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At least the dog is pleased to see me!

I have many dog-owning friends, and, in these challenging times we are almost all working from home. We talk regularly – all the usual virtual formats, from a simple text to group chats via Google hangouts. We have even done a couple of virtual early morning dog walks together. The message is coming through loud and clear, that whatever the downside (and there are multiple, many and varied forms of this) of home working, the very positive outcome is “at least the dog is pleased to see me”!

In my case, whilst the Hound is a family pet, she has always considered herself my primary carer. She loves her Mum! So, for the first time in her 10-year residency with us, Mum is not only home full time, she cannot escape! Apart from the odd foray to the supermarket for essential items, I am at her beck and call. She has walks on demand as everyone uses her as an excuse to exercise, can lie on my feet, rest her head on my leg, beg for lunchtime scraps – I am a captive audience for her attentions! She is in her element. She has become my child substitute, as my grown-up children do not live at home and I have therefore been unable to see them, nor will I for a while I sadly suspect.

Walking is our only escape and we are luck enough to live opposite a Country Park. I have always appreciated the early morning bird song, the dew on the grass, the bluebells which are beginning to poke through the hedgerows, but now they seem even more beautiful. If nothing else, this enforced “stay at home” lifestyle has made many of us evaluate our lives and take stock of what is really important. Mother Nature in all her forms is truly beautiful and now that walking is my only outlet for exercise, I am even more grateful.

My dog has been waiting her entire life for social distancing! As a previously abused rescue animal she has a multitude of personality quirks and traits – many of which would normally be considered anti-social. She does not like many humans (whom she mostly considers a threat to my personal wellbeing) outside her immediate circle, and is certainly not a fan of her own species or any other furry animal that she may happen across during our daily exercise. I have spent the last 10 years trying to “socially distance” ASBO-dog, who frankly considers the neighbour’s Chihuahua a food group! Finally, we can enjoy our daily walks without the attentions of other dogs or well-meaning but uninformed people who think the fact that they like dogs will be enough to overcome her fears, prejudices, quirks and foibles….

So, every cloud… Whilst the frustrations of working from a borrowed laptop with a bad rural internet connection (even more compromised by the fact that everyone in the whole land is currently logged on) camped at the dining room table without the benefits of a nice comfy office chair are not ideal for the humans in the house – the dog is at least delighted!

I am not sure how she will react when I can finally return to normal working, leave my temporary post, return the borrowed laptop and get to drive my car to the office again. I suspect she will not be happy!


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