How to win friends and influence people

Are you taking your dog for a walk?

Regular readers will be aware that we have a new puppy. Well he was a new puppy, he’s now 6 months old and needs at least 2 hours a day of full on “throw me the ball” exercise.

This is all good – I have all the requisite clothing and footwear to get through the Great British winter. Whether my wife’s nerves will hold out, as he bounds across the lounge after hours of retrieving in muddy fields, is up for debate.

His long walks have also been great for me. I’ve lived in my little village for circa eight years now, and until recently only knew a handful of residents – well let’s be honest, the ones who frequent the local hostelry.

Dog walking has introduced me to a whole host of other locals who I just would never have met.

There’s Geoff with the Malibu (who recently had an incident with Buster) – his owner's name escapes me. Geoff runs a property development firm with offices across the North. He is particularly good at pool – and has a full-size table in his games room. He also enjoys festivals.

Then there’s Wolfy – he looks scary but isn’t. His owner runs an online craft store. And her children attend the same school as my daughter, albeit they are a little younger.

Woody’s favourite however is Buddy - a 7-year-old miniature Schnauzer- and his owner Graham who runs a local Antiques shop. He was previously involved with racehorses, and was an officer in the British army.

We’ve also come into contact with Angus, Cisco, and Millie to name but a few. They all have owners who all have different stories. These are all my neighbours who I’d almost never come into contact with.

Now it seems to me that in an age where we all want to get in contact with each other by email, or on social networks - we are all missing a trick.

Without wanting to sound like an old fart, if we don’t take the time to take the dog for a walk we will be missing out on many opportunities – in both business and life.

Oh, and one more thing – I also bumped into an ex England Rugby international with his 10-year-old Black Labrador. I wonder how long it will be before I ask him for tickets to England/Wales in next year’s six Nations…

Good boy Woody!

Matthew Bromham