Today is National Book Lovers Day! People have asked me how I’ve gotten through this pandemic as I am sure they have asked you. What’s your answer?

I’ve always done this part-time job from home so that isn’t different. The scope of what I do has changed because there has been such a shortage of dogs and puppies for everyone and people are so stressed. I have to focus my writing more on helping people become better dog parents rather than the marketing I used to do. I’ve had to learn more so I can help our current and potential adopters and my brain is getting a real workout.

What has also changed has been the inability to entertain the way we used to, no new movies to see in the theater, and canceled concerts and other events. Not being able to hop on a plane to see family and friends and go to new places has been especially hard for me.

With all the things that aren’t happening, I have more time to read. When I was a little girl I used to walk to and from the library and bring home four books a week. I lived in a small house with seven siblings and various and assorted outdoor dogs. Everyone sang or played an instrument. We are all storytellers. My house was never quiet.

When the weather was good I’d stop at the weeping willow tree midway between the library and my house. I’d settle under that tree where no one could see me, where it was quiet save the hum of cars on the hot pavement. I’d open a book and lose myself in a new world meeting people who soon became more real to me than my family and friends. Back home after a noisy and busy evening, I’d sneak a flashlight into the room I shared with my three sisters and I’d revisit my friends late into the night.

This summer my happy place has been on my porch looking at the beautiful garden I somehow managed to not kill. My dog curls up on his outdoor bed or on the chair next to me. Now that we have a cushion on the chair that’s where he likes to sit unless he wants to chew a bone or a treat because he knows there is no food allowed on the furniture.

I open my book and travel and make new friends. I read he snores, then he jumps down and stretches, and saunters down the stairs and onto the walkway to be in the sun. I watch him and smile and then go back to reading.

You’ve heard people say that it’s the little things and this year I think we are all finding out that it really is the little things.

How about you? How are you getting through this bizarre year? What are your little things that have been your salvation?

I’m so grateful I have a dog during this time because I really am finding that for much of my time when I am not working all I really need is my dog and a good book.