Harry the Dog

Hi, so, yeah, we adopted a puppy. Technically we are still fostering her for a couple of weeks but we’re planning to make it official as soon as we can.

Her name is Harriet and we also call her Harry. We think she’s about 3-4 months old and she’s kind of on the large side, so she’ll probably be a big one. There’s likely to be some pit bull in her (almost all mixed breed dogs at the local shelters and rescues seem to be pit mixes?) and something with a short tail. Who knows.

She’s super sweet and comes right up for pets and hugs every time she gets out of her crate. She is eating meals and sleeping in the crate and will usually be happy in there for short stints during the day when we need her safely contained.

It only took us about 14 days of quarantine to bring a puppy into the mix, heh. It may seem sudden, but actually we’d been talking about adopting a dog for several months now, just sort of waiting for the time to be right. We thought maybe after our spring break trip, or maybe during the summer, or maybe after our summer road trip…but of course no one could have foreseen that we’d suddenly find ourselves working from home for several months. With everyone home, what better time to adopt a puppy, right? We don’t have to worry about coming home to walk her during the work day, or whether she will tolerate being crated while we are gone for hours at a time. We are simply never gone. We can walk her as many times a day as she needs it, and we can gently crate train her and can be here with her as she gets adjusted to our house and learns the rules. It’s gonna be great. Just a little bit of happiness during this weird, sad, and scary time.

It’s been so long since I have trained a puppy. I had sort of forgotten how some of the elements can be unexpectedly frustrating, like when you’re walking them outside and they just won’t go and then they promptly pee on the rug five minutes later. Just as an example and not to call anyone out, ahem. We’ve made some progress on nighttime crate training just by moving her crate into the bedroom at night. She seems comforted to know we are nearby and in the past two nights (that’s as long as she’s been in our room) she hasn’t whined at all. She’s also so eager to learn! We have been working on “sit” and “down” with some good success. As L is now fond of saying, “it’s going well.”

I’m here.

Good evening. It is Tuesday; my children are asleep in bed; I am done working for the day. By my count, it’s day eleven of social distancing for my household.

My husband and I came home from a spring break trip basically the very day this was widely advised. Things happened fast that week— when we left on the trip, we’d been advised simply not to travel internationally or to go on a cruise. By the time we were returning, things looked pretty different.

Classes at our university went online after spring break and at this point it’s been declared we will be “delivering instruction” remotely for at least the rest of the semester. I will let you guess what i think of that phrase. I assume this will continue through the summer, too, though no one’s said so on the record. The kids’ daycare was open last week, but a state mandate required them to close Friday. We were choosing not to send them in, anyway. We are still paying tuition, which means their teachers are still getting paid, thank goodness.

So. We’ve been redesigning our courses for online instruction, teaching and meeting online, and caring for two loud and demanding four-year-olds at home. What a time to be alive.

The kids are getting a lot of time to do artwork and “workbooks” (e.g. alphabet and counting practice), have been enjoying various story times via instagram live (@oliverjeffers is the best!) and have been spending a lot of time riding scooters in the cul-de-sac while we adults talk to our neighbors from a safe distance of at least six feet.

I’ve discovered the joys and pains of Walmart grocery curbside pickup: I can get a whole week’s worth of groceries without having to enter the store? But alas, the avocados and bananas were overripe and they will not sell you wine or beer unless you come inside.

I have no idea how I’m getting any work done. There are not enough hours in the day for grading papers or creating digital content. There are far too many hours in the day to keep two small people entertained and happy. Today I hired Elsa and Anna to babysit for one hour and forty-four minutes so I could grade midterm exams.

I’ve been enjoying seeing a lot of your faces more online recently— Instagram stories and Marco Polo, mainly (message me your number if you want to chat on there). And reading your words, too. Thanks for being here, friends.