Are Dogs the Unsung Heroes of Community Engagement?

WfCAP Blog

Just imagine, two strangers, passing on a street.  It’s highly unlikely they’ll stop and begin a conversation.   Of course, there are exceptions to this rule often related to time, day, location etc.  For instance: town centre, Wednesday lunchtime – very small chance.  Whereas canal towpath, Bank Holiday weekend – it is regulation.  Nevertheless the ‘Sunday-afternoon in the countryside’ kind of conversations still only extend to a cheery hello and perhaps the obligatory British comment on the weather.  Now, add a dog, preferably two, into the equation and suddenly boom! – It’s like long-lost friends.  People stop for ten/fifteen minutes, even in the pouring rain.  The conversation rapidly moves on from the obvious choice of dogs, to family, jobs, hobbies, holidays.  Within minutes complete strangers are revealing where they live, names of children, places of work, even what they think about their job, their boss and so on.  The conversation literally…

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