Conrad struggles with spring, just like anyone else allergic to tree pollens and hypersensitive to bug bites. But at least it is warmer outside! (It got up to 95 here today, which is a bit much.)
Conrad had his grooming appointment today.
I know not everyone may agree with me, but I do consider these appointments as essential to Conrad’s overall health and well-being. The great thing about his groomer is that it’s one person in a mobile grooming salon, so it is a very controlled environment.
Additionally, his mobile groomer has developed protocols that eliminate human-to-human contact. Once the groomer arrived, I put Conrad in his soft crate on the front porch. Once his appointment was over, the groomer returned him to the soft crate for me to take him back in the house.
I paid via credit card over the phone as opposed to handing the groomer cash, which is what I usually do.
I really appreciate that Conrad’s groomer is still able to groom him, and that the company has been very thoughtful about how to keep this essential service safe for pets AND their humans.
Conrad is going to hate that soft crate after all this, though!
Nothing like a pandemic to make me thankful for what I have, and to show me just how much of my life falls into the privileged sphere. I am one of the lucky few whose routine has barely changed, and what has changed so far has been mostly for the better.
I still get to work! This alone is immense, as many millions of people will end up unemployed as a result of the pandemic, if they are not already. Just like some people may not survive COVID-19, I fear that many people may never recover economically from this crazy situation. But addressing the pandemic is much more important than addressing the economy in the immediate future, as difficult as that may be for many, many people.
Conrad gets a few more walks. I don’t think he minds. He’s not too happy at me about working from home and not paying more attention to him because I am at home. But my home office area has a couch he can nap on. He’ll figure it out eventually.
I am still able to go to the barn to see Eli. I know barn access varies from state to state right now and many people are relying on barn employees for all of their horses’ care. Lesson programs in my area have been suspended at many barns, but some barns are still allowing access to boarders.
So what am I scaling back? Driving — my commute either involves a drive in to work three days a week with little traffic, or a really short walk over to my desk at home. Running everyday errands — I am avoiding this if possible. I have a bracelet that needs fixing at a jeweler and a snap on a tall boot that needs replacing, for instance, that I’d take to a shoe repair place. But this kind of thing is on hold indefinitely. Riding Eli — Eli can be a bit spooky, as we all know. I am limiting his under saddle time to just a few rides a week when the weather permits it and keeping the rides at a walk or trot. I am going for low impact and minimizing risk. I do consider his exercise as essential pet care and it’s also my outdoor, socially-distanced exercise anyway, so I do not really feel like I am skirting any stay-at-home orders in my area with this. I understand that MANY people may disagree with my interpretation of the local stay-at-home orders. However, I am at the barn at times when few other boarders are there, and I am only touching Eli’s stuff, so I am minimizing risk in that way, too. Eating out — oh how I miss Mexican restaurants. I am not on a budget that allows constant take-out, as much as I would like to do that to support the restaurants around here that I like to go to. This does seem to have the benefit of cleaning up my waistline a bit, at least. Visiting friends — I don’t visit very many people, and now I am hardly seeing friends in person at all. I am not going to rule it out completely because when I do visit friends, it’s usually one person in a private residence and it’s to watch streaming stuff, drink wine, and catch up.
I find myself asking daily the question, “Is this really necessary?” A lot of the time, whatever it may be, it is not really necessary.
And here’s my last little editorial thought for the day: Even if inadvertently, COVID-19 is showing us a path to mitigating climate change. We are quite obviously capable of making many of these changes for the long-term, if there is even much of a long-term to look forward to.
That being said, I CANNOT WAIT for all the restaurants and bars to reopen! When that happens, maybe we could all consider tipping at 30%-50% for a month or so if we can swing it. I also want to go to ALL THE MUSEUMS and donate $$$ to their programs and collections. I miss having a Manhattan at Lamberts. I miss the Austin Opera. I miss meeting up with somebody for lunch downtown on a weekday. I MISS QUESO. But we could all stand to drive or fly a little less after all this craziness subsides, right?
As it turns out, I do not actually work from home every day. I do some “essential” things at my job (they actually really are) so I still go in 3 mornings a week to handle that stuff. Do you even understand how delightfully creepy ~1,000,000 sq ft of almost empty can be? I still see DPS officers, a few Preservation Board workers, and the vehicles of some super-high-ups’ staff are on the drive periodically, but that’s it. I LOVE IT. Can we keep the 6′ apart rule after all this wraps up? Not that it will ever wrap up — it’s a virus. We’ll have a vaccine eventually but it’s going to end up endemic like the flu viruses.
The working from home is the biggest difference all of this stay-at-home has made in my life. And I am not complaining. My new coworker has some strange habits, but he doesn’t talk so that is most definitely a plus.
Conrad knows nothing about the drastic changes to our lives over the past week.
He just goes about his regular routine. I have decided against scheduling a teeth cleaning for him in April. That can wait a few more months.
From my fur kids to yours, enjoy the company you keep, drink your whiskey, and cherish the time you have.
We are all in this together. Nothing makes a stronger moral statement right now than social distancing in solidarity.
I tend to forget how small Conrad is because he is usually right next to me. But he is a short little fellow.
And we have gone from sweaters one day to nothing the next!
Perhaps Texas has seen the end of the cold weather?
Luckily, I planned a long time ago to take off work the week of spring break around here. My workplace is still open to the public and I am sure it is going to be packed next week! I will be glad to be in a different county, enjoying my horse and my dog and maybe some time with friends who are also off work.
Last week got away from me! Conrad is still doing Conrad things, and enjoying his new freedom in half of the backyard. Supervised freedom, anyway.
Spring seems to be hanging on around here, and when Conrad and I went on a walk on Sunday morning, we did not even wear sweaters. Maybe if the weather could just stay this pleasant for a few months …. not likely, being that this is Texas but I can dream.