Stanley and Me

Dear Boris, I love you very much. Yours most sincerely, Stanley the Golden Retriever.

On the 12th March I penned a quick article titled ‘Dear BBC, You Owe My Dog a Spa Break’. I was stressed, you were stressed (probably), and most of all my 8 month old puppy was stressed. ‘Social Distancing’ was a new phrase in our household and the realisation that the clickbait on my social media was a lot more relevant than I’d hoped was dawning on me, and fast.

I regard Stanley, my dog, as one of the easiest-going guys I’ve ever met. His and my lives are pretty susceptible to change, we move house, we travel round working together, we constantly meet new people while he learns to be a Pets as Therapy dog. His life gets weird sometimes, but he’s essentially a couch potato and I assumed that at least some of his zen was down to…me? Worry and stress have always existed for our little unit, but we’ve all been nudged into this synchronized ‘uh-oh’ and whether you like it or not, I’m telling you, your sweat smells different and the dogs know it. It was in this week that the chilled pooch got real destructive and started shedding, like even more than usual. He shook, he didn’t eat; it wasn’t a pretty picture.

But then something magical happened; the pandemic got worse and the dog chilled out.

You see, while the pub I work for was forced to close, and we had to cancel trips to see family and could only elbow people rather than hug them…all while clutching hold of a triffid gun; it meant I was at home. So while in many respects I know that self-isolation is tough, I count myself lucky that I don’t live alone and that I’m (so far) revelling in the opportunity to read more. But when all is said and done, I think Stanley counts himself luckiest, his humans are about with unlimited time to play with him – and he has no idea why. Cheers Boris, the dog is pretty chuffed.

Sarah Harrington

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