Phoenix Dog Walk (Raising funds for the PPP) by Madeleine Bath

More photos from Reija here

September 1st 2019

An Enjoyably Successful Morning

Three cheers for Alan and Christine Endres with their camping-car, Wander, early birds to the meeting point in Saint Sauveur, putting up tables and tents, unrolling electric cables ably assisted by Hugh Dunlop as the local I.C. for the event.  The morning could not have happened without his and Eleanor Chivell’s tremendous support, liaising with the mairie, lending their home for meetings, carting envelopes to the post office, persuading the local walking club members to lead the walk, designing posters and so on.

Volunteers to carry out registration and the first walkers began to arrive from 8 a.m. onwards.  Gradually the car park filled up with dogs of every size and colour.  There was prancing and pulling and barking but no bad temper.

Bergerac SPA volunteers arrived with a bevy of 12 dogs wearing ‘Adoptez Moi’ jackets. Christine and Jo Bish were wearing colourful fancy dress!  Reija Feldmann was wearing photographic equipment and did a great job of recording the show as we progressed through the countryside.

At 09.20, I blew a whistle for attention to carry out the ‘presidential’ bit, welcoming everyone and giving out a few tips about the walk.  If you look at Reija’s photographs you will see me muttering over my speech, practising my French accent which a kind gentleman called “mignon”.

By 09.30 the walking club leading the way, we were off. Instead of going out of the village along the road we diverted through the sports field and a vineyard which made a pleasant alteration to the route.

The weather was perfect being cool and overcast and underfoot the walking was dry and easy going. The walkers spread out into little groups of three or four with some singles. As the walk progressed people moved up and down the lines meeting other walkers and exchanging information about who they were, admiring each other’s dogs and telling dog stories.  Breaks were taken to give water to the dogs and to make sure everyone kept up with the walk and nobody could be lost or left behind.

In certain sections of the route, away from areas where sensitive wildlife were to be expected, some people let their dogs off their leads but most walkers kept their animals leashed as was little Nell, our whippet.  58 dogs walked with 94 people. 17 dogs and 21 humans went the full, longer route.

I walked the shortcut back to the car park to help set out the refreshments.  Alan had boiled the hot water urn and drinks and cakes were ready.  So many kind people contributed cakes of all flavours chocolate, lemon drizzle, coconut, carrot and also quiches for those who prefer something savoury.  It was a feast and the hungry walkers fell upon it with gusto.  Tea, coffee, drinks of all sorts fizzy and still were available. Boy!  Dogs and walkers were thirsty! But Jamilla and Kirsten kept up with the demand ensuring everyone received all the drinks they wanted.

Eli had made up 10 packages of dog cushion, bowl, and toy and contributed them as prizes.  Every dog who walked was entered in the lucky dip and Jo carried out a cheerful and entertaining draw towards the end of the event, pulling out tickets for 10 lucky dogs to each go home with a gift package.

It was so good to meet again so many Phoenix adopters with their dogs coming back to support the fund raising for the PPP.  Terry and Ivy Young with little Dolly the Chihuahua who walked all the route on tiny legs, Hilary and Bob Raynsford with both their rescues, Jake and Djoby, and Micky with his new master, David Horlock.  Christine signed up a couple of new members and we all certainly spread the word about Phoenix, raising our profile especially amongst our French friends.

After all that there was just the cleaning up and packing away to do.  Until next year!

Our thanks go to:-

Printing by Mr Bruno Feldmann of Adfactory, Düsseldorf
Registration by Kevin Moore & Melitta Felten
Marshalling by Saint Sauveur Walking Club
Dog Bandanas sponsored by Didier Penin, of the Veterinary Practice,  Miramont de Guyenne
Hand transfers and sewing done by Lisa Bourne & Hanna Brenton of Raggie Dogs in support of WoollyWoofters
Lucky Dip prizes donated by Eleanor Chivell
Refreshments organisation by Jamilla Wilson, Kirsten Pollard, Alan Endres
Photographs from Reija Feldmann, Kirsten Pollard, Jo Bish, Hugh Dunlop, Peter Manolescue

The Phoenix Pensioners Plan

At the time of writing we know we have succeeded in raising over €3300 and all the sponsorship is not yet in!  This is looking good for continuing funding to support dogs over the age of 10 years left in Bergerac or Marsac, Périgueux  SPA into new homes.  The Phoenix ‘bon’ of a voucher of €500 towards veterinary bills really does help the older dogs to be adopted.