QUARANTINE LIFE WITH DEXTER THE RAT

After returning from Germany to Canada, I had to quarantine for 14 days, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although I wasn’t technically travelling, I think this counts as a travel experience, as I was away from our regular home. Plus, we all know that this is usually not part of a traveler’s life!

Thankfully, Dexter, our pet rat, was happy to spend it with me! But first of all, who’s this special friend of mine?

Dexter is a standard pet rat with white and light brown fur, and black eyes. He was born on December 1, 2018 in Kamloops, BC, same as Moochie, his brother. Sadly, Moochie passed away in May 2020 because of a brain tumour (RIP), so since then, Dexter has been the only rat in the house. He’s fine with that, as he gets to spend lots of quality time with his humans every day. Dexter is very social and affectionate, but he can be quite dominant, too! He likes sleeping, ripping up newspapers, and eating, of course, especially avocadoes, bananas, pasta, cheese, pork chops, steak, and the occasional treat. Dexter doesn’t like to get bathed though, like most pet rats.

We were quarantined in a cabin with a small yard, just us. Dexter hung out with me on the couch during the day, and inside his cage at night. After a few days, we’d gotten used to a daily routine. It looked like this:

  • We ate lots of meals together. Dexter didn’t mind eating the non-fancy food, that had been sitting inside our kitchen cupboards for a long time.
  • Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, Dexter was excited to hear what I’d been up to in Germany, and my plans to (hopefully!) visit Japan next year.
  • Dexter learnt about Pokémon Yellow, a game I played on my Gameboy Color. He loved the background music, and was happy for me when I caught a new Pokémon or win a tough battle!
  • Dexter always sleeps a lot, so I decided to adjust to his schedule a bit. It was an awesome, but action-packed trip to Germany, so sleeping a lot helped me recharge from it.
  • I read several books, such as a manga named “My Roommate is a Cat” by Tsunami Minatsuki, and told Dexter what it was about. He was also glad that I talked to people on the phone, as we couldn’t have visitors.
  • We listened to music together, and watched Netflix, such as Friends and Back to the Future. It was a great way for us to snuggle into a blanket and relax. Also, Dexter watched me build a drum set out of Nanoblocks!
  • Lastly, I walked around the yard quite often for fresh air and Vitamin D. Unfortunately, Dexter doesn’t have a leash, so he couldn’t join me. Also, I didn’t want to overwhelm him with more changes!

In general, there are lots of benefits of spending time with a furry friend, as it’s supposed to make you feel calm and relaxed. Dexter is no exception to this, as he’s always there, and loves us unconditionally. I believe that he understands what I’m saying, which helped me not to get lonely or bored during quarantine. One day, Dexter sensed that I wasn’t feeling well, so he laid next to me, and put his front paws on my hand, and this loving gesture made me feel much better! <3

The Nanoblock drum set, and Dexter in our quarantine home.

Here are a few things I learnt during our life in quarantine:

  • It’s important to relax, and accept the situation you’re in, especially if you can’t do anything about it. So we just took things day by day, and stuck to our routine. I knew that soon, life will be back to normal!
  • Live in the moment, and if you’re tired, don’t feel bad for taking a nap. That’s a big one, as it doesn’t help worrying about the past or future, and although it might sound lame, sleep is important! 
  • Appreciate and use up the food that you have, before buying new stuff. If it’s not your favourite food, come up with ideas on how to make it tastier. Be creative! There are so many people starving in this world, so either way, we should be grateful for what we have.
  • Ensure to keep your brain occupied, e.g. by playing video games, and reading books or magazines. It also made me realize that I should keep reading a lot in the future, instead of wasting time on the internet.
  • Spending time alone is supposed to be healthy, as you get to know yourself better. Before I was surrounded by friends and family a lot, which was awesome, but I also appreciated spending time just by myself, and Dexter, of course. This helped me to be prepared for life after quarantine!

Fortunately, with all the fun we had, the time flew by very quickly! Although being in quarantine was quite an interesting experience, I hope that next time, things will be back to normal, so we can just do whatever we like. Funnily enough, it felt strange at first to be back in the outside world, as we’d gotten so used to our quarantine home!

I hope you enjoyed e-meeting Dexter, and thanks for checking out my blog today 😀

Update: Unfortunately, our sweet Dexter passed away in February 2021, most likely because of congestive heart failure. He was 26 months old, and we’ll keep all the amazing memories of him and Moochie in our hears forever <3 They both had the best life a rat could ask for. 🐁🐁

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