I’m 4 Weeks Into Quarantining with my Boyfriend, and Jealousy Might Ruin it All

Being quarantined with my boyfriend John for the past 4 weeks has forced me to come to terms with something I’ve been ignoring for so long: My dog loves John more than me.

Thatcher, my 8-month-old hound mix puppy is, let me repeat, my puppy. My name is on the SPCA adoption papers and the credit card that pays the vet bills. But it’s John who holds Thatcher’s fluffy heart.

When John looks at him, Thatcher sits at his feet, ready to play. When I come near, he plays with his toys, alone. His 6:42 am whimpery puppy cries wake me up for our daily three-mile walk , but as soon as the leash is off, he sprints upstairs for his mid-morning snooze with Johnny himself. When I want to cuddle, he wiggles out of my arms at record-breaking speed.

John and Thatcher having some bro time (and a nap) on the couch.

For months now, I’ve convinced myself that I just imagined it. John never wanted a dog. When I sent him a picture of a 6-lb puppy at an adoption event in September, and he said “do not bring that dog home,” I fully intended to adopt him anyway and force John into puppy parenthood when we eventually moved in together, which was, because of Coronavirus, three weeks ago.

It backfired.

Now that it’s just the three of us together, 24 hours a day for more than 4 weeks, there’s no more denying who the pup loves more.

John thinks this is hilarious. Not that he likes to see me upset, but he’s bored and likes controversy (not at his expense) wherever he can find it. Every morning he walks downstairs with Thatcher at his heels and an accordion blaring from his phone as he plays “Pennsylvania Polka” from “Groundhog’s Day.”

All John does is throw the ball and talk in funny voices while bopping Thatcher on the nose (“It’s so hard being a boy puppy,” is one of his favorite Thatcher-voice phrases). All I do is give Thatcher all my love and attention, feed him, take him on long walks and give him a million hugs and kisses a day. And yes, I’m also the one to tell him to drop the garbage he picked up on the side of the trail or yell at him for chewing through my computer charger (again), but does that make me the bad guy?

Okay, so I’m not going to break up with John over this. In truth, with everything going on right now, watching John and Thatcher are some of the only pure-joy moments in our new homebound reality. They’re bros, and from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty hard being a boy puppy — so it’s good that he has someone to show him the ropes.

But he still cries at the door while I go out for a run, so maybe Thatcher loves me too.


Quarantine Masks courtesy of Elyse’s mom, Laura Notarianni.

April 13, 2020
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