Sam sits at my side and I pet her, scratch her ears, pat her head. She puts her chin on my lap and I rub her nose. It seems to be the only thing that soothes her as she remains puzzled why her master is continually talking to himself.
This is the new normal. Working from home, but also tending to a confused and anxious dog, wondering if my next door neighbor might consider not powering up his gas-powered weed whacker when I’m trying to broadcast to the masses and Sam is trying to navigate what in the hell is going on.
Ah, the pandemic. And ah, Sam. It’s going to be okay.