The Quarantine Queen By Claudia Brown

In quarantine, the family dog Hope is the center of our universe. She’s our entertainment, our exercise, our alarm clock, and we are at her beck and call. She’s helped us build a brand new daily routine and created new traditions that help our family cope with the new normal.

Instead of spending summer at the beach this year, quarantine requires us to stay inside all day. Hope’s daily sunbathing in the backyard encourages the family to come outside and get some much-needed vitamin D. My brother decides to join Hope one afternoon to take a break from playing video games in his room.

Once the sun goes down and the streets aren’t as busy, Hope goes on her walk. Hope makes sure to keep us at a brisk pace so she can explore as much as possible. We’ve always walked the dog every day, but now that we’re no longer leaving the house, these 30 minutes are especially important. Sometimes this is our only exercise for the day.

A simple car ride to the vet has Hope climbing on top of my little brother to get a peek out of all the windows. Her infectious excitement about bothersome errands reminds us to find joy in the little things.

Every morning at 7:00 AM sharp Hope is ready to come inside to eat her breakfast. She’s helped the family create a morning routine because if we’re late, she doesn’t hesitate to make a commotion or put her face to the sliding glass door and lick it until someone comes to let her in.

On Sunday mornings, Hope makes room for the exercise mat because she knows my mom will be taking her yoga class. Hope makes sure my mom holds all her poses because if she sits or lays down, she will bombard her with kisses and sniffs. She’s a great workout buddy when we’re stuck at home.

Now that we are working from home, my family spends a lot of time online and it’s hard to remember to take a step back. As my mom tries to get some extra work done, Hope nudges her laptop to remind her she needs a break to give the dog some attention. It’s no use trying to get work done when Hope is around.

If any of us are ever sad or stressed, sitting with Hope is a new strategy we’ve used to lift our spirits. She loves our family just as much as we love her, and can tell when we’re in need of some relaxation time. Hope stares lovingly at my mom while she watches the Dodger game after a long day at work.