Social distancing and no-contact delivery have become the order of the day amid the Covid-19 pandemic across the world. In a small town of Colombia, a dog has become an essential worker as it delivers groceries to people living in his neighbourhood. Now, the canine is winning hearts online as it has become an internet sensation.
Eight-year-old Eros trots through the streets of this hilly city of Medellín several times a day with a straw basket held in his mouth, plying vegetables, fruit and packaged foods to customers of the El Porvenir mini-market. The friend Labrador retriever has been helping the store owner and people in the hilltop neighborhood of Tulipanes with its deliveries in exchange for treats and and few scratches.
When owner of the mini-market and the dog, Maria Natividad Botero opened their shop four years ago, she and her kids sometimes would take Eros on their delivery trips as a happy surprise for the customers. But when the pandemic hit and it was important to keep physical contact between humans to minimum, the pup’s familiarity with the process came to be very helpful.
“He helps us to maintain social distancing” Eros’ owner told AP. “And people love it when we send the dog.”
But how does it work when the dog can’t exactly read address or navigate through GPS. The family explained that he remembers the names of customers who have previously rewarded him with treats! With some practice, he has learned to go to their houses on his own. According to the store owner the four-legged delivery personnel is “quite a glutton”. “He won’t leave your house until you give him a treat,” she added.
The dog knows the names of about five or six of the store’s regular customers and drops by their home to bring in items. “I send the merchandise with a receipt in the basket, and my customers pay me through a bank transfer,” Botero said.
As Covid-19 infection in Colombia soared, with more than 3,000 new cases each day, city governments had to impose strict social distancing measures, limiting the number of days per week that people can go shopping — and slowly in times like this the dog became helpful.
However, Eros isn’t the only one. In March, another dog, a golden retriever living in Colorado won the internet as it was filmed helping his elderly neighbor practice social distancing by picking up her shopping list, giving it to his owner, and then delivering her bags of groceries. Not just delivery of essential items and food, the dog also helped the woman cheer up living in isolation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines