Remember, remember the fifth of November… is actually quite a terrifying night for a lot of animals.
Each year, thousands of people wrap up warm to head outside and watch in awe as fireworks shoot up into an explosion of bright colours high above their head. However, those loud bangs and flashes of light that we ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ over, can be incredibly frightening for our pooches. So those with dogs may well be at home, trying to comfort their four-legged friend instead.
Nearly four months after I left the office to work – and stay – at home for the foreseeable future, I couldn’t be more grateful for the decision I made in the first week – to foster a dog.
Since moving out of my family home where we have had a dog for as long as I can remember, I’ve been desperate for one of my own. The only thing that had been preventing me from doing that wasn’t going to be an issue for the foreseeable future. So, with lockdown imminent, I had started looking into fostering. If there was ever a better time to offer a dog in need a home, it was now.
It’s hot, isn’t it? But, while we are sweating and feel like we can’t cool down no matter how many layers we strip off, we aren’t stuck in a fur coat that we can’t remove. Ours (fake fur, of course) were put to the back of the wardrobe as soon as the sun started shining.
While we head straight for the sea or pool to jump in and out of the cool water, consume ice creams alongside ice cold drinks, all while wearing our most airy clothes – dogs don’t have this luxury. Instead, they rely on us to keep them cool in the heat. More than that, they rely on us to keep them safe. They can get both heatstroke and sunburn – which is more than uncomfortable, it can be incredibly harmful and potentially fatal.
I looked over at the water, sparkling invitingly in the heat of the midday sun. It was almost within touching distance, which made the frustration that I couldn’t even harder to bear. I was quickly bumped back to reality, quite literally, when I felt a child squeal with joy as him and his father climbed up into the seat that was tied to my back and sat down with a thump that, although no less painful, I had become used to over the past 30 years.
A bullhook to the leg signalled we were off and I began to take the small steps that the chains around my legs would allow. I had lost count how many times I had walked this same route. This was the fifth time already today.
I have had a dog in my family for around 23 of my 30 years. But, since moving out more than four years ago – and not getting one of my own yet – I’ve realised how much I took having a furry four-legged companion for granted.
I miss coming home every day to her smiling face and wagging tail, having snuggles in front of the TV, the comfort she provides when I’m sad. But, I also miss taking her out for a walk.