Iko the Smooth Coated Collie

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Iko the Smooth Coated Collie

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When the pandemic hit, there wasn't a lot going on in my house. I was living at home, working where I could/when I could (nannying, dog walking) and my parents had recently retired. My parents quickly turned into stereotypical teenagers, spending all day on their phones and iPad, scrolling through Facebook and playing card games electronically. My mom got sucked into a few dog groups on Facebook as she had always wanted a dog in retirement and to train this dog to be a therapy animal. It was her dream to take this dog to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes and provide much needed stress relief and other benefits that therapy animals provided. When I was a kid, we had a smooth collie name Stormy and he was a great family pet. When he passed away when I was in high school, my parents agreed to not get another dog until retirement (mostly my dad's request, my mom could have dogs all her life if it were up to her). Then COVID and there was nothing for my mom to do besides look at dogs on Facebook, specifically smooth collies. After much discussion and pleading by my mom and probably sheer boredom by my dad, my parents decided to get a puppy from Kentucky in July. We named this little one Iko and he came home rambunctious as ever. This brought a host of new senses into the house. First was the sound. Iko was never a big barker, but he did bark as most dogs do. I never saw this as a bad thing. Prior to Iko, there was no lively activity or accompanying noise. Also came the smells of a new dog. Miraculously, Iko came potty trained at 8 weeks (over achieving puppy from the start) but Iko had lots of hair and stirred up a lot of dust, thus making the house smell more like a dog kennel than our house before that was pretty clean (because there wasn't anything else to do during COVID besides clean). The final, and my favorite, sense that Iko brought into the house was the unconditional affection. With a new dog in the house, there were constant pets and puppy kisses which added a huge sensory stress relief to what was going on outside in the world around us. Iko Brough so many senses and such life into our home. He brought the youth out in my retired parents who go on long hikes with him out in the mountains of Utah now. Iko, the smooth coated collie, saved our COVID.

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This item was submitted on May 25, 2022 by Hannah Pearson using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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