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It’s been weeks since we went into lockdown and my golden labrador and guide dog Aimee is not happy. Not only is she unhappy, she is making sure I know it!

Once a week, on a Tuesday morning, my support worker, Alichea, and I take Aimee to the dog beach. Aimee knows the routine and always knows when it’s Tuesday. Tuesday morning’s she wakes early. She dances around the house and draws her many toys into the performance. When Alichea arrives at 9, Aimee heads straight out the front door heading for the car. We are expected to follow. The trip into the beach is eternal, she sits at my feet facing the door and if we get stuck in traffic, there is a constant dialogue from the floor.

“What is going on? Hurry up? Will you just get me there already? …”

At the beach, Aimee becomes the life of the party. She performs zoomies, alone and with other dogs. She swims, even if it is freezing cold and I can’t feel my hands anymore. She has an exfoliant beauty routine, that must be followed and done frequently. It involves a quick dip in the icy water and then rolling one’s whole body in the sand. This rolling must be intense and requires the driving of one’s face into the sand and appearing to be playing the part of a beached seal, flopping about with abandon.

This trip to the beach is Aimee’s chance to sloth off all her cares and stress. Along with any dead fur and skin in her seal impersonation. She is joyous and friend to all. She welcomes every new dog that arrives and offers unconditional friendship.

Tuesday arrived, as always, after Monday and before today. Aimee leapt out of bed and into her pre-beach routine. Morning arrived and no Alichea. Aimee began to pace around the living area, her circuits growing smaller with the passage of time. Until she was pacing back and forth at the front door and then simply stood there, waiting. Every time I came near, she vocalised her impatience. Demanding to know where Alichea was and why we hadn’t left yet.

Since then, she has continued to make it perfectly clear that she is not happy. That is not ok for her to be locked up at home. Lockdown is hard on us all, but at least we understand why it’s happening. Aimee doesn’t. I’ll be counting down the days left in lockdown and you can be sure, the first thing I’ll do when it ends, is take my beautiful girl to the beach.

-Sam Ogilvie