By now you've probably gone bonkers hunkered down at home. Look at the bright side though, you've still got a home (and a cat or dog to keep you company). Not everyone does.
Like the homeless guy I saw yesterday camped out by the side of a supermarket. He was just sitting there like a Buddha, calmly patting his dog, seemingly chilled out. Which got me thinking.
The dog, a husky-something mix, looked healthy, well-fed and relaxed. It had this serene, dignified look of a guide or therapy dog, a protector of the less fortunate. It struck me that this must be similar to how it all got started millenniums ago. Man and dog in sync, out there surviving the elements, an enduring partnership that would thrive in every place on Earth.
The ironic beauty and pathos to all this was that while the homeless guy was down-and-out on his luck, his dog was living the good life: together with his pack leader 24/7, lots of exercise walking around all day and apparently well-fed. What more could the husky-mix need?
Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to romanticize this situation, I understand that the homeless life is fraught with peril. But isn't it the same thing with our pampered pooches? One gets hit by a car, another is given away because it's too much work, another becomes a neurotic mess like its owner.
And that explains my life-long love affair with dogs; the purity of their existence, life stripped down to the essentials. So take a deep breath, forget for a moment the insanity of this infectious new world and focus on your dog. He's living life in the moment, he doesn't know that his days are few or the precariousness of the situation. He's just happy to be alive and take it all in.
I dug into my pocket, gave the homeless guy a crisp $20 bill and told him to treat his dog.
"What else would I do with it?" he said.
And that said it all.