How did you and your family fare during the pandemic? I’ll be the first to admit it changed me and my family. In fact, my husband stood up in front of a large group of people recently and stated, “it changed me! I have a dog now! A tiny INSIDE dog!” Yes, that was quite a change for us. Let me explain how it came about, as she was not a pandemic dog in the strictest sense of the word.

   In April 2019, my world was rocked to the core with the massive stroke my dad had. You’d never know it by looking at him, but once he opened his mouth, it was clear the stroke affected him in the worst way. No need to dwell on this, so I’ll get on with my pup story.

  It started in 2019 when Mom moved in with us. Our lives were turned upside down, to say the least. Dad was placed in memory care, where we all made multiple visits each week. My secular job was managing senior housing, and it was during this heartbreaking time that I really started taking notice of my tenants who had ESA’s, Emotional Support Animals. Down til now I had kind of poo-pood the idea of ESA’s. I never voiced it, but I’ll admit that in my mind and heart I thought people abused that program, simply to avoid paying an actual pet deposit. But I began to look at it through different eyes. I saw what joy, peace, and calm their animals brought them. Inside, I started thinking about wanting one of my own.

   I knew adding a dog to the family dynamics could not just be a passing fancy. So, I started researching exactly what I wanted. I knew it needed to be small, under 10 pounds, hypoallergenic, no shedding, not white as I don’t like tear stains. I knew I wanted a girl, and she needed to be smart and easy to train. I checked out everything from a Cavapoo to a Havanese to a Shih Tzu. I narrowed it down to a Yorkie. The choice for a girl was because I wanted to be able to dress her up in cute clothes. Little did I know that I’d get a tomboy! Haha!! I had studied it for a year or more before ever telling my husband of my desire. I had to pick my time, after all we hadn’t had a dog in 25+ years and we had only ever had large outside dogs.

   I decided to approach him, saying, “I think I need a dog to help me get through all this with mom and dad.” His response? “That’s fine. A big outside dog! That’d be great!”  “Umm…no, a small inside dog.” He says, “What?? After all I’ve said over the years about inside pets??” My response was said tongue in cheek, “Maybe you shouldn’t have been so vocal!” hahaha!! July 27, 2021, our world was rocked again, only this time in a good way! We brought home our baby girl at 2.9 pounds. We named her Tosh, and she is the love of our lives! She now weighs 9 pounds. She really is one of the family and we do for her like you do for your kids and grandkids.

   We take her everywhere with us. In my research mode, I discovered that she really needs to be tethered anytime she rides in the car, lest she become a projectile in the case of an accident. We bought her a car seat, but she will only ride in it when I sit in the back with her. Lol! Something we have really enjoyed in our car since we now have a dog in it is the Belle Aroma® FlashScent USB Aromatherapy Diffuser. I can diffuse my Belle Aroma® Lavender or Peppermint Essential Oils, or by buying the refill pads, we can diffuse whatever scent we want, like Ylang Ylang. Both Ylang Ylang and Lavender can be great for easing anxiety and reducing depression. My tethered pup on my lap and my favorite essential oils being diffused as we ride along in the sunshine and I’m a happy camper.

Lori Herr for Belle Aroma® Brand

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