A dog’s quarantine routine

What my dog does during self-isolation

Grace Olson

More stories from Grace Olson

Student speaks
November 17, 2021

Photo by Grace Olson

My family thinks his routine of sleeping all day is due to him being alone while my parents are at work and I am at school.

I know this quarantine has a lot of people feeling very bored, including me. It has given me an opportunity to work on projects that I haven’t had the time for — like reading, puzzles and watching movies. 

After binge watching more TV series than I would like to admit and getting frustrated with my puzzle, I needed a new project to work on. 

So, I decided to follow my dog around for a day.

My dog, Nemo — yes, like the fish — is a 14-year-old poodle and shih tzu mix. My family and I adopted him from the Humane Society in 2006. 

He was about a year old when we got him and he was a very energetic dog. He would run around the house for hours, chase squirrels or ducks in the backyard and run away whenever we opened the front door. 

With his old age, those days are far behind him. Now, he needs help getting up after he lays down for too long. Sometimes he will slip on the hardwood floor and will bark, very loudly, until someone comes to rescue him.

Don’t feel too bad, he takes medication to help with any pain and to strengthen his back legs.

My observations started at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 27. Not much happened in the morning, as Nemo was asleep until 2 p.m.

We all think his routine of sleeping all day is due to him being alone while my parents are at work and I am at school. So, he has nothing to do.

My dad has been trying to get Nemo out of this routine during quarantine by trying to wake him up and making him walk around the house. After many failed attempts, Nemo still continues to sleep all day.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., he will get up to go to the bathroom every once and awhile. After his bathroom breaks, he likes to switch it up by going to sleep in different beds. 

Yes, beds. Plural. He has a dog bed in every room of the house.

After his 12 hours of sleep, he finally gets up when my mom gets home from work. This is when his day gets really exciting. 

My dog loves my mom more than anyone — probably due to the unhealthy amounts of treats she gives him. 

This is when he eats his first meal of the day: some delicious prescribed dog food. 

He then follows her around while she does laundry, makes dinner and literally anything else she does. 

Around 6 p.m. he gets a dinner of nice canned dog food, which he loves. Then he watches TV with us, usually barking for literally no reason. 

He then gets restless and barks at my mom until she goes to bed around 9 p.m. because he refuses to go to bed alone. You would think this is where his night ends, but no.

Throughout the night he will wander around the house barking. Sometimes he needs to go outside, sometimes he wants more food and sometimes he just wants attention. 

Usually around 2 a.m. he is finally tired enough to sleep peacefully throughout the night and do the same thing all over again the next day. 

Olson can be reached at [email protected]