Everyone's Walking The Dog! Part Nine - The Gloss Magazine

Everyone’s Walking The Dog! Part Nine

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How are dogs – and their owners – faring in lockdown? We invited owners to share, and want you to share too … tag @theglossmag in your pictures and videos on Instagram and use the hashtag #GlossyDogs …

High-end hounds and cossetted canines are having to learn new tricks in this pesky lockdown. Not only are the legs being walked off them on a daily basis but home, usually partially deserted at given times, is a now constant whirl of activity. There are endless Zooms, round-the-clock supervision and no sneaky snoozing in the master suite.

The life of lockdown dogs is harder than it seems. Their owners’ tempers are frayed. No one is going to the office or school or gym or golf or even for a coffee; teenagers are acting out, mothers haven’t a second to themselves and men, having taken possession of prime real estate at home to WFH, have extended their dominion to rule every kitchen.

How are dogs and their owners faring in lockdown? We invited owners to share, and want you to share too … tag @theglossmag in your pictures and videos on Instagram and use the hashtag #GlossyDogs.

Sarah Pannasch and Philip

Sarah Pannasch has kept her sanity during the pandemic doing what she loves most – riding horses and walking her dog Philip …

“Dogs have always been part of my life. I grew up in a small town in Bavaria, Germany, with two terrier crosses. One of them especially was very much like a sister. She slept in my bed every night and sometimes came to collect me from school. Her name was Rosi and she was a sporty, wire-haired terrier cross. I have kept a soft spot for scruffy mongrels ever since.

I’ve always believed rescue dogs are the best breed; why buy a dog for lots of money when the kennels are full of dogs looking for a new life? Philip is a so-called Lurcher – a mix of Irish Terrier, Greyhound and Whippet – and when he popped up on my Facebook feed one day, I knew he was “the one”.

At that time I worked at a small design company in Belfast, with a dog-friendly owner who brought his Great Dane to the studio. I asked if I could bring Philip to work – I couldn’t contemplate leaving him on his own all day. He said yes and so Philip began commuting with me.

Before Covid-19 I used to cycle or take the bus to work and Philip is somewhat famous as the dog that cycles in a basket in Belfast. I started this when he was too young to run by my side. As a result, I often think Philip has made Belfast City Centre a more dog-friendly place.

As for work, from day one, he has been a fully trained office dog. Philip now has his own job title as “Wellness Officer” on the team page of Big Motive, where I work now [which designed the Stop COVID App for Northern Ireland].

Philip behaves perfectly in almost all situations. He sleeps most of the day in the studio, only getting up to remind everyone when it is lunch or home time. He can also be quite manipulative with some of my colleagues. They keep treats for him in their desks and he makes his daily rounds harassing them gently to get some. He nudges their “mouse hand” until they can’t ignore him any longer.

Having a rescue dog does mean that they often come with hang-ups. Philip is wary of strangers and prefers to hide from them. His Irish terrier genes make him a little bit cheekier compared to a full whippet and he isn’t as dependent on a blanket – given his woolly coat. He is happy to accompany me when I go to the stables and loves to explore the yard for hours at a time.

Dogs are great creatures for routine, and as we’ve been working from home, Philip has made my partner and I make time for breaks. Philip is determined to get his lunchtime walk and come 5:30pm he starts to goof around to distract our attention from screens. He enjoys short bursts of speedy outdoor runs; the rest of the time he would rather lie with his paws in the air as you will see on his Instagram: @philip_the_whippet.” @sarahpannasch

Storm Desmond and (from left to right) Jed (9 years), Hector (11 months), Bo (16 months)

For Storm Desmond, a year of lockdowns provided the perfect opportunity to adopt three greyhounds who she has found to be more affectionate and easy going than people might think and would encourage anyone interested in the breed to adopt not shop …

“We fostered Bo during the first lockdown from Dogs Trust, and ended up keeping her after three days. Bo is actually a lurcher. We were told when we got her she was a greyhound, but she’s too small!

During the second lockdown, we got Jed from WAGI, an organisation based in Tipperary that re-homes retired racers. Jed raced for most of his life and needed a home to take it easy in!

Finally, during this current lockdown, we decided to foster Hector (again, from WAGI). He has a heart condition and needed to work on his socialisation with people and other animals. He was quite nervous when we got him. He’s come such a long way, and we’ve ended up keeping him too!

I’d love people to know how affectionate and easy going they are as a breed. There are so many misconceptions about greyhounds, and the most common question I get asked is whether they have a nice temperament, and whether they are an aggressive breed.

They’re just like any other dog. They love to play, run, receive affection from people, and they’re very loyal. They sleep a LOT. Mine sleep around 17 hours a day. They only need short walks (about 20 minutes twice a day), and we take them up Killiney Hill or around Sandycove.

They have habits quite specific to their breed too. They love to roach, and you’ll often look over on the couch and see all three of them practically upside down. They love anything soft, and will seek out comfort; piles of laundry, cushions, coats etc. I once found Jed in my suitcase, on top of my clothes, as I was packing to leave for a trip.

They’re massively overbred (for the purpose of racing), and due to being classed as livestock, there are no limits on how many dogs a breeder can produce. For this reason, they estimate about 6,000 are put down each year.

They’re amazing animals, and prior to getting our first one, I had little to no experience with sighthounds. I can’t recommend adopting one enough. They add so much to a house and are incredibly content to spend the day lazing around.” @storm.j.desmond

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