Keeping SCOR: Pets provide needed companionship during pandemic

Vicki Albrecht

Our house is much quieter now. 

We recently lost our dog, Gretel, to cancer. She came to us as a rescued dog, probably about a year old. She was a black and tan mixed-breed with ears that flopped from the side of her head, giving her an alert but often comical look.  

She surely had some terrier in her. Terriers are described as friendly, energetic, independent, free-spirited, often sprinting away to follow a scent. 

Vicki Albrecht

Oh yes, she was free-spirited. When we got her, Gretel did not come when called, so I decided to take her to agility training to get her used to voice commands and to concentrate some of her energy.   

When it came to end-of-course testing, she sailed through the first 13 obstacles, but at the last station she needed to sit at attention on a slightly-raised platform while the tester slowly counted to five. 

She counted, “One, two, three.” Then Gretel spotted my husband across the large room and raced over to him. When he turned his back to her she raced back and sat again at attention. We all laughed when the tester counted, “Four, five.” 

Gretel was smart. My husband and I would sit on a double recliner with a blanket to watch TV. One night Gretel raced upstairs and, returning with her own blanket, jumped onto the recliner. With her rear in the air she reached down, grabbed her blanket in her teeth, pulled it up and snuggled with us.   

Another day when she was displeased with us, she went to a corner of the kitchen and sat with her back to us.   

One of her most touching moments came as we were decorating our Christmas tree. She watched as we hung the ornaments and talked about memories associated with them. Then she went to her toy bin in the kitchen and returned with each toy, one by one, offering them as her own decorations. 

We will miss her in so many ways. 

As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stretches on, pets provide many people with companionship, comfort and entertainment.   

I especially think of seniors who are more isolated. We need contact with living beings. In this age of technology, it is easy to email, text, Facetime and Zoom. A phone call can provide a warm, human voice in conversation.   

I miss the connections and conversations that we used to have at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center. The staff is doing its best to keep seniors connected. A drive-thru box lunch event recently was sponsored by Wesley Ridge, which also provided Halloween treats.

Here are other activities:  

There still are Zoom exercise, yoga and Zumba classes. 

Small art classes are being held. 

Crafting with Cookie has a project for Nov. 19. 

Footcare clinics with Everyday Divinity take place monthly. 

The Burg Bookies book club will meet via Zoom at 2 p.m. Dec. 3. The book to be discussed is "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" by Catherine Ryan Hyde. 

This year the city of Reynoldsburg holiday tree will be in the senior center lot facing Davidson Drive. The tree-lighting activities will take place 5-7 p.m. Dec. 5. 

For more information, call the center at 614-866-5890. 

Vicki Albrecht spent 32 years as a teacher before retiring. She has been a member of SCOR since 2014. SCOR provides this column to ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News.