An awkward social distancing (dogstancing?) encounter the other morning walking my pooch.

Some people in the neighbourhood like to give my Golden Retriever treats. I know they mean well. With my dog on a leash, though, this means getting up close and personal for all involved.

This morning we met one of the treat givers (who for the sake of this tale I shall call Leopold). Leopold, I observed, happens to be in a particularly dangerous age bracket for Covid-19 (I know that we all are, to one extent or another). I kept my distance from Leopold until Maxwell spotted him, and he spotted Maxwell.

“Maxwell!” Leopold cried, and started toward him, a treat in hand. I did my best to keep 95 pounds of muscular beast back, but that’s hard to do at the best of times, let alone on snowy, slippery ground. I slid gradually toward Leopold.

“No!” I said. “Social distancing!”

Leopold shot me a look of incredulity. He stopped, though.

“Throw it to him!” I suggested.

He did. It didn’t make it all the way. Maxwell dragged me closer and gobbled it up. To my dismay, Leopold threw him another tidbit. I got dragged even closer. Maxwell gobbled that one up too, after which Leopold continued on his way, leaving me feeling rather sour about the whole thing. I felt like a crazed jerk, especially not having had the opportunity (or presence of mind) to explain myself.

My dog doesn’t need treats. That can wait until this is all over. If I see you walking your dog, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m going to keep my distance. The risk of us transmitting Covid-19 to one another might be small (although it’s increasing exponentially every day), but the consequences of one of us getting it is potentially catastrophic, either to ourselves, someone we love, or a fellow citizen.

My circumstances right now are such that I am much more likely to give you Covid-19 than the other way around. Either way, now that Covid-10 is about to hit this country full blast, I’m taking social distancing very seriously. Be great if everyone else did too.

And our dogs.