Every day at 7 P.M., Artemis joins the chorus of dogs barking in our neighborhood while the humans clap and bang their percussion instruments and the cars honk their horns and the church across the street rings its bells. Now, I know she doesn’t know we’re celebrating essential workers, in the same way I know that she’s not staring at me when I eat because she thinks I look beautiful when I slurp noodles.

But when she barks along with the neighborhood dogs, it makes me feel a little more connected, and I’m sure she feels the same way. As advised by the CDC, we’re not allowed to go to any dog parks right now, and we’re definitely not sniffing any other dog’s butt. So, if barking makes her feel more part of a community, so be it. “Hello out there!” I imagine her shouting. “It’s me, Artemis, and I can’t wait to sniff your butts again!”

There are ways in which your dog can support essential workers if they don’t feel like joining the 7 P.M. chorus, of course. (Some of us would rather hide under the bed, another understandable activity these days…). Here are some simple ways to get your dog involved:

  1. Buy an official USPS mail carrier dog costume and/or military working dog stamps. All four sizes are $17.99. Stanley Banana and his publicist mom Chelsea Leibow first alerted us to this, and he looks adorable! The USPS, as you know, is an extremely important government agency that millions rely on for food stamps and more. They are in dire need of funding right now, and unlike what Trump says, private companies will not solve the problem. Don’t wait until Halloween! Get this costume, or buy some gorgeous first-class stamps featuring military working dogs. Send some postcards to show socially distant love to your friends and family.
  2. Veterinary clinics and animal hospitals are essential businesses, so send them a delicious meal. If you have the available funds (or can gather a group of your closest dog park friends to chip in), consider sending pizza to your dog’s veterinary team. Call ahead to ask and make sure they’re open (and make sure you get headcount).
  3. Get delivery or curbside delivery from your local non-chain pet shop. Support these small businesses and order some special treats for your dog while you’re at it. Tip well. As New Yorker food correspondent Helen Rosner (and dog mom) says, in any circumstance, even in good weather, you should be tipping at least $5, and you should be tipping much more during a pandemic.
  4. Buy grooming tools from your groomer. Groomers are now considered an essential service in certain states such as New Jersey, but there’s a lot of opinions across the spectrum on that. If you’re wary of sending your dog to the groomer, consider calling your groomer and ask if they could deliver, ship, or offer curbside pickup for at-home grooming products.
  5. Donate to your local animal shelter. In times of great uncertainty, what they need more than ever is funding. If you really want to donate supplies, look into whether they have an Amazon Wish List.
  6. Sign off on your support even when it’s not 7 P.M. Two friends of Argos & Artemis, Cody McBurnett of Loki Loki (who designed our website) and Brian Kaspr of Flat Vernacular (and husband to Payton Cosell Turner, who did our illustrations), have made signs you can print at home in support of essential workers. We commissioned a custom one from Brian and we love it! See Cody’s here and see Brian’s here.
  7. Stay home together as much as possible and wear a mask (you, not your dog) when you’re out in public. That includes short walks around the neighborhood. By preventing transmission of the virus as much as possible, you are helping essential workers. You can even support some of your favorite independent dog accessory brands while you’re at it: Jax & Bones is selling reusable masks made in their U.S. manufacturing facilities.

Let us know what and how you’re doing, and most of all, take care of each other.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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