One of the joys I find while being out on trails is coming across a wide variety of pooches. I frequently take a break from jogging to say "Hi" and grab a picture. During the pandemic that became a more touchy subject. Frankly, I rarely if ever stopped to pet a dog during the spring/summer of 2020. People many times were giving a wide berth to folks they met on the trail. There was also uncertainties about passing coronavirus to pets.

As pandemic concerns have waned, and more people have become vaccinated, things are returning a little toward normal. Still that time of lack of interaction for dogs may have hurt their social development as a story in the Washington Post recently reported.

The owner of a pet shop in Chicago is quoted, "'Social distancing' are the worst two words you can add to a puppy's life." He understood why many people adopted pets during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, but said some behaviors the animals developed were caused by the limited social interaction that resulted.

Another challenge facing new pet owners is the gradual return to 'normal' conditions that leave those animals home on their own for longer periods than during the dark days of spring 2020.

So keep working with your pooch. Get out there for a walk or run with him/her. Any when a guy slowly jogging by asks if he can take a picture don't be surprised. Maybe your do will end up in the next photo gallery.

Meet These Great MN Dogs

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