Page 166 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 166

We think of each other as “dog show pals” when we see each other at conformation and performance events. However, what we may not know is that we could be standing next to one of the invisible heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.
These heroes wear a whole different persona during their work day as they are healthcare professionals who also happen to be dog show fanciers.
ShowSight magazine proudly introduces a few of the people in the dog show community who are still providing their local communities with the critical essential services. Their experiences can provide much-needed insight for us all during the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Do you work in healthcare?
2. What type of position?
3. Without dog shows to attend, how are you keeping busy? What is your typical day like? What are you doing on weekends?
4. If you are on “house arrest,” are you doing anything differ- ently at home? Has the quarantine changed your daily habits? Has it changed your mindset? Has it altered your plans for the future?
5. If you’re a handler, are you offering (online) handling or grooming classes? If you’re an owner-handler, are you doing more training? If you’re a judge, are you studying? If you’re
a breeder, are you going ahead with a breeding? If you’re a designer, are you experimenting with any new tools? If you’re a photographer, are you honing your art?
Do I work in healthcare? Yes. I work for a private duty Home Care agency called BrightStar Care of Chicago and La Grange. We care for all ages. What type of posi- tion? Community liaison, I work with families, discharge planners, case management and social workers on care coordination when a patient needs care in their home. The families need help with figur- ing out the next steps for dis- charge and that is even more
difficult with all the COVID-19 precautions. We can do services that help with personal care as well as skilled nursing duties wher- ever home might be.
During this COVID-19 outbreak families have needed home care for loved ones that can be discharged from hospitals and rehabs to home so beds can be prepared for others. Plus, there are families who just want their loved one home since they cannot visit them. It has been very stressful for all our healthcare professionals to keep high spirits and take care of ourselves also.
Without dog shows to attend, how am I keeping busy? Since I work full-time in healthcare, I’ve been a bit busier during the week and weekend. So, it would be hard to do dog shows right now if there were any.
However, I have back-up help from my husband, Len Kunicki, in caring for the dogs. Len is working from home for now, as I am occasionally during this time, so the dogs love that. If I do have extra time I have a lot of old and new photos to catalog.
Our state of Illinois went into shelter in place on Saturday, March 21. Again, with being in healthcare, my help may be needed outside my remote work. I was delivering supplies on 3/20 and 3/21 to caregivers who are working at our patients’ homes and will be assisting to do this ongoing.
Has it altered my plans for the future? I think it’s too early to know if plans for the future have been altered as we are in flux day by day with COVID-19. Who can predict when both jobs and dogs shows will fit into our lives again in a better balance?
If you’re an owner-handler, are you doing more training? For myself, I’m honing my grooming skills to also relax from the stress of working in healthcare. I will study videos of dogs I have been showing. Hone my grooming skills as those can always be improved.
As someone who was in the Top-Ten NOHS with my dog two years in a row and went to Orlando in December, it’s hard to visual- ize getting to that spot with all that is happening now. Also, if there is time outside of healthcare work I will reread books on the topic of showing your own dog.
If you’re a breeder, are you going ahead with a breeding? I think from what I’ve been reading that most of us are evaluating what our next steps will be with breeding. At the current time there is either social distancing or shelter in place situations in most states. We have to see how things move forward as veterinary care locations could be impacted and must be easily accessible if doing a breeding. Also, for the moment, gathering to pick a puppy will take special precautions or can’t happen.
As responsible, preservation breeders, I believe that we have and will continue to consider if there will be homes, either show or pet, for puppies that will be born, and that is one of the priori- ties. As the public may be putting puppy monies into their day to day expenses until things are more stable again. So, I think much more watching how the COVID-19 pattern moves along will be a part of the planning. Then figuring out how many show pups we can keep and what the market will bear in purchasing pups will be our considerations.
Do I work in healthcare? Yes. What type of position? I am an Acute Case Manager for a primary care physician’s group. I visit our hospitalized patients on a daily basis (Monday through Friday).

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