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Feeling fearful? Anxious? Maybe it’s time to get a dog! And maybe a senior dog who has seen it all.

My daily walks with Winnie, our standard poodle, bring me a sense of relief and calmness in the midst of these unprecedented times. We walk alone…just the two us. Every few steps we both take a glance at each other, which is reassuring, at least to me. I know she can sense my fear and anxiety, but we both seem to relax when walking.

Everywhere today, there was talk of coronavirus. We see others walking and keeping a safe distance. The dog park isn’t as crowded, but here again the coronavirus is the topic of conversation. The dogs joyfully play and tumble, bringing laughter and a bit of freedom from this overriding concern. While the dog parks haven’t been closed yet, I do think this could become a possibility. I find myself backing up and keeping my distance from other owners. I think I’d like to be back on the wooded trail, while Winnie sniffs and runs ahead to investigate the next turn. But never too far so that I am still in sight. So, we casually say goodbye at the dog park and head on down the trail.

Pets can help us keep focused on life. We both might have to keep a healthy distance from other humans, but we won’t stop exploring. We can’t stay indoors forever, and we’ll take precautions. We must practice common sense and wash our hands, keep a distance from others, and find joy in our day to day lives.

I just read that dogs aren’t getting adopted, as shelters have closed or limited hours. In horror, I read that more dogs may have to be euthanized, due to lack of volunteers and foster homes. In China, many dogs have been abandoned and are on the streets. My mind races….we won’t actually let that happen in this country will we? Or will we? Dogs are wonderful companions and deserve better.

While we’re all at home for the foreseeable future, why not bring a companion into your life, even if just to foster. They might save your soul, as much as you might be saving a life.

If you can’t adopt or foster, think about donating or volunteering your time to a shelter near you. At Portland Pet Food Company, we have always donated 5% of our net profits to shelters and non-profits that support animals in need, and we’ll continue to do so.

Wishing you and your canine friends the best!

Kate McCarron
Owner of Portland Pet Food Company


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