When the pandemic hit Ireland in March 2020, life went into stopmode. Up until the very last minute, I was kept working in the office. But when it was finally clear that non-essential workers had no choice but to work from home, I had to take everything I needed for work and leave the office. The day it was announced that Ireland was to go into long-term lockdown, I packed up as much of my belongings as I could and dragged my bags onto the bus back to Monaghan. I figured that if we were going to go into lockdown, I might as well be with my family.
It was nice to be sleeping in my own bed again and having home cooked meals made by my mum and dad. And of course, it was really good to wake up to a huge lump jumping on top of me, giving me kisses and settling down to sleep beside me in my bed! Murphy was very happy to have me home for the lockdown.
I was one of the lucky ones to still have a job during the lockdown. My job involves working online, working in customer service. There was online reports and virtual meetings involved from seven till four. I converted my bedroom into my little office, using my desk to work. My family were supportive and didn’t disturb me. With the exception of my dad on occasion, when he would come up to bring me some lunch, but that doesn’t count.
When I say that my family didn’t disturb me, I mean my HUMAN family didn’t disturb me. Whenever I was typing away at my computer, there would be a scratching noise at my door. The scratching would be followed by whining. And when the whining started, I’d have to open my door and let the little disturbance come in. Murphy would come right in, jump up onto my bed and settle down for a snooze. He couldn’t settle until he was on my bed.
Everyday whenever I was working, it would be the same story. I’d settle down to work, I’d hear the scratch at my door and I’d let Murphy in so he would sleep on my bed. It got to the point where I couldn’t concentrate without knowing that he was were. He became my own little supervisor!
Every Thursday afternoon, I would have meetings with my work team. Originally I thought it was a good idea to have Murphy out of the room, during the hour-long meeting. But just before the meeting was to start, I heard the ususal whining and scratching at the door and I knew that I couldn’t be part of the meeting with that happening. So I had no choice but to let Murphy in and have him sit in the meetings!
The first meeting Murphy was a part of, he pushed his way onto my lap and he made his first appearance on the laptop camera. I remember my team leader seeing him (and me, trying to push him away!) and she stopped talking and went ‘Aw, so cute!’. Everyone stopped and said hello to my little man. Poor Murphy got a bit confused because he didn’t know where all the sound was coming from, but I was relieved to know that they didn’t mind having him as a part of the meetings. It actually got to the point where they wanted Murphy to join me at the meetings. One of my co-workers said to me that seeing my dog playing with me, was cheering them up during the problems with lockdown. That made me very proud of my dog.
At the end of my working shift, I would shut down my laptop and I would change into my tracksuit and runners. All I had to do was say to Murphy ‘Do you want to go for a walk?’. He’d go charging down the stairs and wait for me in the back hall to get leashed up and the two of us went on long walks along the canal walkway every evening. That was his reward for all his hard work helping me during my day!
I’m back to working in an office now because I’ve been deemed an essential worker and unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the office (I did ask!). Murphy has been relieved from his duties as my supervisor. But he will always be the best working buddy I ever had!