2008 ISBC Rescue Walk
Undeterred by the lack of sunshine and a promise of rain, die hard supporters of the ISBC rescue gathered for the Irish Setter Walk on May 4th. Thirty or so walkers accompanied by their ‘best friends’ set out from Sybil and Steven Lennox Treetops home in picturesque Matlock.
Once past the initial climb into the woods several of the dogs ditched their owners, became deaf and galloped off in search of anything wet and muddy, returning occasionally just to check that their keeper had not lost their way.
The older and less agile dogs still strode out giving the walk their best shot as if they knew the sojourn was important. Of course this annual event is literally part of a life line for the many dogs whose story can not be told with a dry eye.
The 5 mile walk through doggy paradise was not diminished by the onset of warm refreshing spring rain. The large slime pond which, as always, appears much sooner than anticipated beckoned the canine swimmers and they were not disappointed. The cool thick sludgy water screamed ‘come in again’ and of course the dogs obliged. My own bitch Ruby thoughtfully shaking a foul shower from her coat that followed us home to Lincolnshire. Next year I must be quicker to recall my dog and check her hearing before we go.
Two groups this year followed the marked path. The first group on the return leg meeting the outbound second group somewhere in the middle affording conversation and the usual anxiety that your dog will follow the other group. To my knowledge neither dog nor human was ‘lost’ this year.
Miss Lennox and helpers acknowledged our return with a splendid afternoon tea. The light rain may have dashed all hopes of a blanket on the ground but the tea and cake was just as delicious to dog and owner alike. There was more than enough to go round.
Kindly donate prizes made for a quality raffle and much amusement – the pictured group seemed to win with every other ticket offering many of their wins to the eager junior walkers. A very tidy sum was raised and is appreciated. Not to miss out each dog took home an edible ‘present’ distributed by Barbara Rodgers
Personally I was quite moved to witness the formal adoption of Jasper, a young ‘Irish Lad’ recently rescued. Barbara Rodgers signed over Jasper to the care of Phil Cater and his two other dogs – a working Irish and a Pointer/ Setter cross. Jasper has some way to go before he fulfils his promise of being a very handsome boy – he is of course in good hands and I cannot wait to see him again next year.
So, I now have more reasons to make the 2009 Rescue Walk. I most definitely will be there and I hope to see you at ‘Treetops’ in May 2009. It’s a grand day out what ever the weather and if you own an Irish Setter a walk is a walk . . . . hail, rain or shine!
More pictures below of human and canine walkers
Maggie Smith on behalf
ISBC East Midland Region
Rescue Walk 2008 raised a fantastic £1,816