I used to have cynophobia —  the fear of dogs. Growing up I had bad experiences with dogs. But coming to America helped me face my fear. I spent two weeks before my departure preparing to live with a dog: Gibby, a ten year old corgi. To my surprise, my dog and I are now best friends; we even play soccer together everyday. The reason I was able to overcome my fear so easily was due to the reaction I got from him the first day I arrived at my host family’s house. His reaction to see me was the very same feeling I still get every morning when I wake up. Waggling his invisible tail with a loud bark, but silently saying, “I’m happy to have one more day with you around.”

Am I the only one feeling this way — that our pets can actually talk without even saying a word? We know when they want to go to the bathroom, when they want to have a meal or even when they just want our attention. But how do we actually know this (besides when they bark)? This has become clearer to us all now that we are in lockdown. We are isolated from our friends, and this separation has caused us to turn towards our pets. Their emotions now become clearer to us, and their human characteristics we have now noticed make it easy to bond with them.

My dog is a bit bossy and likes to be in control. He wants to do things at his own time. Since he is ten years old, which is pretty old in the life span of a corgi, he can get exhausted quickly. But because of the way he acts, in my mind I imagine him to be a kind, joyful old man who likes attention, but is still calm, sort of like me. Gibby is not only my friend now, but he is also the best quarantine partner. I feel less alone with him around during this isolation period as a friend. It may seem a strange, but now is the best time to better understand our pets. How would your pet be if they were human?

Mapula Mmatli

I love writing, acting, and public speaking Kind and friendly to all :)

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