Corgis and COVID-19: How our furry family members have helped us through 2020

The last six months have been, to put it lightly, a blender of panic, stress, confusion, worry, and many sleepless nights.

Photo of Dr. Patel with Piper

Dr. Patel with Piper

From managing patients, coordinating team members, to (remotely) spending time with loved ones, we are all navigating through an unprecedented time for most of us.

While there were many nights where that jar of Nutella seemed to be the only thing that brought a smile to my face, my two senior corgi rescues — Bentley and Piper — from Our Best Friends Rescue in Freeport, New York, have been right by my side through it all.

When we began to transition to seeing only emergency patients in March, I spent a large amount of time home with them, watching sunrises and sunsets, which I never had gotten to do before.

As we held countless Zoom meetings here in New York with our local and state dental association boards, my furry babies were right by my side, cuddled up as if they knew that’s exactly what I needed.

Don’t get me wrong, chocolate and ice cream are wonderful, but I found peace in the routines of caring for Bentley and Piper. Walks that were normally done by the dog walker while I ran between our offices became longer strolls, especially as the weather became nicer.

Photo of Dr. Patel with Bentley

Dr. Patel with Bentley

They gave me a sense of purpose, especially as my normally regimented and tightly scheduled days unwound over time. As someone who really loves her social life, being suddenly cut off from what seemed like everything (and everyone) was hard. A nudge from one of them for snuggles always reminded me that no matter what — I wasn’t alone. And who doesn’t love the antics of our dogs? Their quirky, funny personalities were a great source of laughter that was so needed during some long, lonely days.

Emotional support is so very important, and something that we often neglect and overlook especially as busy dentists trying to do the very best we can. Make sure to take care of yourself, and remember that your loyal pets are also some of your very best friends.

Dr. Amrita R. Patel grew up in Chappaqua, New York, and graduated from the New York University College of Dentistry in 2011 before completing a general practice residency at the Nassau University Medical Center. Dr. Patel is a general dentist in private practice with her father, Dr. Rohit Z. Patel, in Westchester County, New York. She chaired the New York State Dental Association New Dentist Committee, is the International College of Dentists – USA Section Fellow Ambassador of Social Media, and will represent the new dentists on the American Dental Association Council on Dental Benefit Plans in upcoming year. If you have questions on rescuing or on getting involved in organized dentistry, email Dr. Patel at amripatel@nyu.edu.

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