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If I had my way, I’d make it compulsory for all healthy, older people, who live alone, to be given an all-expenses paid, rescue dog.
Loneliness is a terrible thing, it’s so isolating, and studies seem to show, shortens the life of those that endure it, after all, if you are not seeing anyone, or talking to anyone, what point is there in carrying on.
So many older people, would benefit from having a dog to look after. It would give them a purpose, a reason to go for that beneficial walk, a chance to stop and chat to other dog owners, and to generally get out of the house for a couple of hours every day.
When you are out with your dog, people exchange pleasantries, initially about the weather, then as time goes on, and you do a regular route at a regular time, the conversations get longer, and people begin to recognise each other, and even if they don’t know the name of the dog owner, they usually know the name of the dog.
Rocky’s Dad, Bonnies Mum.
No dog owner is really fussed about their own name being known; you recognise people by their dog, not really by their face!
Buddy and I have met so many lovely folk while we’ve been out walking both in Spain, and here in the UK.
In Spain I found a little park just at the bottom of my street, and spent many enjoyable hours with people who tried in vain to teach me some Spanish, and who in turn were eager to point to things and ask me ‘English is?’
Coming straight out of a Spanish dog rescue I had no idea if Buddy would be friendly towards all other dogs, or if there was a breed or colour he would grumble at, but whilst at first he was a bit overwhelmed, he soon found his feet ( or paws ) and learnt the ‘chase me’ game pretty quick too.
Later, when we returned to the UK, he’d earned his good dog stripes and I knew that although he was quite lively, he was a lover of dogs, not a fighter of dogs.
Now we have an easy daily routine of a park walk and play in the mornings with George the deaf dog, Dave the Spaniel, Max the Cockapoo, Remy the Terrier, Pippa the Springer, and Dudley the Tibetan Terrier, who is my daughter’s dog. To name but a few.
We all meet about 9.30 in the park, and it’s like a dog fest.
Everyone stands around chatting, friendships are forged both human and canine. New puppies are coaxed and cuddled, new owners welcomed and introduced to everyone.
Some days there can be up to 15 dogs, some days, maybe 4 or 5, but the main thing is its sociable. An older person with a rescue dog, is just as welcome as a teenager with a new bundle of fluff on its first outing.
Just think how much an older person, who lives alone would enjoy and benefit from that, not to mention the fact that they could provide a loving home for all those dogs that Paul O’Grady tortures us with every week on the telly.
Every week it makes me cry. Sniff.
Get a campaign going Mr O’Grady, you’ve got the clout, so that a not so active dog could be matched with a man who just needs a bit of gentle exercise.
Greyhounds are a perfect choice, they are major sofa surfers, contrary to popular belief. Don’t think that just because they’ve spent their life racing round a track after a pretend rabbit that they need to race for miles round the countryside.
How about a nice little rescued Yorkie for a lady who maybe would prefer a small lap dog to keep her company, imagine all those other nice ladies she might stop and chat to whilst she’s out for a stroll in the sunshine with her dog.
It’s not rocket science. There are thousands of lonely dogs in kennels, there are thousands of lonely people in houses.
They could save each other from an early grave.
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