Ask a Terrier: Sheltering Outside the Shelter

Professional Advice from a Licensed Dog

Dear Budleigh,

In these pandemic times, I’m confident that your focus is on safety and community because you’re medically trained and don’t need toilet paper. We Giants are trying to do the same, but it ain’t easy! Worry runs high. Fortunately, many of us have you guys to cuddle. I hope that this isn’t straining the Giant/Canine relationship. If so, look, there’s gonna be an extra cookie in it for all of you, I guarantee!

Be well and wash your paws!

Charles, Ft. Worth TX

Budleigh says:

Dear Charles,

I’m still trying to wrap my teeth around this pandemic. However, I wasn’t schooled in the Sciences. Or anything, really, if we’re to believe my report card from Intermediate Obedience Class. (Comments: “Budleigh doesn’t Heel up to potential.”)

To better understand the COVID 19 Coronavirus, I turned to my science advisor Jellybean, an Appenzeller Sennenhund—a breed that also sounds like a virus.

JELLYBEAN: “Research indicates that this virus does not infect Canines. That’s the upside.”

BUDLEIGH: “So, there’s no downside!”

JELLYBEAN: “Well, it’s highly contagious among Giants.”

BUDLEIGH: “Uh-huh…”

JELLYBEAN: “Especially the elderly or health compromised.”

BUDLEIGH: “Uh-huh, uh-huh…and so?”

JELLYBEAN: “That could affect our food supply.”

BUDLEIGH: “Aaaand by ‘our food supply’ you mean….?”

JELLYBEAN: “Your food supply.”

BUDLEIGH: “Why are we still talking? Alert Whole Foods!”

Anxious dogs self sooth by ordering meals online. A lot!

After assurances that supply lines are secure, chipmunks remain plentiful, and toilet paper is…What is toilet paper, anyway?… I gained a better perspective on how best to fight this pathogen. (Latin for “Use a Kleenix! Jeez!”) During this crisis, Canines are uniquely positioned to support their Giants. Likewise, Giants are well positioned to support other Giants. Here are some tips.

Hand washing is a most powerful weapon against germs, which health experts and Jellybean agree are too small to bite in their throats. Giants should thoroughly scrub their hands with soap before touching their face. Ideally, Giants would scrub their hands before touching my face, but let’s not quibble. This is war!

Hands should be scrubbed long enough to sing the Happy Birthday Song twice. Important note: Just singing is not enough! Soap and water are essential.

Yeah, that one surprised me, too.

Here’s a tactic for Canines to remind your Giant to wash. On walkies, when Giant bends down to pick up poop, subtly pee on his hands. Interestingly, Giants don’t find that subtle. They scrub for the rest of the day. I’ve been doing that to my Yelly Giant for years, but just for yucks.

Social distancing is another effective weapon to limit the spread of pathogens. Giants should space themselves six feet from each other. That’s the length of three to twelve dogs, depending on the breed. Also whether they’re in a “Sit! Stay!” or stretched out asleep. This distance can vary in the U.K. and other countries that use the metric system.

Coughing and sneezing spread germs. So lacking Kleenex or a hanky, do it into your elbow. Giants might find this vulgar. But for Canines it’s impossible, what with all our elbows, many of which face the wrong direction. So, Giants, be grateful your gift.

Finally, obey Shelter-in-Place precautions. Naturally, I cringed from this directive because of the words “shelter” and “obey.” However, it’s proved harmless to me and emotionally therapeutic for my Giants.

GIANT 1: “That’s it, hon! We’ve watched everything on Netflix.”

GIANT 2: “Darn!”

GIANT 1: “I don’t think you appreciate the gravity. We’ve WATCHED! EVERYTHING! On NETFLIX!”

GIANT 2: “I’ll get the ice cream!”

BUDLEIGH: “Don’t get up! I just got your lap the way I like it.”

GIANT 2: “You get it, Dave, because…you know…I’ve a Budleigh.”

GIANT 1: “He’s been such a comfort.”

BUDLEIGH: “Go ahead, pet my coat. It’s extra shiny, smooth and lustrous.”

GIANT 2: “His fur’s gotten so soft and warm.”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m eating more eggs.”

GIANT 1: “He’s so affectionate lately. Like he senses that we’re anxious and wants to console us. Don’t you, li’l Budleigh? Oh, yes you do! Yes, you do!”

BUDLEIGH: “Can we flip on Animal Planet or something? You’re wearing out my coat.”

GIANT 1: “I’m gonna get him an extra cookie, then cuddle him. He loves it when I scratch his ears and stroke his muzzle.”

BUDLEIGH: “Just wash your hands. Or do I need to pee on ‘em?”


Had enough of Budleigh and his Giants? No? Then check out our new book, Sleeping between Giants, Book I: Budleigh, the Early Year.

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