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

Everyone’s Walking The Dog! Part Three

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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.

Barry McCall and Enzo

Celebrity portrait and fashion photographer Barry McCall and wife, interior designer Kari Rocca, found their second puppy love with Enzo, a Tibetan Terrier, who has the run of the city …

“Having had Boo in the studio with me for the best part of 15 years, it came as a great shock when he died. I swore that I would not have another dog for a long time such was the heartbreak. Then last year while I was away on a job I received an email from a client to say that they were so impressed with Boo that they went out and got themselves a Tibetan Terrier, who now had her first litter of puppies and would we like to see them… Curiosity got the better of us so we went up to meet them and were instantly drawn to Enzo. There’s something very strong in his personality, he was also the palest amongst his siblings.

We had all the usual trials and tribulations as you do with a new puppy but we knew the effort was going to be worth it. We had some great help from Eamon and Liz at Positive Dog Training in February, then along came Covid.

Since then, Enzo has been walked all around south Dublin, and when restrictions were lifted a little bit of the Northside too. Early mornings are usually reserved for the Iveagh Gardens. It’s a little stroll to say hello to the day and the new smells or friends you might meet. On occasion, Enzo may drop into see his buddy Paddy Paws Esquire at 56 Merrion Square, say hi to Louise and perhaps have a stroll around the square. For afternoon walks it has to be either Herbert Park or Bushy Park, both are fantastic as they include many different environments within them; forests, lakes, rivers, fields and like-minded dog lovers so there’s a chance for the occasional bit of off the lead “ruff and tumble”.

For bigger walks Enzo loves the Phoenix Park, Sandymount and Dollymount strands. He loves being in cars, constantly on the lookout for other furry friends to play with and also loves a stroll around Dublin 8, Portobello and the canal. Enzo is also settling down nicely in the studio at Bond Street, loving his position as front of house. Both myself and Kari love him to bits, he really is quite the character.” @bazzasnaps

Niamh McCormack, Eimear McCormack and Cody, Lily and Oscar

It’s a family affair! Public International Law PhD candidate Niamh and Computer Science student Eimear are Celbridge sisters caring for three boisterous barkers…

“Our pawfect companions are loving the lockdown lifestyle! We have three dogs: Cody (also goes by Boshi) and Lily (Lilykins) are both dachshunds, fiercely independent and enjoy having their humans nearby. Oscar (Moscar) is a rescue – we believe he may be part fox… He is a playful pup and loves the extra cuddles and walks he is afforded by lockdown life.”

The ladies are lucky to have a gorgeous sprawling estate nearby in which to let their pups have a prance. “We go on daily strolls through Castletown House parklands in our native Celbridge, Co Kildare. There are a number of routes we regularly take, the back lawns and surrounding forest are a particular favourite of Oscar’s when he is in need of a good run, while the front lawn and Liffey bank are perfect for days when we humans need to stretch our legs. Cody is an old regular of Castletown and often leads the way through the grounds, weaving through the older trails which are no longer in regular use by walkers.”

Celbridge offers great options for a stop-off while the family makes their way around: “Creed Coffee Roasters on Celbridge Main Street (@creedcoffeeroasters on Instagram) is the staple coffee spot – it is a wonderful independent local hub, welcoming hounds and humans alike. We recommend their oat milk flat white, and on a lucky day their batch brew which sells out fast! They also stock some of their own freshly roasted coffee beans for you to take home, we normally get the Colombian roast.”

For a cheeky treat post-walk, the McCormacks take the pooches to the outdoor Sunday market by the gates to Castletown, which offers baked bits, sambos, hot chocolate and more. “Our favourite sandwich stall is opening a permanent premises in Celbridge soon – keep an eye on their Instagram @life_interrupted.cafe for more details!”

The McCormack canines have very distinct characters, the sisters say. “Oscar greets every passerby as a pal, he is a charmer who works his magic on them. Cody is a discreet older lady, being fiercely private she finds affection from passersby to be undignified, and so prefers to be admired from afar. Lily is always glad to meet a new human pal, but is more shy in her temperament than Oscar, who usually takes centre stage.”

“While Oscar prances around looking for potential pals, Lily walks with her snout to the ground. We are not sure exactly what she is on the hunt for but being a hound, we are sure she will let us know once she has found it. Cody prefers to trot along at our heels, somehow managing to eavesdrop on human conversation while keeping a protective eye on everyone.”

The bracing January weather hasn’t suppressed the vibrant wildlife in Celbridge, bringing a bit of buzz to their walks. “All three of them are fond of chasing the local woodland wildlife, including squirrels, robins, rabbits, and wren. Last summer, Oscar discovered a warren in the back lawns, leading to an exhilarating chase, and an afternoon of sniffing and searching. They also enjoy catching up on local gossip by sniffing lampposts and tree trunks to see who else has been out and about that day.”

The trio even have selective music tastes. “When they are not on their outdoor adventures, they love to lounge near our WFH stations, listen to RTE LyricFM and gnaw on carrots. They are also partial to a boogie! Cody is a lover of ABBA, Lily a fan of Megan the Stallion and Oscar a connoisseur of classical tunes – he often wakes us with a rousing chorus of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.”

“All three relish every chance they get to show off in photos. Oscar has perfected his effortlessly candid pose; Cody has her signature proud stature and Lily is fond of a classic puppy-eye. We are convinced they have caught on to the concept of a camera and are always ready to make like Madonna and strike a pose!”

All readers can appreciate the novel need for the * big * walk nowadays. It’s felt by the McCormacks, and having their pups pushes them out the door. “The regular walking routine has given us all an opportunity to stay active, get out of the house and maintain our grasp on the days. We do feel especially grateful to have Castletown on our doorstep, it has been an oasis of refreshment for dogs and humans alike. There are days when a good walk is in order, we don our walking shoes and do a full tour of the forest, back lawns and front lawn.” However, diva dachshund Cody still calls the shots: “Other days require only a quick stroll to get some air, these normally end when Cody decides she has had enough, and it is time to go home.”

The best-loved dogs always feel free to make their feelings known, and the McCormack canines are no different. “We have always been a dog household, and so the chance to work from home with the dogs by our side has been a delight. That said, we have had to plan our Zoom sessions and conference calls around Cody and Oscar’s howling routines.” @niamhmccormax @eimearmaccormackk

Sarah Halliwell and Tilly

For GLOSS beauty editor Sarah Halliwell, the arrival of Tilly the Newfoundland has offered some much-valued sociability during lockdown …

“Tilly is a Newfoundland who arrived between lockdowns and has been causing utter havoc ever since. She has the biggest character of any dog I’ve met, and is as fiercely stubborn as all other members of the family. She will only walk if there are people up ahead ready to admire her; she wakes us up at 3am purely for company; she is tall enough to reach every part of the kitchen so she can help herself to food and – her particular favourite – dishcloths and sponges.

Despite the mayhem, having a dog has offered some much-valued sociability at a time when it is rare. Dog owners always stop and chat (at a safe distance, naturally) and often you’ll know the dog’s name rather than the owner’s; dog owners tend to have an entire social group of people they meet only in the cold and dark, wearing a coat over their pyjamas. One of the few conversations I had last week was with the owner of a pair of spectacular bearded collies who are better groomed than Elle McPherson. On that front, do check out Kerry-based Dial a Dog Wash on Instagram (@dialadogwashconor) – the before and after dog grooming pictures are the equivalent of a beauty makeover.” @sarahhalliwellbeauty

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