I know I’m not the only one whose life has been turned completely upside down these past few weeks. As much as I love my family, spending all this time together has already taken its toll—my husband is going nuts attempting to work, my kids are running around demanding snacks all day, and I’m trying to figure out how I’m still doing so much laundry even though no one has left the house in two weeks.

But I know someone in my household who is definitely benefitting from the strict social distancing measures we’re using to combat this global pandemic . . .

She just happens to have four legs and a tail.

Yep, our family dog is pretty happy right now. In fact, I’d say she’s absolutely ecstatic. All of her favorite people are home together . . . all the time. Cue the excessive body wagging (yep—when she wags her tail, her whole body goes with it).

For her, this means lots of extra love and attention (and naturally—treats). Combined with the ridiculous number of walks she’s been getting lately, I honestly think she’d prefer we keep this up forever.

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Despite the fact that the rest of us are counting down the days until we regain some sense of normalcy—whatever that looks like—I have to admit I’m not mad about the added quality time with my fur-baby. There’s just something about the unconditional love of a pet I think we all need right now. They don’t pass judgment, they have no demands except for the most basic ones, and taking care of them gives us a sense of purpose that we desperately crave during this period of uncertainty.

I don’t know about you, but I could use all the cuddles I can get right now. Studies on pets have shown they help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus, taking care of an animal can help us take care of ourselves—walks with a dog are a great way to improve fitness and cardiovascular health. And couldn’t we all use a good excuse to escape for a minute and get some fresh air?

Honestly, I’m just glad to have someone in this family who’s excited to have us all home and on top of each other. Someone who loves to be part of the chaos and doesn’t mind the mess. Someone who doesn’t care if we live in our pajamas and let the kids have way too much screentime.

She’s just happy to be here, and happy to be part of it.

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Our dog lets us know every day that we are valued, we are special, and we have a purpose, even when the future is uncertain.

She gives us consistency and routine, even if it’s just from meal to meal or walk to walk.

She’s always happy to see us, no matter what kind of mood we’re in or what kind of day we’re having.

And she never ceases to amaze us with the healing power of an extra-long nap on the couch.

Above all, she shows us grace when we need it most.

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And sure, we’re all currently packed together like sardines. Tempers are short and patience is thin. But when I try and see the situation from my dog’s perspective, I can’t help but think how fortunate we are to have this time with each other, even though the circumstances are far from ideal.

It’s so simple really—as long as we’re together, we’re going to be OK.

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom to two toddlers, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard along with the good. You can find more from her on her Facebook page, Shower Arguments.