As the coronavirus COVID-19 starts to stretch its tentacles over the country with rates of infection growing in leaps and bounds, we need to be extremely vigilant in how we interact with each other and the environment around us.
I am a pet owner and as such, my interactions with my pet and her interactions with the environment, must now be calculated and drafted into the family’s cononavirus COVID-19 prevention plans for the household. Our pet is a dog that we named Oya and she is a mix of 3 different breeds of Mastiff. Oya is a big puppy at only 13 months of age and she is a house dog.
Oya waiting to go for walk
Oya came to my family through love and and a bit of conflict, and was brought in to be the protector of the family and the matriarch of all the other dogs that will be bred as protectors of the family. As such she was given the name Oya after deep sober meditation. Oya is the representation of the very character we had hoped to find in this dog.
Who is Oya? History lesson …. lol.
Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas). A Warrior-Queen, She is the sister-wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. A Fire Goddess, it is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.
Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, She is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back — such is the extent of Her power. Because of Her affiliation to the dead, and Her intense knowledge of the magick arts, Oya is also known as “the Great Mother of the Elders of the Night (Witches)”.
Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: unleashed, Oya is the Savage Warrior, the Protective Mother, She whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from Her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while She understands everything, She will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth (even when it is hard to bear).
Oya is the protectress of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, She is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring Mother to destructive Warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care. While She will toss you in Her storms of change, and shelter you in Her caring embrace, She will also strike you down with Her lightning should the need arise. However, do not let that dissuade you from working with Oya, for She is the Strong Woman, the Bringer of Change and Seeker of Truth, who can be a most powerful ally.
Source: Older White Moon.
In many ways my puppy is living up to her name, sometimes regrettably so and can be a handful due to her size. I anticipated this and have been training her from the time she settled in her new home at 9 weeks old. I exercise her each morning with either an hour’s walk or a 20 minute training session in a park located nearby.
The coronavirus COVID-19 has forced me to make some adjustments to my daily routines with Oya. After our morning and evening walks I now wipe her paws off with Clorox water before letting her back in the house. As the virus spreads I will lessen her movements outside of the house. Although it is said that animals cannot spread the virus, I have read reports were pets have caught it and one even died. The World Health Organization currently reports there is “no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.” However, the first dog to test positive for coronavirus died in Hong Kong, causing alarm for many pet owners.
I also don’t want my boo boo bringing the virus home from off the road on her paws. I used to make her sit each time we had to wait to cross the road, now she is told to stand. I also take her to the beach once or twice a week as she loves to swim in the sea. She thinks she is 1/3 human, 1/3 fish and 1/3 dog. Tourist love her and often make their way to her, especially if they are in the water with her and she just loves this. I don’t need any of them sneezing or coughing on my dog. My leash is 20 feet and often I am not close to her when she was in the water. Most African descended people say clear of Oya, but not the Europeans. I did not take her this week due to all the people (guest/non-nationals) getting in their last dip in the sea before they go home to face the virus there. Who could blame them. However if the island is not locked down next week as I anticipate is coming, I will be resuming my beach activity with my puppy.
I am expecting that by the end of this week cases will be increasing at an alarming number and more restriction on people’s movements will be put in place. In other places people have been banned from walking their dogs. My daily interactions with Oya now include indoor training and play for her exercise. This was done infrequently before as most of her work was done outside, but this will change as we are told to self quarantine.
Be aware that access to regular supplies of meat for your dog may be interrupted and as such a big bag or two of dog chow would be advisable to have just in case.
Let us all take the time now to share with each other the things we can do to effectively see us through this time of coronavirus COVID-19.