The Pandemic Pooch

A dog is non judging, bears no resentment and is ever willing to be your very best friend; how valuable is that?

The Pandemic Pooch

5th August 20

Dogs.  Never have they been more popular.  

Famously billed as man’s best friend they are now the solace of lockdowners everywhere.  There must be some interesting psychology behind the reasons why but, not having access to that information, I have my own thoughts on the cause of this massive uptake in deliverance by dogs.

For a start there will be those who have long yearned for canine company but the logistics of work commitments prevented that becoming a reality before now.  This scenario begs the question of how it will be managed when previous work routines are revived; if indeed they ever are.  Then, the very small windows of opportunity to get out and about, coupled with the almost obsessive focus on the permitted exercise, has undoubtedly prompted many to seek a companion for the regular daily sojourn.  It’s probably a fact that the nations’ dogs have never been so well walked.  But it would be my guess that the most compelling reason behind the exponential rise in puppy sales and rescue adoptions is the engagement and interaction that inevitably follows the welcoming of a dog into one’s life.

There is widespread recognition that the  social isolation (and fear) generated by the pandemic is having a negative impact on mental health.  Hence the importance of the regular daily exercise; it being an established beneficial means of managing health and wellbeing.  Humankind needs touch, contact, community.  We are tactile, communicative creatures and deprived of our normal outlets we seek alternative remedies.  I have both cats and dogs and readily admit that whilst my felines are truly valued, they do not provide quite the same level of engagement as my dogs.  A cat is independant, often solitary and lives on its own terms.  A dog needs a pack, is dependent and seeks affection, encounter and belonging.   In a world where touching others has become at the very least taboo, if not a matter for police intervention, the dog provides an opportunity for interaction and affection.  It’s a shame that this basic human need has been an opportunity for many to capitalise and in some cases I warrant, unscrupulously.  Yet the desire to maintain a sense of family, tactile bonds and connection is part of our basic human conditioning.  If our sanity can be preserved during the enforcement of social distancing by the company of a dog, what price do we put on that?

Time Magazine: The Psychological impact of covid distancing