Isolation: Dogs dig it
Vet Sam Jones has just finished a two-week stint at home in coronavirus isolation and has put some of the time to good use inventing new ways to entertain his dog, Digby.
In self-isolation after a trip overseas, Dr Jones built a backyard obstacle course that involved his whole family.
While the broom jump might not be an official dog exercise, Digby was digging it.
He made a video to show how it is done at home, without having to buy anything.
"The obstacle course was a lot of fun," Dr Jones said.
"It's just a great way to bond with your dog and give them, and you, something to do if you are in isolation, or if you don't feel safe going out because of the virus risk."
Dr Jones said now the dog parks had closed; a backyard obstacle course was a good way to spend time outdoors and give dogs the mental and physical exercise they need.
"I just used stuff out of our shed, I'd say anyone could build a dog exercise course," he said.
On more serious topics, Dr Jones said it was important pets were still able to have their medical appointments during the long weeks of coronavirus lock downs.
To respond to changing needs, he has also developed a new coronavirus plan for his clinic, My Local Vet, at Alexandra Hills.
"We originally started a policy of everyone wearing masks - clients and staff - but it was a terrible waste of surgical masks that were needed elsewhere," he said.
Instead, the vets and nurses are changing the way they handle the flow of pet owners in and out of the clinic, using fewer masks but still keeping everyone safe.
They also will be offering a house call service from April 6, using full PPE gear if needed.
"The government restrictions are an important measure to mitigate the widespread devastation of COVID-19, but it is important pets still have their medical checks and can still get the medical attention they deserve," he said.
"Animal suffering is no different from human suffering, and this is why veterinary services are considered an essential service."
He devised a new clinic protocol that still ensures all their patients were receiving the care they need, but with much less contact between all the humans.