Coronavirus: Dog owner tackles self-isolation loneliness by taking pet to visit neighbours
March 30, 2020
A dog owner is taking her pet bulldog to visit neighbours to help battle self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.
Jenny Bromfield visits neighbours’ houses with her American bulldog Rocky who provides a welcome distraction for those stuck inside their homes.
The 37-year-old says Rocky gives out plenty of hugs and attention to those most in need.
Bromfield, a former business development executive, first offered Rocky’s services to the public by posting a message to the Middlesbrough Covid-19 mutual aid Facebook page on 17 March.
Since then, she has visited three people and says she is determined to do whatever she can to help during the national crisis.
“Helping other people makes me feel like a valuable member of the community,” Bromfield says of her decision to help people in self-isolation.
“I’m so proud of how social he is and I feel so much better in myself, knowing that I can help people get through their isolation periods a little easier,” she adds.
Bromfield says it was love at first sight when first meeting Rocky at the Dogs‘ Trust in Darlington two years ago when he was just 11 months old.
“He encouraged me to get out of the house when I was self-isolating as a result of my mental health issues so I know how important his visits will be to others,” Bromfield explains.
“He saved me every day.”
The most recent visit for Bromfield and Rocky was Lizzie Robinson, 33, who is self-isolating following advice from her doctor.
On visits, Bromfield waits outside their houses for up to 45 minutes while those self-isolating spend time with Rocky on their doorsteps. The pooch is very attached to his owner so she stays close to him.
Lizzie said: “The visit from Rocky really cheered me up in these uncertain times.
“He’s just a big bundle of fun and happiness.
“I was feeling quite down and anxious before Rocky came, and then while he was here and after he left I feel much better.
“My mood has lifted – he made me smile and laugh that’s for sure.”
The World Health Organisation has confirmed that pets can not catch or pass on the virus, but the Pets Dispensary for Sick Animals said that while there is no evidence of animals spreading Covid-19 to people, it is always sensible to avoid letting your pet lick your face.