Posted 2 months ago ago
Mister Noodles and Wilfred Humphrey socially distance. (Image: Adam Harnett/SWNS)
By Sarah Lumley
Social distancing has become second nature to us all – it’s something we have to do pretty much everywhere. Now even dogs are doing it.
These adorable photos show two dogs who have got social distancing down pat, after learning to sit two metres apart during their daily walks since the start of lockdown.
Miniature schnauzers Mister Noodles and Wilfred Humphrey have been practising their social distancing as they explore the countryside near their home, sitting obediently with a healthy distance between them.
Their owner, Graham Reed, has been documenting his two dogs sitting apart from each other for weeks.
And dad-of-two Graham, 52, who has been sharing Noodles and Wilfred's socially distant photos on Facebook, says the dogs have become famous because of it.
Owner, Graham, with his 2 dogs. (Image: Adam Harnett/SWNS)
Graham, who lives in East Bergholt, Essex, said: "I can't take the dogs out for a walk in the village now without someone recognising them and stopping, or honking their horns.
"I've had businesses get in touch with me and ask if I could take pictures of Noodles and Wilfred in front of their offices for them to use.
"They've even now been asked to be the mascots for the local football club. It's all kind of snowballed."
Graham added: "It wasn't my intention to try and make them famous or anything. It all started one day back near the beginning of lockdown, where they both hopped up onto a bench, but they were sat at opposite ends.
"I thought to myself, 'That's quite funny and quite topical', so I snapped a picture of it and shared it to Facebook.
"I didn't really understand the reach or the impact it would end up having.
"There are some people in the village who haven't really been able to get out since the start of lockdown, and they've said to me they wake up in the morning and wait for my Facebook post for the day."
And he joked: "It's taken loads of treats throughout the course of the lockdown to get them to keep sitting apart for photos.
"I think they've learnt now that they have to sit apart each day, but once they knew there were treats in it for them, they were very amenable."
Graham lives with wife Nicki, 50, son Harrison, 21, and daughter Renee, 18, on the edge of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – famous for being the subject of many paintings by Romantic artist John Constable.
And he has tried to explore as much of the countryside near his home as possible with Noodles and Wilfred, to provide some picturesque backdrops for their socially distanced photos.
Both dogs enjoy a break from their daily walk. (Image: Adam Harnett/SWNS)
The dogs have even posed for several photos at Flatford Mill, which was famously painted by John Constable in 1816-1817.
And when they're not sitting two metres apart among famous painting scenes, Noodles, eight, and Wilfred, seven, have been seen queuing at a roadside takeaway truck, or outside a pharmacy.
They even featured on the front cover of this month's edition of the East Bergholt Parish Magazine, sitting on opposite sides of the large church doorway.
Graham said: "I was saying to my wife the other day, in years to come, when historians look back at this period of time, there will probably be a plaque in the village to our boys."
And he added: "It's given me a purpose, too, whilst I haven't been able to go to work during the lockdown."
Graham stopped taking daily photos of Mister Noodles and Wilfred Humphrey at the end of May last year – but the two dogs are soon to return in a charity calendar, being organised by the people of East Bergholt.