Mercury retrograde starts February 23. During this time, everything seems to go haywire, and confusion reigns. What is Mercury retrograde? It’s when the planet associated with communication and travel seems to move backward in the sky and in relation to other celestial bodies. This round ends March 17. When Mercury is in retrograde, more people miss appointments, computers crash, cell phones and other gadgets get misplaced, and flights are delayed or canceled. Any process involving communication or transportation that you expect to be speedy and efficient will appear to slow down to a frustrating pace, taking much more time than you anticipate.
Mercury won’t station direct until March 17, but dog owners can get through this time with sanity intact and also gain something.
To avoid scheduling glitches and long, frustrating waits, confirm all appointments with dog walkers, sitters, boarding and daycare facilities, veterinarians, and groomers. If you’re traveling and leaving Spot behind, have a Plan B in place, just in case your dog caretaker is called away on an emergency. Always arrange backup such as a friend or neighbor who knows your dog and has a set of your house keys.
Mercury retrograde is not all bad, however. There’s a positive side to this 20-day period, and it has to do with looking back and revisiting areas of life with your dog that could use some improvement and organization. Now’s the perfect time for assessing the past, so you’re ready to implement positive changes for the future. Here are some ideas to help make life with Spot more efficient during this confusing and accident-prone period.
Organize your dog’s medical and ID records. Keep them in a clearly marked folder so they’re ready whenever you need them.
When does your dog’s license expire? You wouldn’t want to be issued a fine for having an outdated tag on Spot’s collar — what a huge, unnecessary drag. Avoid this by getting and completing all the forms you need.
If your dog requires vaccinations to be eligible for the license, don’t just revaccinate without doing your homework. Too many vaccinations can be harmful to Spot’s health. You can (believe it or not) ask a holistic vet to do a titer test so your dog can avoid the cancer risk that comes with excessive immunization. Locate a holistic vet, and schedule an appointment.
If Spot takes medications or supplements that you order online or via your vet, survey the supply to make sure you have everything on hand, and order the key items that are low. The same also applies to dog food and treats and oral care products — take the time and be sure you’ll have enough for the next three weeks, give or take.
Depending on where you live, cool weather is either here or approaching fast. So take this time to clean or make necessary repairs to your dog’s cold-weather gear (including bedding as well as clothing). Place the lot in a box marked with your dog’s name and the word gear so it’ll be ready when you need it.
Speaking of gear, make sure all leash and collar clasps are functional and secure — and consider using a climber-quality carabiner clip for extra safety and security, such as any model made by Petzl.
If you don’t have enough photos of Spot, take this time to capture your pal with your camera. Should Spot ever become lost, the photos you snap now will let you make the best possible “Lost Dog” flyer. If you have it ready, you’ll never need it, right? And being prepared could some day mean the difference between never seeing your best friend again, and having him returned home to you, safe and sound.
Finally, because Mercury is the planet of communication and travel and it’s out of phase for the next three weeks, simple sentences will seem difficult to comprehend. That goes double if you’re a dog. Exercise patience if Spot forgets certain important routines, such as housebreaking or refraining from loud barking at night. List the dog behaviors you’re not crazy about — pulling too hard on the leash, for instance — then tackle each item with a positive attitude by, say, acquiring a training tool to help you.
For chronic procrasinators, Mercury retrograde offers an excellent, slow-paced opportunity to get important organizational and preparatory stuff done now, so you won’t have to feel overwhelmed by it later, when life’s pace picks up to normal speed. Using this approachl, the news of a Mercury retrograde period won’t raise your hackles — it might even make you wish you had a tail to wag.
Do you have any Mercury retrograde stories? Please share them in the comments!