When I was 12-years old, I went pheasant hunting with my dad and brother near Los Banos, California. We saw a promising field and asked the landowner for permission to hunt. He was gracious and took us out on his property to show us where the birds hung out.
On the way to the field, we passed an old, abandoned farmhouse. The house was where the landowner stored some of his farming equipment. As we approached the house, a deep and threatening growling and barking began. The farmer kept a guard dog locked up in the house to deter theft. I saw the dog in the window and called out to say hi and was told by the farmer not to address the dog. He said he wants no one to speak to the dog so it would not become accustomed to human contact and remain aggressive to strangers. Even as a kid, I knew that was wrong on so many levels.
That guard dog reminds me of what happens to people who are isolated and alone for too long. They lose contact with reality because they lost contact with human interaction. As this time of social isolation deepens, make sure to reach out to the people you know and might not have seen in a while. It is good for a person’s emotional health to know they are not forgotten.
They say solitary confinement in prison can really mess with our mind and turn us into someone we would not recognize before the isolation took place. Maybe before the farmer isolated the dog, he was a friendly family dog and not suspicious of every stranger who approached his prison cell of life.