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Dog Mom Life During a Pandemic: How Dogs Bring Love & Contentment

Goldendoodle dog lying beside a container of Clorox wipes, a symbol of the COVID-19 pandemic. photo

As I stood in the downstairs of our home holding a bunch of bananas in my latex-gloved hand, I debated whether I needed to give each banana a once over with the Clorox wipe. My daily routines had certainly changed over the last eight weeks.

With little things like banana baths, homemade protective face masks, and DIY dog grooming on my mind, I felt compelled to capture a few of these new daily life norms as a “blogging time capsule” or a snapshot of dog mom life during corona.

How Dogs Bring Love During Corona: One Dog Mom’s Day in the Life

 So, with Happy-Go-Doodle Chloe lying at my feet warming my toes, my fingers tapped out this blog post on my laptop. And with every tap of the keyboard, I feel grateful for all of the dogs living this new routine right along beside us. And I’m grateful that you are choosing to sit and stay for a bit to read this story. It means a lot to have you join us.

  • First, I hope you’re finding dog-loving smiles and canine companionship during these unsettling times.
  • Second, if you are a healthcare worker, first responder, essential worker, veterinarian, or any frontline worker who is sacrificing so much to help others—thank you. THANK. YOU.
  • Third, is the love of a dog helping you through the pandemic? Please share in the comments section below.
goldendoodle and puppy licking each other's faces and acting silly. photo

New routines…

New common language, new habits, and new routines are weaving their way into the fabric of our lives. It’s yet to be seen whether some of the changes will be a permanent part of our future. But we’re adapting to a new life that’s strikingly different from the one we were living in B.C. (Before Corona) times.  

I’ve attempted to capture my own “day in the life of a dog mom” through the pictures and schedule below. It’s not quite a 24-hour snapshot, but rather a composite of our weekly “new normals.” Maybe you will identify with some of them.

My dog mom life during the pandemic…

8:00 a.m. Home Sweet (Sanitized) Home

Goldendoodle dog's face and containers of antibacterial products in the background as part of a dog mom's quarantine life. photo

If our family could invite you over during quarantine and social distancing, Home Sweet (& Sanitized) Home might be the sign you’d find on the welcome mat. The pups would greet you with some antibacterial soap for your hands and your shoes would go into “shoe timeout” at the door’s entryway ready for a spray of Lysol.

lysol, clorox wipes, and almost empty germ-x containers as part of a dog mom's quarantine life. photo

We have a menagerie of our own shoes lying in one spot by the door because the experts have estimated that the COVID-19 virus can “live” on the soles of our shoes for a fair amount of time.

What’s the pupside of this new norm? I imagine that we’ve saved a few of our shoes that normally would have been lying around the house from getting a little TLC from the dogs…tender loving chewing.

Labrador Retriever puppy chewing on a shoe in house. photo.

9:00 a.m.  Attend online church

The advantage of attending church via the Internet is that, if you’re late, no one sees you slinking your way to an empty pew. Online church time is flexible…we simply press play when we’re ready.

But, for dog lovers like me, there’s an even bigger upside: Chloe, our Goldendoodle dog, sits beside us on the couch. Little Bear, the Labrador we puppy sit, lies by our feet. We sip coffee and listen to the service given by the minister who is also sitting in his home. His dog sneaks into the camera view every once in a while. I love seeing humans and their dogs together.

sidewalk chalk heart that looks like stained galss and red goldendoodle dog sitting on sidewalk with word joy. photo.

Who knows. Maybe dog-friendly services could become part of our “post-pandemic” tradition.  

11:00 a.m. Give groceries a “sponge bath”

Pandemic life has ushered in new grocery shopping routines too. Rather than going to the grocery store during shortened hours, we’ve opted to buy groceries online.

daily life example - empty shelves at a grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic. photo.

Honestly, I don’t know why we didn’t start this routine sooner. While it takes pre-planning (at first, the drive-through pick-up time slots were booked a week in advance), it’s convenient to shop online from the couch and drive-through to pick up our purchases. Chloe rides along with us to the store.

Once home, I give each of the grocery items a “sponge bath” using Lysol wipes. (Chloe heads upstairs away from the strong smell.) Dry goods and canned goods get dropped in plastic tubs for a few days before they are allowed upstairs. Anything in boxes, plastic, or metal gets the “sponge bath.”

But bananas…to bathe or not to bathe the banana, that is the question.

Are you wondering why I’m giving our groceries a sponge bath? I read in the news that one of the top medical professionals wipes down his groceries. I guess I’m one overly protective mom when it comes to the safety of my family.

1:00 p.m. Go directly to…mail jail.  

Reminiscent of the game of Monopoly, we’ve designated a “do not pass go” section of our home for our postal mail and Amazon deliveries. They do not pass “Go.” They do not collect on my kitchen counter anymore!

Packages and envelopes sit in “mail jail,” which is a temporary holding spot in our downstairs. If the contents of a letter looks urgent, I swipe it down with an antibacterial wipe before giving it a “get out of jail early” pass.

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. Time for a pup break

Have you noticed more puppies gracing your Facebook or Instagram feeds? There’s been a Puppy Boom during quarantine! Dogs are being adopted or fostered faster than you can say “quarantine.” This is one piece of news that I could hear over and over again.

For those who aren’t adopting or fostering, new work-at-home routines mean more time to hang out with their adorable dogs—who are absolutely loving all the time with their hoomans.

red F1B goldendoodle's face lying on bed. photo.
labrador retriever puppy making a silly face. photo.

4:00 Online exercise course, of course!

Are you taking an online course? Who knew I would EVER take an online Pilates class! When pandemic life began, my daughter whose college classes were moved online for the semester (yes, another pandemic life change), needed some at-home energy burns. We downloaded our first Pilates online course together.

Often, Chloe claims my pilates mat first…

Medium-sized Goldendoodle dog lying on a yoga mat. photo.

My upper arms haven’t had that kind of work out since I hoisted my toddlers onto one hip and a sack of groceries on the other.

6:00 p.m. Winner, winner chicken dinner

Exit eating out. Enter eating in. Back in the B.C. days, our family could whip into a Raising Cane’s parking spot faster than you could say “winner, winner chicken dinner.” Eating out was soooo convenient.

Now, we’ve dusted off the crockpot, turned on the stovetop, and cooked at home for more consecutive days than I can remember. Chloe’s counter surfing opportunities have definitely been on the incline!

Meals are dependent on what supply chain shortages we’ve encountered for the week. I’m grateful to my husband who plans the meals, fires up the grill, and is the head chef. I’m the chief dishwasher. However, Chloe and Little Bear are clamoring to get hired for that job!

And I’m grateful to my daughter who has been searching the Internet for baking ideas. She definitely has a  “life gives you lemons, we’ll make those lemon bars” attitude.

7:00 p.m. DIY dog mom life

While I’ve always been a DIY dog mom, corona has really flexed my do-it-yourself muscle. I guess in the B.C. days, there wasn’t a sense of urgency. Or maybe it’s that old phrase, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I’ve been upping my game on making homemade dog treats, DIY dog toys, and more grooming hacks.

Plus, I’m grateful for my evening dog mom life routines. Whether I’m brushing Chloe’s teeth, giving her a bath, or grooming her coat, there is something so comforting about caring for this sweet soul every single pandemic day.

wet Goldendoodle dog and Goldendoodle dog with a yellow striped towel on her head as example of a  part of a dog mom's day.  photo.

I love my shadow dog. following me into the bathroom, sleeping by my feet, and waiting patiently by my office chair every moment of the day.

Some might say our dogs are our therapy. I’d add comic relief, navigator, listener, bestie, confidante…the list could go on.

Red Goldendoodle dog lying on dog bed waiting for dog mom to finish working at home. photo.

8:00 p.m.  You’re our American Idols

Evenings are for backyard fetch. (Chloe’s favorite.)


Then, as trivial as it may seem in the scope of the “C” season, it’s the little things that bring happiness. For example, our family was sure American Idol would be canceled. However, thanks to human ingenuity and creativity, the show went on—in the contestants’ and judges’ living rooms. Be it sporting events, dog shows, or concerts, it’s all part of the fabric of America. We miss it.

9:00 Puppy snuggles

One thing that hasn’t changed during quarantine life? Puppy snuggles 24/7. Chloe, my sidekick, snuggles close to me, peeks in on me while I work, sits under our dinner table, sleeps by my feet each night. Her smiles, snuggles, comical antics, are unwavering. She’s my sweet soul and constant companion.

close up of red goldendoodle dog's face looking sweet. photo.

Dog mom life during corona

Our beloved dogs make the good times even better and the hard times bearable. I’m so thankful to have Chloe and Little Bear in my life.

smiley faced medium sized goldendoodle and white labrador puppy acting silly. photoi

Thank you for taking time from your day to share a moment here with us. We’re sending doodle kisses and tail wags to you and your family—including your furry family members. Whatever your new norm looks like, we hope that the love of a dog makes each moment happier.

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How has your life changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Please comment below.

Irene McHugh

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Love your play on B.C. Very clever:) Glad to see you, Chloe, and Little Bear filling your days with such joy, wiped clean of course with those wipes! We’ve been using a spray bottle of bleach water to clean high traffic areas.A lot! So I get your banana dilemma.

Our big change has been our walking routine. When we ventured onto paved walking paths & hiking trails, we ran into people who didn’t want to socially distance. We’ve decided to play it safe, get up super early, and stick to this big park that has plenty of ways to walk around people.

Hope you keep enjoying your online Pilates! Doodle hugs and kisses! Irene, Bernie, and Lizzie

Linda Hurst

Monday 4th of May 2020

Cute, cute, cute! I think Little Bear is learning from his cousin!!!! One question, are you co-parenting Little Bear.....hmmmmmmm, are you? He looks mighty at home at Chloe's house!! They are so cute together! Really enjoyed!


Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Thank you so much! And you are soooo observant! The answer to your question would be, "it depends on who you ask!" LOL! We love having that loveable Little Bear around. Thanks so much for stopping by! Doodle hugs to you and your pack! Miss you!

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