Kicking Off Schnauzerfest 2017
This weekend sees the first Schnauzerfest 2017 walk taking place. It’s in our most northerly location – Stromness, Orkney. Hosts Dawn and her husband hold Orkney Schnauzerfest a couple of weeks ahead of the main Schnauzerfest weekend as being so far north, the chances of the weather being dire increase the farther into autumn we move. This will be the third year that Orcadian dog lovers come out in support of Orkney Schnauzerfest, helping us to raise funds for dogs less fortunate. Holding a gathering on an island that lies 10 miles off the north Scottish coast shows support for Schnauzerfest truly stretches from the tip to the tail of Great Britain (the most southerly event this year is our Cornish walk on Crantock beach, Newquay). Although, perhaps if geographers want to check, maybe our new-for-this-year, Isle of Wight walk may be a little more southerly!
Dawn and her husband breed miniature schnauzers and are keen to support the work done by DBARC helping dogs rescued from terrible breeding situations, having first-hand knowledge of the love and care which all parents and pups deserve. Like every Schnauzerfest walk, all dogs are welcomed during the Orkney Schnauzerfest event, although schnauzers naturally form the core paws out enjoying themselves. Dawn says it’s typical in Orkney to have 2 or 3 dog households and seeing schnauzers and greyhounds running together is a natural pleasure. And this reflects something special that lies at the very heart of Schnauzerfest – true inclusivity.
On any Schnauzerfest walk there will be a remarkable range of backgrounds for dogs (and humans) taking part and fundraising. Plenty of smartly bred, perfectly pedigreed dogs will happily be running alongside those who are not. A good proportion of dogs on walks across Great Britain raising funds for others, will have been saved from bad situations. It’s why we do what we do: to recognise and celebrate the lives of dogs by being out and about, as all dogs deserve to be.
It matters not what brings people and their dogs to supporting Schnauzerfest, enjoying it is all that’s important. But what matters as much to me as the enjoyment and fundraising is the awareness we raise of puppy farming, bad breeding practices and where the money goes, and why it’s needed. This year we’re seeing so many heartwarming examples of people going an extra step to help boost the fundraising in touching acts of kindness. Like, Anne who narrowly missed out on our recent Market Night buying a jumper for her boy Toby who’s undergoing chemotherapy; Faye saw the message and swiftly put her needles together, producing in double quick time a jumper for Toby. Anne’s words say it all,
I know Schnauzer people are lovely but this really touched me and how fast Faye did this for Toby. Time is a wonderful gift to give and Faye has done that for us. I have ordered lots of ingredients for dog treats to sell at our Studland Walk on the 14th. It will be the great schnauzer bake off in my house soon. Photos of course to follow, his eyebrows have gone and his beard is a bit wispy and no fluffy legs from the chemo but he is a fighter like so many brave schnauzers.
Generosity and dedication are what we rely on and see frequently in the world of Schnauzerfest. Dawn herself won’t be able to participate in Orkney Schnauzerfest running from her house this Sunday as she too is undergoing chemotherapy. Last year, she missed out walking as she’d broken her knee! But none of this has deterred her from being thoroughly involved and making sure the walk goes ahead. While sick, she’s made beautiful, orange Harris tweed bandanas which will be sent out to various hosts around the country to raise money with on their walks. She’s even roped in Lynne, a German visitor who’s helping her out for a few weeks and will be busy baking and walking one of Dawn’s dogs on the day. I love this co-opting of European assistants for Orkney Schnauzerfest!
If you’d like to support Schnauzerfest with a donation, please visit this link here.
If you fancy visiting Orkney, Dawn and Harald run a beautiful B&B – visit this link for details. I hope to get there one day.
You can see all the walks we have running on the map HERE.
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