Happy New Year!
Here we are at the end of the most unprecedented year. We have all seen plenty more lows than highs. Usually, at this point in any year we are currently eager to bring in the new year with lots of hope and wonder. But not this new year. We are not feeling the new year will bring something good, just more of what we already have; more sadness, uncertainty, confusion and a lack of feeling secure.
Here at the dog lodge, like many businesses across the world, we had to close in March and and run a very limited service for Key Workers. It was a terrifying time, mixed with taking the right course of action regarding ourselves and others health, and wondering how on earth we would pay the bills, feed the family and keep the house. Thankfully we were able to claim from the government and it did see us through. I do however know that hasn't been the same for every business. We do feel lucky we were able to.
Holidays were cancelled though so there wouldn't be any boarding again till August. It was a huge blow for us financially, but receiving call after call from people whos holidays, sometimes a holiday of a life time, had been cancelled, hearing the sadness in their voices were so heartbreaking.
We did find some kind of stability in June when much of the walking resumed. We have deep affection for all of the pets we take care of, and we missed them very much. Seeing them again after the first lockdown was just joyful. It brought back a sense of normality to our lives.
Sadly though (during lockdown especially) we got news that some of our lovely 4 legged companions had passed away. Some were very unexpected which hit us particularly hard. You see, we treat and feel like the dogs, cats, rabbits, hens, fish, ducks, reptiles, are all part of our family. We get to know their little traits, their body language, their nuances, the good and the bad characteristics, what they love and what they don't love, who they like and who they don't like, and where they love to walk or what they love to do. They get to know us too, and that friendship, and the trust that develops, between us and them is really special. So when they die (or move away, or even when we are not needed any more) our heart breaks just as much as if they were our very own pets. They will always stay with us, in our hearts.
Though we did have some boarding in August, once September set in, life started to change for everyone again. That uncertainty and fear started to creep back in. Then at the end of October we had to say goodbye to the dog van. I know it was only a van, just some metal and rubber etc, but it was a huge blow. We had to act fast and adapt and we thankfully found a little blue nemo that already had a dog guard in the back. We just had to go to Shrewsbury for it! But we got it and it appears the dogs love it and I think its because they can look where they are going and pretend they are being chauffeured around. We have some serious back seat drivers.
This year has been the best year ever for our nations pets; having their owners home, living their best lives. They must think 2020 has been the very best of years! And we have seen a high number of new puppies coming into our care. Of all shapes and sizes. Its always lovely to get a puppy to care for because we get to watch them grow and learn. And most of all its an honour to be trusted with this furry bundle of joy. We believe these pets (new and old) who have especially loved 2020, should show us the way, taking each day as it comes, finding the joy in the small things, and giving love to those who love us the most. That's the lesson we can take from 2020.
So with all this in mind I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us on both a personal and a business level this year. We really would not have got through it without you. There was many times we did not think we would survive or get through or a serious problem presented itself, and each time someone shown us something special.
We thank you with all our hearts.
And what better way to say goodbye to this year than to share with you our class of 2020.
Take care everyone and here's to a safe, positive and healthy 2021
Georgia, Sarah, Ben and the rest of the dog lodge crew xxxx