Lessons Learned from a Dog

The following is a Guest Blog, written by Curry Printing’s Marketing Manager, Melanie Moore

I recently adopted a dog, along, it seems, with everyone else in the world during this never-ending pandemic. I actually applied for well over 30 dogs across the span of several months, and despite providing a list of references spanning decades, a detailed description of my home and daily schedule, and swearing a blood oath to never mistreat an animal, I was rejected time and again. So when MY dog waddled into my life, I was ecstatic.

He’s a twenty-pound dachshund/basset hound mix and truly the cutest little thing. My husband and I already had a cat named Holmes, so it seemed only fitting to name our little floppy-eared dog Watson. Watson likes to spend his days lounging around, asleep at my feet. He doesn’t do much else. He’s so incredibly calm and well-behaved that I’ve been bringing him to work with me, where the only thing that changes in his routine is he sleeps at my feet under my desk.

But despite how well-behaved a dog is, you just can’t bring him to work every single day. After we’d had him for a couple of weeks, it was time to leave him home alone.

Or so I thought. Watson, apparently, had other plans.

Only two hours into my day and my phone rings – a local number. It’s my neighbor, whom I might’ve spoken to twice in the entire time I’ve lived in my home. She got my phone number from Watson’s dog tags. He somehow escaped my house, what should she do? I told her to put him back inside and make sure the door shut firmly. Our front door locks automatically when closed, so I assumed my husband must not have closed it all the way when he left for work this morning after me, thus allowing Watson to escape.

An hour later, I get a phone call from another neighbor whom I had spoken to even fewer times. Watson is out again! And so is the cat! And your front door is wide open! And oh by the way, the police are at your house? Wait, they’re requesting back-up! OH MY GOSH, your house was broken into!!

Needless to say, I’m slightly frantic. I rush out the door – but I live in the suburbs, a solid 45 minutes from Baltimore and Curry! And I can’t get in touch with my husband! So I fly down the highway and manage to not only get stopped at every single traffic light, but also construction that isn’t there during normal commuting hours.

When I finally arrive at my home, breathless, I’m met by the Sheriff waiting outside.

Apparently, my adorable little lap dog is not only smart enough to open our locked front door, but destructive enough to scratch his way through enough of the door’s baseboard that the police, upon receiving a tip from (yet another) neighbor that my front door was open, assumed the door had been kicked in. I stared open-mouthed at the wood shards lining the floor.

And when I picked up Watson from my neighbor’s, he pretended nothing happened. We walked inside our own house and he promptly yawned, stretched, then curled up for a nap at my feet.

Honestly, I can’t even be mad. How many of us have been trapped at home during this quarantine season, ready to claw away at the walls just to escape? How many of us have been used to seeing friends and family, only to suddenly be left alone, away from our loved ones, maybe even missing holidays? Though I’ve long since returned to an in-person work schedule, how many of us continue to have only our sometimes-troublesome pets as co-workers? Watson is the embodiment of so many quarantine experiences. He’s also a good reminder that people (and even animals) could use a little bit of empathy.

I don’t know much about Watson’s past before me, except that we rescued him from a high-kill shelter in the South. I love him even though there’s information missing, and I’m sure you feel the same way about your friends and co-workers. Our job, then, is to try to show patience and kindness where possible, because we have no way of knowing who really needs that bit of understanding in their life.

As for Watson? He’ll be joining me at work for the foreseeable future. 

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