Documenting the dog walkers of Yorkshire during the lockdown
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 July 2020
‘Walkies’ have taken on a whole new meaning during lockdown...
Yorkshire dog walkers
Agatha and Suki the dog
Alan and June
Ian and Bob
Jacqui and Mojo the dog
John and Nesta
Joy with her dogs Amber, Buddy and Edna
Katie and Heston
Keith and Dylan the dog
Mike, Clare, Freya and Eric Gardiner with Spike the dog and Heidi the dog
Ria and Rocco the dog
Stan and Kev the dog
Wendy, Steve, Sam, Alfie and Whiskey the dog
Willie Runte, a photographer based in Gledhow, Leeds, has created a fun and fabulous portfolio of photographs focusing on how dogs have been fundamental in keeping many of us sane during lockdown.
Willie says: ‘It’s been proven that having a dog improves your mental health and boosts your physical activity. Mine, Suki, has definitely helped keep me happy. I started the project when lockdown began where I shot portraits of dog walkers while walking her in Gledhow Valley Woods.’
‘I didn’t expect many people would be interested but they kept saying yes and I now have dozens with the collection growing every day. It was also a great way of getting to know people who, before the pandemic, I crossed paths with every day but did not talk to.
‘Some of the people I met were living alone and their dog was their only companion, so they were extra grateful during this period. I also met people who were borrowing dogs to go for a walk and people completely in love with their own dogs who vouch for them being the best cure for sadness. Another aim of this project is to encourage people to adopt dogs by demonstrating the benefits to mental health a dog can bring. Just look at how happy everyone looks!’