We continue our Guest Blog series with an excellent lockdown read! Those of you who attended our AGM last year, may remember Helen Stockton’s entertaining talk about her Creative Writing business living with her literary Border Terriers, first Rolo who lived to the grand age of 16 before his passing in early 2019 and his 'apprentice' Teddy who has taken over their regular column 'It’s a Dog’s Life' in Sussex Living magazine.
Lovingly referring to the rest of the household as ’Them Indoors' Rolo and Teddy have brought their unique perspective on life through their column, with Helen 'ghost writing' for them. Helen describes Teddy as 'pre-loved' as she first started walking him through the Cinnamon Trust until his previous owner passed away and Teddy became a permanent member of the Stockton household in February 2018.
At the moment Teddy has been 'fur-loughed' (see what we did there?!) and so we asked him if he’d volunteer a Guest Blog for us instead. Read on for a Border Terrier’s view on how we find ourselves living at the moment.
Border Terriers stepping up
Well, we’re all living in unprecedented and strange times, but it’s good to see my fellow Border Terriers stepping up to the mark. There have been numerous examples on social media of BTs assisting: contributing to Zoom and Skype meetings, ensuring regular screen breaks are taken, supervising home baking, playing with children and confirming that neighbouring dogs are observing social distancing. There have even been some selfless cases of BTs going to stay with elderly relatives in lockdown, and enduring endless days of tummy tickling, ear rubbing and general fussing. It’s not only NHS workers sacrificing on the frontline, I can tell you!
Bad fur days
It’s good of the government to put us dogs’ needs at the forefront of their planning. People are allowed out once a day to walk their dogs, and pet shops have remained open to ensure we remain well-fed and all our needs our catered for.
There have, however, been some slightly more dubious side effects of the present situation. Emerging from the winter looking like Ewoks having a bad hair day, we have been denied the attentions of professional groomers and have had to endure amateur efforts of varying degrees of skilfulness.
There have also been some very subversive suggestions that lockdown is the ideal time to do some dog training. What’s that all about? My advice is, if they reach for the training manual, nudge another box set in their direction.
Setting the right example
Still, us dogs can set a good example in these difficult times.
We can ensure that our people retain a sense of routine, by demanding meals and walks at the usual times. We can also demonstrate some useful skills in the garden such as digging and pest control. Indoors, we can demonstrate relaxing techniques with a bit of sun puddling, and join in virtual exercise classes with enthusiasm. You ought to see my downward dog. We can also distract them from their worries with a bit of mischief making, and by demonstrating our particular skills, whether that is tennis ball de-fluffing, singing, or in my case, toy spinning and dancing.
We Border Terriers have a wealth of talents.
They still have us!
So, they might be in lockdown, their jobs might have been furloughed, trips out to get food and other essential supplies might be an epic expedition, they might be worrying about family members, but they still have US! And the more they follow the advice and stay home, the quicker it’ll be over with.
So, my fellow Border Terriers, hold the line and keep the faith, we’ll soon be back in the park and sniffing butts! Until then, enjoy a bit of quantity time with your folks, bark at them if they try to go out, and do your best to keep them in the dubious state of sanity that all Border Terrier owners are normally subject to…
Thank you from BTW
A huge thank you to Ted (and Helen) for being our guest blogger, we hope you enjoyed this lockdown read!
If you want to catch up with more of Teddy’s exploits, you can also read more in his blog, Teds Talks….. and if you fancy a little creative writing, check out Helen's courses (available online at the moment).
Update: Teddy joins the fundraising for BT100
You may have seen we have our #BT100 Celebration weekend coming up 15 - 17 May (and if not . . . where have you been?!). We have some great news from Teddy and 'Her Indoors', Helen, to say that all profits from purchases of his book from now until Sunday 17 May will be donated to our BT100 event!
Visit Helen's website to make sure you get your purchase in before the weekend is out.