I consider myself blessed. Yes, we lost a son to COVID-19, my husband had three surgeries this year, my trips to Houston, Kenya, Hawaii, and Peru have been canceled, and I’m tired of this dark cloud of gloom that follows all of us as we somehow trudge through the nightmare that is 2020.
 
But. And there is always a but. I have a lovely home, meaningful work, a boss I adore, my husband is doing better every day, I have enough to eat, I get outside, I love my dog, I have books and so much more. I hope most of you can also count more blessings than losses.
 
When the governor’s Mask Mandate happened I listed all the things I love writing about with this job and how writing about wearing masks wasn’t one of them. Here’s another one. The ripples of COVID-19.
 
We screen families so that when a dog gets adopted they are loved and cherished and truly are in their forever homes. Sometimes things don’t work out but it’s usually things like an unknown allergy, a severe reaction to cats, maybe it’s not knowing your wife was pregnant when you brought home a puppy and the timing was just wrong. True story. But when that happens the dogs are back with us within days and so the bond has not been forged and we can quickly move on.
 
But COVID has changed a lot. On the one hand, people are adopting and they are at home with time to train and bond. This is good. But people lose jobs, which leads to panic about food and rent and mortgages, and car payments, and more. People are having to make some incredibly difficult decisions that they never knew they would be making when they adopted a dog.
 
We know, we know. People will say that they would do anything rather than rehome a dog. They would do without their own food, they would move to a smaller place, they would sell all that they own to keep their dog. And while these are admirable thoughts they don’t work for everyone. Especially when you are more than one person.
 
As we move deeper into COVID-19 please understand that the ripples are like an undertow for many people and they are losing jobs, cars, homes, opportunities, and more. They are relocating to be closer to family. People are losing insurance.
 
When you see a dog come back to us after more than a handful of days, please know that they have tried everything possible to not surrender a beloved family member.
 
Now you see why I say I am blessed? I can’t imagine life without my dog and I don’t need to make choices and that makes me blessed.
 
Thank you for not making comments when you recognize a dog who has been gone for a while. We will give you as much information about the dog and the things we have learned since they left us. But we will not share the whys because, honestly, what matters most is that every dog finds a wonderful home. And we will continue to do that while the COVID restrictions are in place and after.
 
Okay, so that’s kind of depressing. Want to hear the good news? The national average for dogs to be brought back to a shelter after an adoption is close to 25%. No, that’s not the good news. The good news is that we are well under 10% and during this pandemic, our numbers are even lower than before!
 
We are sharing this article because we know people are struggling and we do not want anyone to feel shame when they are left with no other options. Thank you for caring about dogs and for understanding that tough times make for tough decisions.