It's been a year since the UK went into its first lockdown, and it's been a difficult time for a lot of people. However, whether it's been our daily exercises, getting used to our new canine colleagues, or for spending the evenings cuddling on the sofa, our dogs have been there through it all.
As part of National Pet Month, the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers Association) have been discussing what amazing companions our pets are, so we spoke to the Wilsons team and our ambassadors to find out how their dogs have helped them through the pandemic...
Wilsons ambassador, Amelia from @tails_on_the_trails:
"Despite being in a national lockdown, my crazy pack help me see the positives in what feels mostly negative at this current time.
Pre-lockdown we would usually be heading out in the campervan on weekends and getting to see the best of the UK - whether it be at the mountain tops, swimming in the sea or gearing up for another canicross event. Whilst we are unable to do this currently, these guys motivate me to get out of bed each morning, head out for some local adventures and make the most out of what we have around us.
We have also welcomed a new member to the pack since lockdown began which has been new and exciting for us - I've really enjoyed having a new personality in the house and working on some basic training with him.
Going from travelling almost every weekend with the dogs to sticking to short local walks has definitely been a challenge, but they have adapted really well to the change, remain enthusiastic in each day that goes by and we cannot wait to hit the roads again."
Wilsons ambassador, Joanna from scottish_dallys_x:
"My pups kept me sane during what was at first such a scary time. From the general loving company to the getting out of the house for our daily walks. I was scared and Mia was always there to comfort me and give me a hug.
I mostly spent the first lockdown working from home which was so strange when I work in a job that is usually very heavily based on the social interaction with working in a school. Mia would get me up in the mornings to go for a walk and we explored so many new places together locally especially on those sunny days. She joined me outside to do home workouts and of course made those all about her when she sat on the workout mat and decided all attention had to be on her. On the rainy days we hopped on that tik tok trend to make funny videos or do some new trick training- who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Our bond grew even stronger and she is my very best friend. I would have been lost without Mia during this pandemic!
Indie, our newest dalmatian pup came just before the second lockdown in Scotland and wow what a whirlwind. There was absolutely no time to dwell on another unexpected lockdown. She is so full life and love and is such a crazy little pup. Lots of playtime, training and exploring indies new world kept us so busy and before we knew it we are almost at the end of lockdown two hopefully entering normality again. Mia took on a mothering role to indie and we had our new little family.
Dogs are such a blessing and we are so lucky to have such loving animals in our life to take us through the good and hard times. My dogs are my life and I’m so grateful I had them more than ever during a crazy pandemic!"
Through this pandemic Ralph has helped me without even meaning to. Every day he gives me reason to get up and go. I have worked at home throughout, but found it tough spending all our time in the house and our only escape being a local walk.
I know that I am lucky to still be working, but I am so grateful to have had Ralph by my side. I never knew what a difference Ralph could make to my working day. Stressful emails come in, and a gentle nudge from him and quick cuddle on my knee just makes all the frustration and negativity disappear.
Spending all this time with him has been a blessing in what has been a really tough year for all. It has certainly made me appreciate him more than words could ever describe. He truly is my little furry best friend.
Wilsons Head of Operations Kamil's insta star Olaf @olaf.thegoldenretriever:
"Olaf became our friend last September, so in the middle of the pandemic and he is the best thing that has happened to us in this difficult time.
You can’t be bored spending time with your dog - daily walks replaced the gym, training him filled our free time. Having such a great friend at home is like the best therapist and without him, it would be hard to withstand the restrictions.
Nothing makes you feel better than a happy puppy!"