Blog #6 An update from the IGRC during the Coronavirus outbreak

We are living in strange times which none of us could have foreseen when we welcomed in the new decade at the beginning of this year. All of the Trustees hope that Friends of the Charity and all of their companions are keeping safe during the coronavirus outbreak and are following the necessary social distancing regulations designed to keep everyone safe. This lockdown will not be forever but while we endure it, let us stick together and help in the ways that we can.

IGRC Event 2020
As many of you will be aware, the IGRC was planning to host its IGstravaganza event at the beautiful venue of Lowther Castle on 6th June 2020 but, following the Coronavirus outbreak and the Government restrictions in place, the Trustees have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event. We know that many of you were planning to attend and, like us, were looking forward to a summer’s day celebrating all things Italian Greyhound.

For those who had already purchased tickets, the process of issuing refunds is already underway but if you purchased tickets and have not been contacted with regards to your refund, please contact igrescue@btinternet.com. Refunds are being processed as promptly as possible so please be patient.

The IGRC is hoping to host its IGstravaganza in 2022 instead. The new date for the event and the venue will be confirmed in due course.

Keeping safe with your dogs
For dog owners, while the lockdown has significantly impacted all of our lives, the restrictive measures that are currently in place will be affecting how each of us is able to exercise our dogs. Humans are limited to going outdoors for one form of exercise per day – a dog walk would be classified as a form of exercise. For households where there are more one person, it is likely that you will be doing the dog walks in shifts with one person handling the morning walk (using up their daily exercise allowance) and then another household member completing the afternoon walk (using their daily exercise allowance). Thus, the dog(s) gets their usual two walks a day (on average) and a household is behaving in line with the regulations.

For other people, this routine cannot be adopted – if a household is self-isolating or if there is only one person within the home, the restrictions will prove to be more impactful on the daily routine of their dog(s). Some useful infographics have been put together for charities to share and the IGRC is doing so here in this blog. Please click here to view these infographics – they contain some useful content for all dog owners including guidelines and suggestions which may help out some households and their four legged companions during the lockdown.

The Charity’s ongoing work
The times we are currently going through are unprecedented and for many, the economic impact of the Coronavirus will be hard-hitting. The Trustees want to reassure all its Friends and supporters that the IGRC is continuing its work to support Italian Greyhounds and Italian Greyhound crossbreeds who need our help. The welfare of our breed is paramount and during these difficult times, the Charity is on hand to provide support to those who need it.

While many households have more time on their hands during the lockdown and are spending a significantly increased proportion time of their time at home, now is not necessarily the right time to introduce a new dog to the household. The lockdown we are living through will not be forever and our present lifestyles will not remain so beyond the shutdown – people will return to work and shops and pubs will reopen so the time that people spend at home will reduce as “normality” returns.

If you and your family are considering getting a new dog, just remember that the way we are living our lives at the moment is not for forever – will your lifestyle still suit a dog and will you still have the required amount of time to dedicate to a dog after normality returns? If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, please refrain from getting a new dog. In the long-term, this will cause heartbreak for you and your family when you later cannot cope with the dog and this could then cause significant disruption and upheaval for the dog too. Rather than the traditional saying of “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, maybe let us use the re-phrased saying of “A dog is for life, not just for the coronavirus shutdown.”

The IGRC is continuing to carry out its work throughout the outbreak, primarily providing support and advice over the phone or via email. We welcome genuine enquiries and we are always available to provide support to IG/IG-cross owners who are struggling to cope with their dogs or who simply want some advice about caring for their dogs.

Keep safe everybody and, if you have a dog, enjoy the precious extra time that you are having with your canine companions – they will help ease any anxieties you may have.