Dealing With Social Isolation: My Journey to Dog Adoption

We've all been struggling with the stay-at-home order and social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. At Traceable Change, every one us are working from home and doing our part to flatten the curve.

One of the biggest challenges we face is that of social isolation. For my coworkers it's not so bad, since they all have someone at home to interact with—their partners, children, pets. For me, it's been challenging since I live alone. What to do during these trying times?

I had been thinking about adopting a dog for about a year before the news of Coronavirus hit us. My main concern was not being able to be at home to help my dog acclimate to a new environment and properly bond with me. I got to thinking that adopting now would be a great time to do so. Not only do I need the company, but there are so many animals in shelters that need a home.

The Process

The adoption process remained pretty unchanged except for a few steps that would now have to be done virtually. What better method to use than a Journey Map (one of the many tools in our toolbox here at TC) to share this journey with you:

Pet Adoption Journey A journey map describing the adoption journey, materials needed, channels, thoughts, and feelings. Select an organization 1 Review Adoption Requirements 2 Take PAWS ComPETibility Quiz 3 Select Pet that matches ComPETibility Score 4 Submit Adoption Application 5 Review Adoption Process With Staff Member 6 Meet Pet Through Teleconference 7 Sleep On It 8 Take Adoption Counseling Session 9 Meet Pet In Person 10 Take Pet Home 11 Description/Motivators Steps Channels Materials Used Thinking Feelings Low Normal High Anxiety Anxiety Loneliness Loneliness Excitement Excitement PAWS Chicago makes a lifetime commitment to every pet that ends up win their shelters. Pets spayed, vaccinated, microchiped, free visit to veterinarain, starter food. I had to meet certain age, employment, and living situation requirements. A series of questions to help you select a dog that fits your lifestyle based on the following criteria: - How comfortable your pet is around Children - How comfortable your pet is around other pets - How comfortable your pet is staying at Home alone - What level of Activity your pet requires Visit site and read through profiles for pets that are available for adoption. Online form with questions about you, your home, family, and lifestyle. Discuss which dogs I was interested in, their personality, behavior, health problems, or any special needs the dog may have. Review adoption criteria and next steps. Teleconference with foster parent to meet Milton and ask questions. Take some time to think about the adoptiion decision and if this is the right pet for me. Volunteer counselor called to review adoption process, requirements, reposibilities, services, expectatoins. Review and sign adoption contract. Meet the pet in person at PAWS location The staff took all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID: 1. PPE was worn by all staff 2. They sanitized the space between adoptions Sign all paperwork Drive Milton home and introduce him to his new forever home. - Adopiton application - Driver’s License - Adoption contract - Dog Adoption Toolkit - Medical Certificate - Emergency Care Certificate - Adoption contract - Medical Records - Informative materials - PAWS ComPETibility score card - What is important to me? - Peace of mind - I can return pet, if it doesn’t work out - Can I do this? - Do I have enough time, money and patience? - I want a pet that doesn’t require a lot of traininig - Glad I don’t have children - My pet should be able to stay home while I’m at work - This score is really useful - Look at all these adorable dogs - And now we wait… - This guy knows a LOT about this dog. - I can do this… - OMG, Milton so cute and quiet - Did I ask all my questions? - I need to sleep on it. - I’m goinig to adopt Milton - This is a lot of material to cover - I’m glad the counselor is focused on the Milton’s wellbeing. - They are taking COVID-19 seriously…good! - Milton seems to like me so far. - I hope Milton is happy here.

Bringing Milton Home

I brought Milton home and introduced him slowly to his new space. Over the next few days, he’s acclimated to his new home and bonded with me. He has not only helped me deal with the social isolation, but also given me unconditional love—as only a dog can.

I think I’ll make it through this stay-at-home order just fine thanks to Milton.

If you are interested in fostering or adopting, here is a list of our favorite shelters in Chicago:

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