After a frenzied two years of news bulletins, face masks and wondering ‘When’, the time to move on has finally arrived! With a collective sigh of relief, people are launching into plans for spring and summer & making up for lost time. So many past times to resume, and old faces to see again. There is a clear pep in our step……….and the same can be said of our pets!
Without doubt, the world through the eyes of most pets was turned upside down over the past 2 years. From endless walks by ‘working from home’ parents within a 5km radius, to the daily onslaught of clownishly clothed humans disguised in bright neon face masks, the time has come for our pets to at last be….. ‘unleashed’. Most dogs want to return to a normal existence where they can express themselves and enjoy the life they had been accustomed to. Their previous daily routine of eating, walking, playing and having fun was very much missed by most dogs during lockdown. The inability to socialise and mix with others not only impacted on humans, but also significantly on dogs physical and mental wellbeing.
We know that our beloved dogs are sentient creatures and have great feelings with depths of emotion. Restricted travel and being unable to mingle with many of their human and canine friends, has without doubt left an imprint on many of our furry friends, just as it has on us. I am a firm believer however in the Science of ‘muscle memory’ and this essentially means that we can recover our social confidence, skills and acquaintances very quickly once we start to connect again. With more face to face and “paw to paw” interactions, we all build up the rapports and energy that are necessary for us as social beings. Communication is the fabric of our being, and the same applies to our dogs.
With so many dog shows and wonderful events starting very soon, what a great opportunity these are for us all to reconnect with one another, and with our beloved pets also. These exciting events remind us of the value of pets, and how cherished they are especially during life’s trying times such as lockdown. As a practising vet, I was inundated with calls and visits by people who had told me with absolute brutal honesty how the only thing that had kept them going throughout the pandemic was their ‘pet’. This deep and utter respect for the magnificence of pets makes me realise how lucky I am every day to serve & treat them. There is a magic about dogs that everyone should experience in a lifetime, so I urge people to always remember that. As the time has come where we can get out and about much more, we’re all advised to make sure as humans that our Covid vaccinations are “up-to date”, which ensures that everyone in a public space is protected. Similarly for our pets, it is a very good time to chat with your local veterinary surgeon and ensure that your pet is up-to date with its vaccinations and worming treatments also. Such responsible pet parenting protects all dogs, and as a community that respects and values our canine pals so much, this is something we all want. Whilst at shows and dog events over the coming months, we will, without doubt see some pets that are a little more timid than we previously knew them. As I mentioned, the lack of social interaction has left an ‘imprint’ on some dogs, however with time this can be overcome and we just need to help these dogs in restoring their confidence. A little human patience, plenty of positive reinforcement and a sprinkle of love will bring out that magic in every dog. Enjoy your time together in these brightest of times!