Alongside many others, we have spent much more time exploring the UK over the last couple of years. A big benefit of this is being able to take our pooch with us. Alongside glamping in Norfolk and staying above a cosy country pub in the Peak District, we also went on a few city breaks.
In July we went on the train to London for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday. Then, towards the end of the month, we replaced a cancelled festival with a road trip to Edinburgh – stopping at York for a night on the way to break up the journey – and the edge of the North York Moors on the way back.
Once again PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – a charity that claims to protect animals, is pushing for Staffordshire Bull Terriers – a loyal, loving family dog, to be eradicated.
In 2018, during a government consultation of the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, the charity called for Staffies to be added to it claiming, at the time, that it was, ‘best for the dog.’ If they had been, it would have made it illegal to own the breed in the UK.
Along with many others, we got a dog at the start of lockdown. Not knowing what was to follow and naively thinking we may only work from home for a matter of weeks, we initially fostered him. However, a few months later, after much thought and consideration as to whether he would fit into our life post-pandemic, we decided to adopt him.
In March last year, rescue centres were rehoming dogs faster than ever before. The Sunday before lockdown, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home alone had 1200 applications. Likewise, according to Dogs Trust, during the first month of restrictions, searches for ‘buy a puppy’ were up 120%. This high demand for them resulted in prices being more than doubled – but this didn’t deter those looking for a lockdown companion.
Ivy ducked her head beneath the tinsel that had been draped across the top of the kennel in an attempt to make the place feel festive. Before she had even put the bowl of food that was in her hand on the floor, a wet snout was pressed into her legs and big brown eyes gazed up at her. ‘Morning Amber,’ she cooed, giving the dog a quick tickle behind the ears. ‘Look what I’ve got for you, honey’’ she chuckled as she placed the bowl on the floor and watched the small golden dog tuck straight in.
This year has been tough and left many of us in a pretty bad headspace. Personally, I think I’ve cried and felt anxious more this year than in my other 31 years put together. If the pandemic wasn’t enough, 2020 has just felt like one bad thing after another.
That being said, one positive for me (aside from our rescue dog Vinnie, of course!) is that being forced to stay at home and slow down has meant that I’ve taken more time for self-care.