THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES DURING LOCKDOWN

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Not so long ago, I wrote about podcasts and playlists launched by Spotify, the world’s largest audio streaming company, to alleviate stress for dogs while their owners were at work. What a difference two months make. As a result of lockdown and pet owners forced to stay home all day, our pets are having the time of their lives!

An owner of a dachshund in the UK recently posted on Twitter:
“My dog has been so happy that everyone is home for quarantine that his tail has stopped working. The vet said he had sprained his tail from excessively wagging it!” An Instagram account has been set up so fans can follow her pet’s progress.

Here in Spain, you can’t go out except to walk the dog. A friend has a dog; the neighbours don’t. The dog is exhausted. As for my parents’ dogs in the UK, they’ve just got used to a run in the back garden to do their early morning business and one big walk a day without the two shorter ones they’re used to. Though they’re disappointed at the reduction in passing canine traffic to bark at out of the front window, they’re lucky being in the country with its open spaces to run in, unlike pets in urban areas.

Basically, they know only a few commands: stop that bloody racket (invariably ignored); come here (obeyed, unless there’s something much more interesting going on elsewhere); and NO (the ultimate tail-between-the-legs belly crawling fake apology). Everything else is a monologue (i.e. my parents talking to themselves).

Experts advising on homeschooling children and maintaining fitness levels recommend getting into strict routines during lockdown. Here again, my parents’ dogs love the new regime, apart from the stricter rules on eating ALL the food in their bowls and the 8pm clapping which wakes them up. But they’ll get used to it.

I can imagine dog therapists will be kept quite busy with separation-anxiety issues once owners are back at work and normality returns!

 Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as an ebook (€0.99;£0.99), i-book, paperback & audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity

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Nora Johnson

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