Why I will keep social distancing long after it's lifted
Social distancing with dogs has been something I’ve been doing for years. And when social distancing was implemented back in March, it was something I found relatively easy to do.
You see I have never been one for close contact with people. Hugging is not my thing. Kissing someone on the cheek that I hardly know. Hell no. Although if someone instigates either then I do reciprocate, I’m not a rude person.
However if you happen to be a dog that I know that wants kissing and hugging, then I’m first in line. Obviously
For years I’ve been preaching to dog owners about giving dogs on a lead a wide berth.
As the owner of a reactive dog and a professional walker of many reactive dogs, I know they need space. It’s not just reactive dogs that need space, they should all be able to have it.
So when the lockdown and social distancing rules were brought into place, I was relieved for the owners of dogs everywhere.
Yet I wonder why some dog owners can be so thoughtless. Why they feel the need to barge in to you or demand that their dog says hello to the one you are with.
As a car driver I give way to other cars. I’m considerate, I don’t drive right up their backsides. When I stop at a zebra crossing, I happily stop before someone has stepped on the crossing.
And you know what, I’m mostly rewarded for it with a thank you.
I don’t sit at pelican crossings revving up my car with over exaggerating sighing as someone quickly runs over as the bleeps go.
I repeat, I’m considerate.
Horses get plenty of space
I’ve recently moved to a village near Newmarket in Suffolk. If you don’t know Newmarket, it’s famous for one thing.
As I drive through the town in the morning, I often see the horses on their way to the gallops for their exercise. They gently trot from their relative studs and make their way across the town.
Now in Newmarket, everybody gives way to the horses. It’s the unwritten law of the town. And it is strictly obeyed. The town has been set up to make this easier, but people still have to stick to that unwritten rule.
The horses have their own pelican crossings. There are flashing lights at another crossing to alert you that horses are about to cross.
They even have their own path, and get this, us humans have to walk on the outside closest to the road.
The jockeys are very considerate too. Most of the horses exercise with other horses from their studs so they often travel through the town in groups.
Every single jockey puts their hand up to thank you for giving way. To both directions of traffic. They really appreciate you giving the horses space as it keeps the horses calm and safe.
These horses are worth a fortune so the last thing anyone wants is for them to get upset and start bolting.
Give me space please
I just wish people were as considerate to dog walkers and in particular to the dogs.
One thing I always do is to give way to pedestrians, cyclists, dog walkers and joggers when I’m walking with dogs. I know that they can scare dogs. A cyclist suddenly going past you at speed can upset a dog.
The appearance of a jogger who doesn’t want to slow down their pace can be intimidating. A pedestrian who is striding along in the middle of a pathway, oblivious to their surroundings.
Good job I’m giving way then.
And I have to say I rarely get a thank you. Which makes me sad. But I can live with that.
I just wish more people would allow plenty of space when out and about. So for me I will keep practising social distancing when out and about long after it’s lifted.
Will you be joining me?
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of “The Lockdown Dog.” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.