Come and walk your canine friend for charity

A canine behaviouristis calling on dog-lovers to walk their pooches en masse to raise money for two local charities.

Mark Mayho, owner of Herts Canine in Gadebridge, is holding a sponsored dog walk in the Ashridge area on Sunday, April 28. The proceeds are being split between the Northchurch-based Hospice of St Francis and Appledown Dog Rescue and Boarding Kennels, based in Eaton Bray in Bedfordshire.

Chocolate labrador Rolo in the hydrotherapy pool at Herts Canine

Chocolate labrador Rolo in the hydrotherapy pool at Herts Canine

He said: “The hospice is such a good local cause which helps so many, and Appledown is used a lot by people who bring their dogs here and it’s often the smaller local charities that get overlooked.”

On the day, those taking part will meet outside the Herts Canine premises at 10.30am, before driving to the outskirts of Ashridge to begin the five mile trail with waggly-tailed friends in tow. Sponsorship forms are available from Mark at the Herts Canine office.

Mark said: “Anyone with a dog is welcome, even if they raise just a couple of pounds for charity.”

The lucky person who raises the largest amount will receive a £100 voucher to spend on any of Herts Canine’s services, including food, grooming, behavioural classes, kennel boarding, dog walking and even hydrotherapy sessions.

The hydrotherapy pool was installed six years ago, and has gone from strength to strength. It is now recommended by most vets in Hemel Hempstead, and Mark has also had Crufts candidates in the pool to exercise and build muscle tone before being shown at the world’s best-known dog show.

Energetic Rolo is a five-year-old chocolate labrador who lives with her owners in Boxmoor. She has been coming to Mark for four years, as using the pool works on her fitness and burns off her boundless energy. Her younger sister Queenie, 3, is also a regular visitor and sometimes comes in twice a week for a session.

Mark says that most dogs don’t like getting in the hydrotherapy pool for the first time, but once they get used to it they look forward to sessions, as demonstarted by Rolo.

He said: “Initially we get them to do three sets of two minutes, building it up by 30 seconds each time, until we get most dogs doing two sets of eight minutes.”

Hydrotherapy sessions cost between £10 and £18, depending on the size of dog, and last approximately 25 to 30 minutes. During that time the dogs have regular rest stops while their heart rate is checked, before jumping out of the pool to be dried off and their joints massaged.

Visit the Herts Canine website for more, and call Mark on 01442 398200 to enquire about a sponsorship form.