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Life with COVID and Pepe

Life with Pepe

April in our mountain community brings drastic changes in the weather.

The previous week has been "Winnie the Poo" blustery almost every day. Cold mornings with a lot of wrap-the-coat-tight winds later in the day. That makes for stay inside days for both Pepe and myself. We go out less than usual for essential needs, Pepe goes out to quickly take care of business, and wants back in.

We've got new neighbors – usually I make every effort to get acquainted with a new neighbor; however social separation due to COVID has put being friendly with strangers on hold. My new neighbors have two beautiful pit bull dogs. Full grown, but still young. Confederate Army gray; one male, one female. They look identical, possibly litter mates. They appear to be very friendly, however, I stay on my side of the four-foot high fence separating our properties whenever the two-dogs jump up to get a better look at me. Being large dogs, by jumping up on the fence they can just barely peer over.

Pepe gets so excited when those dogs are out. I suspect they are "house dogs" as they are only out for a short time several times each day. Pepe, with his acute hearing, is immediately aware that they are outside and starts giving me the, "OK, dad, I need to go out right now," routine. At first it was a problem to keep Pepe from trying to climb the fence to get near them. He can't climb the fence but tries hard. All the while barking like crazy as he runs back and forth "marking" every plant along the fence line.

I use a spray bottle filled with water to give Pepe the signal that his current behavior, in different situations, is unacceptable. Usually all I have to do is show Pepe the spray bottle; but with this new potential for another dog in his territory, he's been less then cooperative with the "come" command. The first few days of his greeting our new neighbor has resulted in so much spray water that he was sometimes wet from head to tail. He's learned that, after I've allowed him to have a few minutes of a meeting with his neighbors, all I have to do is call "come" and he's inside. No spray bottle needed. Pepe hates water. He will even go out of his way, if possible, to avoid a rain or irrigation puddle. Cold water from a spray bottle on a chilly, windy day is not to his liking.

My life with the pandemic: Once again I find myself adjusting to an inevitable routine of "life with COVID." Originally I thought the vaccination, once developed, would return life to normal. Much like the flu shot, I thought we would all be protected. Obviously the virus is not going to go away and we must remain diligent, even with the vaccination. There are so many unknowns that we must all take every precaution to protect ourselves from the infection. However, the shot is only one step in fighting this unknown, invisible enemy.

I have always been an admirer of ladies with long hair. Never giving much thought to what those long-haired ladies go through to keep their hair looking nice. I'm going through quite a battle with my hair as it has grown longer. At first it was constantly in my face or in front of my eyes. I got my last haircut early December 2019. It was cut in preparation for a week in Las Vegas when Pepe and I took a winter break. I had planned another haircut after our February 2020 trip to Huatulco, Mexico; however, surgery pulled that winter trip, and the haircut, off the calendar. Then in March 2020 the lockdown requirement set in and the barber shops closed.

The local barbershops did open eventually; however by the time they opened I was in the mindset of avoiding others for more than just a few minutes. A visit to the barber is a full half hour. For me that was much too long to be in close contact with another. Especially in association with someone that has constant close contact with others for extended periods of time. And now my hair length is just past my shoulders! Long enough to easily groom to keep it out of my face. A hat or a headband also helps along with regular brushing.

If it's not one thing, it's another. In the meantime, I look forward to future "adventures" with Pepe.