Last year, we added a pandemic puppy to our family. And let me say, it has been a challenging year and a half. Bruno is a medium-sized dog (a little bigger than we thought he would be), is constantly into everything, and I must blurt out, “Where’s Bruno?” at least a thousand times a day. Because if I can’t see him, he’s doing something he shouldn’t be. But he’s a big goof and we love him. And it’s no coincidence that the word ‘NO’ is at the end of his name.
Adopting a puppy during a pandemic meant all the “pros” were also cons.
PRO: you are home 24/7 and can effectively potty train the puppy!
CON: you are home 24/7 and your puppy turns into velcro dog, develops separation anxiety and can’t handle it when you leave a room.
Move over Millennials and Gen Z, Bruno has you beat when it comes to FOMO.
I think every pet has a preferred parent. It could be the one who gives out extra treats when the other isn’t looking, or the one who snuggles them on the couch. In my case, I have become Bruno’s “person” because I’m the one who takes him on long walks every day.
These walks serve a dual purpose: 30 minutes of exercise for me (at least) and hopefully wearing out Bruno so that he will take a nice, long nap. Because a tired dog, is a well-behaved dog.
And because I’m Bruno’s person, he is extremely attached to me. And he’s afraid I’m going to do something fun (read: go outside for a walk) without him. It’s like having a very unflattering stalker.
Bruno’s FOMO looks something like this:
I spared you all and didn’t post a photo of Bruno joining me in the bathroom every time I’m in there, standing in front of me, staring at me.
In the early spring, when we started going out again, we could not leave the house without Bruno freaking out. He’d be in his crate, scratching at the bottom like crazy, whining and crying. One time, he moved his crate halfway across the kitchen floor because he was trying to get out so badly! We were prisoners in our own home! It took a bit of training, leaving for short periods, and some “herbal” remedies of a spray and some calming drops to get him to be calm when we put him in his crate when it’s time for us to go out.
We didn’t know when we adopted him he’d become velcro dog, but I suppose being with us 24/7 trained him to think we’d always be around. Sometimes Bruno’s FOMO is cute and it makes me feel very loved and admired…at a very close distance. And I hear that Rockwell song in my head, “(I Always Feel Like), Somebody’s Watching Me…”