Not just for lockdown

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My sons dog Echo, poking his tongue out at the cows. Animal harmony at its best.

Spending time in lockdown has its challenges and for those who have to stay at home, there are also many temptations and sometimes finding the will power and motivation to do something constructive is not easy.

For some it has been the opportunity to do those things we have all been putting off doing,  but with little else to do, the attic has now been cleared, the shed roof mended, all the unwanted ‘stuff’ is on eBay, and the decorating has, at last, been finished.

And those with pets have had the extra responsibility during lockdown as, large or small, they all need feeding and looking after, but in return the pets have given pleasure and a reason to get up in the morning.

Six of the best, man’s best friends, wait patiently outside St Mary’s church in Rye – in dog collars with a difference.

Many dogs have never been fitter with their owners often seizing the opportunity to walk them as the chance to break the monotony, get some exercise, and stay sane! It seems sales of puppies have gone through the roof, and there are regular reports of many previously abandoned dogs being successfully rehomed – and, just out walking, its obvious that the canine numbers have noticeably increased.

Echo and Hollie – working labradors having a day out.

Hopefully many of these new acquisitions are not just bought on the spur of the moment as a form of temporary comfort to ease the lockdown boredom and the dogs will enjoy a good life with someone who cares about them – but it will be interesting to see if this attitude changes as lockdown eases and our lives begin to change again.

Hopefully we won’t see what we see after each Christmas, when the novelty of owning a dog has worn off, puppies grow into something less ‘cute’ and the must have fashion accessory is no longer necessary. Too many dogs end up in kennels or dogs homes awaiting an uncertain future, which is sad when you consider what comfort they give to so many of us as you can often get much more genuine affection from an animal than you do from a human.

Dogs, and in particular certain designer breeds, are highly prized but, alarmingly, many are now being targeted and stolen to order as their popularity increases – big business for the unscrupulous breed of thieves who always seem to prosper during adversity.

Echo and the cows –  “Here’s looking at you kid”

Hopefully these photos will bring a smile, and the main shot is of my son’s working labrador, Echo, poking his tongue out at the cows on the farm, and the nonchalant look on the cows’ faces suggests they aren’t in the least bit bothered. The second shot includes Echo’s half sister Hollie, sat outside St Mary’s church last summer, with four other four legged friends as they wait patiently to continue their walk.

The third photo is of Echo and Hollie in the cornfields near Guestling church and finally, the last photo is of Echo as she waits patiently at the gate, eager to get amongst her friends the cows (who she knows and they are not frightened by her).

As the slogan says, “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” but perhaps now we should also add the words “or lockdown”?

Image Credits: Chris Forman , Danielle Mathews , Nick Forman .

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