With Christmas and our Christmas Jumper Walks behind us, we are looking forward to our 2020 Beards On The Beach and Beards At The Park schnauzer walks. Our schnauzer walks are great fun; a brilliant way to meet and make friends with other like-minded schnauzer-lovers. They also raise valuable funds to help schnauzers in need. Last year, our walks raised approximately £7,000 which is a fantastic sum for our beneficiaries. We rely on our wonderful members volunteering to lead the walks so we have plenty across the country to choose from. All our walks are listed as events on our Facebook page. If you are keen to get involved, but there isn’t a walk in your area, you could consider leading one. It is very easy to do and not as daunting as it may initially sound. We spoke to two of our walk leaders and asked them to tell us what is involved in leading a schnauzer walk for MAS.
Kirsten Henderson and Jen Atkinson have both lead Mad About Schnauzers walks last year and will be leading a schnauzer walk each this year. We asked them to tell us all about it and answer some of the questions that you may have if you are thinking about leading a schnauzer walk for MAS.
Jen Atkinson lead 2 walks last year in Druridge Bay country park and Kirsten lead 2 walks: Beards On the Beach in St Andrews, Scotland and a Christmas Jumper walk in Perth, Scotland.
Why did you decide to get involved in volunteering to lead walks?
I got involved as I had rehomed Isla my mini schnauzer at 4 months old. I was later looking for where she was from and it seemed probable that she came from a puppy farm. I then found out more about puppy farms in general and wanted to support these dogs in some way. It saddens and disgusts me so much. Raising awareness and funds seemed a good starting point. I also noticed there were no walks in Scotland and thought there needed to be!!
As I am unable to rescue at the moment – I felt it was a way of making some funds for the schnauzer charity or rescues. In providing food and hot drinks and asking for donations it makes the most of a gathering.
What do you enjoy most about it?
It’s so brilliant to see all the schnauzers together. They all have so much fun. We also had honorary schnauzers including my rescue dog Dougal which was great.
The BOTB walk at St Andrews was just amazing. I had expected a few schnauzies but then I turned a corner and there had to have been over a hundred. It was an absolutely beautiful day on a gorgeous beach with dozens of schnauzers and their really friendly and schnauzer-daft humans. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we raised a bit of money for MAS. I loved meeting other owners and had a lot of fun. I don’t think the smile left my face!
The Xmas jumper walk was a bit different as we had torrential rain and it was freezing. I really really didn’t expect anyone to turn up. And then gradually we ended up with around 30 dogs and their brave humans!! It was so uplifting and a wee bit crazy. Again, meeting everyone and seeing the dogs having fun was fantastic. We again raised a good amount of money for MAS. It was so nice to meet up again with people we had met at BOTB too.
Seeing my little pack running along with 30-40 other schnauzers. Great to meet other schnauzer slaves!! Also great to see others as neurotic as me!!
Beards On The Beach – St. Andrews
What were you worried about before your first walk?
I was worried that no-one would come. I was also nervous about being a walk leader and if I could do it.
Nothing really – just food being perfect and having boiling water for fresh tea!
What would you say to anyone who is considering leading a walk?
There is nothing to it really! You set the date and time and everyone who comes does it with you. It’s a brilliant experience and I’m looking forward already to the next one. You meet fellow schnauzer lovers and the sight of so many schnauzers together is just fabulous! Totally recommend it, it’s a joy.
Just go for it – it is a lovely social occasion and if it helps in anyway for the care of those poor little souls from puppy farms – it has to be worth doing.
St Andrews photo credit for two photos above: Nichola Whitton
What else do you need to know about leading a schnauzer walk for MAS?
Keep it simple if you prefer, or incorporate other fundraising activities such as a raffle.
All dog breeds welcome – not just schnauzers
Take lots of photos to share on Facebook.
We have public liability insurance. It is highly unlikely that we would ever need it, but for your peace of mind, you are covered.
We wholeheartedly support DBARC, a registered Charity in its own right. We are unique as money raised by Mad About Schnauzers goes directly to them. They do not need to apply for it as our Virgin Giving page is linked directly to their bank account so the funds are available when they need it. As DBARC is a registered charity and our Virgin Giving page is linked directly to them, UK tax payers are able to add gift aid to their donations.
Here’s to another year of the MAS community changing lives and having fun, we are continually grateful for your support and participation.