The year 2020 began with very high hopes and a meet up on Hampstead Heath on a very sunny Saturday. Then came the challenges of Covid-19 which remain with us as we set our sights on 2021.
Like all responsible social clubs, we had to observe health guidelines and so our meetings with our dogs had to move online. We have always had a vibrant convo on the WhatsApp group for members. But in 2020 it literally exploded.
The WhatsApp group has proven to be an essential way for our members to #StayConnected and we have shared the ups and downs of life on WhatsApp. Everything from crises to jubilation, to funny jokes, to diet advice, to odd but cool Scottie products members stumbled upon online shopping.
We have shared the alarm of members when their dogs fell poorly, including the ultimately happy conclusion to Hamish’s “road accident” with a recreational parks vehicle, to the loss of some of our treasured Scotties, such as Kuro and Womble, both of whom feature in last week’s memorial tribute article you can read here.
But we also celebrated new additions to the club, as owners acquired new Scottie puppies! We shared great videos of our dogs at play, which cheered up a lot of owners stuck at home teleworking or otherwise unable to venture outside while the pandemic intensified.
We enjoyed some private meetings of Scotties but the official meetings were suspended in March and must remain in that status until further notice. Sadly.
We tried Zoom and included fun quizzes with prizes, an Aroo for the National Health Service, chit chats, a survey of our Scottie memorabilia, and asked about pet insurance premiums as well as discussed whether it was good or not that Scotties are back in fashion during lockdown.
And we featured guests like professional handstripper Barbara to demonstrate from her home how to groom your Scottie. Some audio issues and image freezes – clearly Zoom was unable to handle so many members trying to join the meeting! A fresh high-quality video is now available below! It was filmed when restrictions were briefly lifted.
We also launched the first and very successful LSC Calendar featuring some of our members. It was a huge task with 130 photos submitted where we had room for only 13 images. The Calendar was also offered at an affordable price and members delighted in the quality of the chosen photos and other information contained within. We thank all members for sending us their photos and we look forward to a new calendar next year – so start collating your best quality photos now or look back at old archives. We know there are gems. Many of them were shared during the year via WhatsApp.
This year the membership has continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. It is still quite an achievement given that there have been no meetings and we have been unable to promote the club at dog events – all of which were scrapped because of the pandemic.
We hear that Crufts 2021 is going ahead. But of course that remains under review as Britain faces a continued battle with Covid-19.
It will be interesting to see how lockdown affects ownership of Scotties in the capital. We will be conducting a survey to find out in 2021. But smaller dogs including the Scottie are making a comeback so we hope to welcome many more to the club in London soon.
One bright fact: From today onward the days will be getting longer again as we pass the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year!
If you like our Christmas card to you and you would like to share it with your family and friends, and spread the word about the London Scottie Club to others who might like to join, please don’t hesitate to download the image below and share it via email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Meanwhile, all that remains in 2020 is for the club to thank all its members for their continued support and active engagement via WhatsApp and emails, and to wish you a restful holiday season and healthy New Year.
From George, Anchalee, Pilkush & Pudding
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