"In this isolation, we are not alone"

Test, test...*blows dust*...is this thing on?

Hi blog followers, if you still follow :) It's me. Melissa. I know it's been a while, but with Covid19, I felt it important to reach out.

Some dogs don't understand social distancing. For that, I'm thankful this one holds us up when we are sick, sad, or too tired to get up.

I wrote a post on Instagram today for people who are struggling. Initially, I had been making Dog Training Challenges in this Covid 19 pandemic to keep my students upbeat, busy, working. I recorded versions of lessons for three classes at Everydog Training Center for my personal students, dozens of videos with the team at New England Dog Training Club so they could continue with classes, and started daily challenges for my followers. I did it for them.

...or so I thought. 

Here is what I wrote. I think a lot of people might feel the same way, and I want you to know you aren't alone. Here are the words, and here is the OG post. If need to reach out at all or vent to the universe, I'm here. I will read every comment (even the spammy ones from places afar, because that's a thing!) but if you need anything, I'm here.


Real talk. 

I keep saying these #dailychallenge #dogtraining videos are for my students.
I'm slowly realizing they are for me, too.
In these videos are mistakes, mistakes I won't edit out because we all make mistakes. (Like in this one, forgetting to check the stability of a table before sending #CaptainLove up onto it for a proofing exercise.) I finished uploading all the training exercises for #NEDTC for classes to resume online for the foreseeable future, and some of the lessons for my #Everydog classes are also uploaded on my personal YouTube account, but as soon as the last video cleared the "processing" phase, I fell apart.

Socially isolated

There are jobs and there are JOBS. My job is my life, my passion. Communicating with students, working with animals, all of it is what makes life living for so many of us in the pet industry. The human connections I make through dog training isn't just a perk, it's necessary for my soul.

I am a teacher in my soul. Dogs give me a connection to people. A connection I love, crave and need as much as air or food.

So when the last video processed and I had nothing to complain about ("Why it's this taking so long?") or tinker with ("What's this button do?"), I had nothing left but to think about the new reality of being inside, like most of you.
I had time to think about my dear friend who is an ER doctor at the biggest hospital Boston, friends who are sick, my sister who works in a nursing home with the patients at the highest risk. My brother in the restaurant industry. I had time to think about my Dad sitting at home, him slowly realizing this isn't something bless out of proportion, but this is real life and death. Thinking about the kids in college who can't go home, or worse, have to go home even if they don't feel safe or can't get back into the US after because I suspect this is the next nail for xenophobia. And the people who will be forever touched by this novel virus.

So yes, these dog training videos are for you, my students and people who want to play along with me.

But I'm not going to lie. They are my anchor right now because without this connection, I feel like I'll become unmoored.

Helping students navigate the tunnel in last month's Tricks and Games class

Be safe out there. Check-in on your extrovert friends. Check on your hairdressers, dog walkers, dog trainers, veterinarians, doctors, parents, colleagues. Check on in your child's teachers, coaches, and Capoeira instructors. They are fueled by the same passion, and might appreciate a quick check in or virtual hug. 

In this isolation, we are not alone, and that's an important distinction.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citydogbook/
Facebook communal group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/123850104320567/
Twitter: @Muttstuff
Instagram: MelissaMcCueMcGrath
Youtube: Melissa McCue McGrath, CPDT-KA

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