A sporting life in Africa
Shooting Times & Country|August 12, 2020
A sporting life in Africa
Lockdown was hard for many reasons, not least being separated from beloved canine companions
Aidan Hartley

In March, before I flew out of Kenya to England with the aim of scooping up the family to bring them back to the farm, I had gone out and bought a year’s supply of food for our three dogs. I had a hunch that things would go wrong and they did, because as soon as I got to London the airspace back to Africa closed as we all went into lockdown. While stranded in Europe for the past four months we’ve missed many things from home – but I hope my mother would not be offended if I confessed that everybody in the family pined most of all for the dogs. For months the closest we got to nature was a daily walk in Regent’s Park. The birds and trees were pleasant, but we went to pieces at the sight of a dog. Even the most absurd little pug, dachshund or perfumed poodle tugged at our hearts. We wanted to say hello to them but couldn’t get close because, if you remember, back in April dog walkers weren’t keen on people getting too close to their pets. We debated looking for a puppy but it was all just talk. There is no way we could inflict a life in London on a dog.

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August 12, 2020