Day 30 – Stories of COVID-19 and Sheltering-In-Place

There is walking for exercise and there is walking dogs…old dogs. They are definitely not the same but both are necessary…and both get you out of the house in the time of COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 – Live to Blog from in Front of the Television


I just came back in from a walk with Clemencia. It is always so nice to take a walk without the Girls. They are slow and they don’t like to walk very far. All they want to do is smell everything within nose length. And look for natural “snacks.” Facing reality, they are not only senior, they are elderly miniature schnauzers. In human years, Madison is the equivalent of age 84 and Dolly is age 76.

At this moment they are both curled up at the feet of their favorite doggie parent. No, it is not me…though they seem to think I’m an endless source of doggie biscuits. Which I am. It is, after all, the only leverage I have anymore.

Dolly and Madison As Young Dogs

There was a day, before Clemencia retired, when I was indispensable in their lives. After she left for her office at the university in the early morning, they would lay under my desk while I worked in my office. Dolly would even occasionally ask to sit in my lap while I worked.

Alas, their True Love is here and I am left alone…in the cold…in my office…day in…day out…all alone. Not that it matters to me very much…really…only a little…okay, some. I do have Bert and Ernie and, strangely, their mumbling is becoming more intelligible to me day by day.

I’m sitting in front of the TV and the daily Coronavirus Task Force Update from the White House just came on. I shall refrain from saying another word about that.

Speaking of dog walking, though, when I was a little kid my mother used to put me into a harness with a leash before taking me out in public. I was pretty little…probably just a toddler who liked to toddle into trouble. I do remember the harness and the leash quite clearly. I thought it was pretty unusual until I saw a toddler in one several years ago on the Washington Mall. I saw him trying to toddle everywhere despite his parents’ pleadings and admonitions. Witnessing the tug of war before my eyes, I thought to myself, “Hmmm…yep. Now that does makes sense.” I’ve since seen one or two others.

I remember the harness and the leash so clearly because of the day I put it on myself and played horsey. I must have been quite a talented horsey because I tied myself to a tree stump. Probably while I was grazing, a bat flew down and landed on the stump. (Ah, farm life!) It just sat there staring at me while I stared at it. Of course, I was also screaming and crying at the top of my lungs. It is unclear who was more frightened. I don’t know how I got loose and away from the bat but obviously I did because I’m here to tell you this scintillating story.

It’s a Three Stooges Day!

Every so often I just need a dose of The Three Stooges. Today is one of those. Usually, though, it isn’t just any dose of The Three Stooges. It is this one:

“Swinging the Alphabet” by The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges “Swinging the Alphabet” is a happy place for me. One of the reasons is probably because Curly Howard was my favorite Stooge. Tragically, he died at the age of 48 after a massive stroke hospitalized him at the age of 42. He has a solo in this song which highlights his real voice and not the Curly voice usually associated with him (“Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!”). Now, tell me you can watch this and hear to the music without singing along!

When my son was little we had a Three Stooges’ album of children’s songs. I was thrilled to be able to introduce my son to this song. Of course, he also had to endure me singing along with it. I really miss that album and, even more, that experience with Jake. More than any other reason, THAT is why this is a favorite happy place.

Back to Reality..

Not today. I’m getting too much reality on TV at this very moment. I need to stay with Curly, Moe, and Larry a little longer while the dogs continue to ignore me. Hit it, Curly! “B-A-Bay…B-E-Bee…B-I-Bicky-Bye…B-O-Boh…..”

Stay safe, be well, keep calm, keep washing your hands, keep wearing your mask, and let your self linger in your own happy place every now and then. It’s okay.


Author: Tom Klaus

My name is Tom Klaus and I am the founder and president of Tenacious Change. I am convinced the secret to almost any good thing happening among people is relational trust. Want to be loved by your spouse, children, and family? Want to work well with others? Want to be an effective leader? Want to help your neighborhood, community, state, or country change for the good? Want world peace...actually, peace with anyone? Building relational trust is when fear, animosity, conflict, and the status quo begins to transform into cooperation, respect, collaboration, peace, and working together for social change and the greater good of all. A good day for me is when I can help social profit, nonprofit, and public leaders and their organizations grasp the importance of relational trust, let it guide their decision making, and inform their strategy. This is just one of the ways that I am animating and equipping leaders, organizations, and communities to lead change for the greater good. Tenacious Change is about changing forward into a future that prioritizes the greater good for all. We can do this better together. Come on along!

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