The Covid Chronicles and our Dogs- Montecristo Travels (Ottawa, Canada)

The second installment in our Covid Chronicles takes us to Ottawa, Canada where blogger and author Sonja Lishchynski lives with husband Stefan, and their little dogs Montecristo and Pompadour.

Where do you live?

Although citizens of the world our home base is in the National Capital Region of Canada! Ottawa/Gatineau has a sort of NY and New Jersey thing happening…complete with bridge crossing (relevant later!)
Our family consists of two bipeds and two quadrupeds. The pups are two long hair chihuahuas. Montecristo, the muse and family aristocrat (always poised) is a green eyed, 4.3 pounder (roughly 2 kilo) and Pompadour is our baby, weighing at 3.3 pounds ( a bit over a kilo) she’s a handful of cray cray – she’s more Laura Croft from Tomb Raider than Disney Princess.

Is it on lockdown (or any other government restrictions)?

(Please expand on this as much as possible so people understand your cities or countries specific laws/rules/recommendations) Canada has been doing a rather good job of it all. This is now week 6 of a self-isolation “order”. Although there is some police enforcement with fines, Canadians are for the most part being … Canadian. We are all doing our part and staying home. We are allowed out for essentials (food shopping, medical appointments, pharmacy runs…) and walking for health is encouraged but 6 feet apart (2 meters) minimum is a must. Sadly some individuals (mostly those doing some sort of sport like running or cycling) seem to struggle with that part. All businesses are closed other than essential ones so it is quiet.

What do you do for a living?

Our “day jobs” are with the Federal government. We are lucky in that we can both telework 100%. So we are still working full time and fully employed and paid.

What is your normal day routine like?

Well it starts later! no more commute has given us at least 2 hours a day back …5 days a week. That’s a lot! We get up, I (Sonja) do inversion yoga while my hubby feeds the pups and sets up our offices in the dining room…makes coffee…that sort of thing. Work starts at 8:00 am.
We break at 10:30…if we can we walk the pups around the block briskly. Or sit on the balcony and grab some sun (it’s still snowing so …) At lunch we break …we try and log off all electronics and catch up. WE make some sort of vegan feast and just hang out. 3:00 is Chai Latte time. I have become the master of the Oat Milk Chai Latte.
At 4:00 we stop. ALL work stuff gets put aways in a ottoman that has a storage unit inside. My hubby (Stefan) preps the tea ceremony. We enjoy Pu’rhe. After that it’s a big one hour walk with the pups, and dinner and …maybe a movie, puzzle, card game …whatever we are “feeling”.
These days we are in bed early. 10:00pm latest.

How has that changed since covid 19

Telework was always a part of our routine but now it’s not 1-2 a week it’s every day. I am an introvert so I am totally fine, my extroverted husband misses the human interaction.
We are very physically active people. So that’s hard. Stefan misses his gym SO much! and I miss my hikes, and soon it would have been patio, farmers market and cycling time… it’s going to be brutal giving that up. First world problems eh?

Are you and the dog doing ok?

Dogs are the BIG winners in this. They miss doggy daycare but they LOVE that they have the humans home all.the.time. We are realizing that even when things “return” we will have to find a way to have one of us home each day of the week. It makes them too happy not to at least try!

Top 3 tips to keep your dog engaged?

Our pups are very small so it’s been easy. We have an indoor potty (we live on the 9th floor and it’s -40 in the winter sooooooo….) so it’s never about that. We do have a 2 year old “pup” that needs more physical stimuli so I often will take the elevator down to the ground floor (complete with mask and gloves) and then walk up the 9 floors. Montecristo will sometimes come along. I leave it up to him. We’ve also reduced their food portions a little given they are less physically active (no big hikes etc.). And I bought a few intelligence boards. They always make these too big for my tiny ones but we have figured it out.

What do you and your dog miss most under a covid world?

Seeing other dogs. With my friend Hanako I started the Ottawa Small Dog Meet up. All winter we do an indoor play date and in the summer there are numerous meet-ups all over the city. We now have a downtown, Orleans and Kanata branch. It’s sad not seeing all the members and pups. I also really miss my coffee shops, and most of all the farmers market every Sunday. It’s dog friendly and we have our favourite vendors … I miss them, their wares, the food and all the pups!
Thank you so much Sonja for giving us a brief insight into lockdown in Canada.
If you want to follow Sonja’s amazing blog, please visit Montecristo Travels
1 comments so far.

One response to “The Covid Chronicles and our Dogs- Montecristo Travels (Ottawa, Canada)”

  1. Suzanne Fluhr says:

    We have yet to meet Miss Pompadour, but we’ve had the chance to host the bipeds and Montecristo twice in Philadelphia and at the New Jersey shore (or, “down the shore” as the locals call it. I think the US/Canada border is still closed which seems very strange. It’s the longest undefended border in the world. As you can see by the photo included with Sonja’s interview, Montecristo and Pompon are a boatload of cuteness!

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