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The Great British Dog Walk returns for ninth year to Belvoir Castle near Grantham

Dog owners are in for a treat this month.

The Great British Dog Walk, an annual charity dog walk run by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, returns for its ninth year to Belvoir Castle, near Grantham, on Sunday, April 21.

Hundreds of walkers of all ages and dogs of all shapes and sizes will get the chance to take part in the walk that supports the charity that trains dogs to alert deaf people to certain sounds.

The Great British Dog Walk returns to Belvoir Castle.
The Great British Dog Walk returns to Belvoir Castle.

Dawn Swepstone from Sawley was partnered with her hearing dog Digby in 2021, and now says she can’t imagine life without him.

She said: “I contracted Meniere’s Disease in 2003, which eventually led to me becoming profoundly deaf. Over the years, my hearing aids became increasingly more powerful, yet less effective.

“I got to the stage where I couldn’t hear the doorbell when someone came to the door or, more worryingly, if someone was behind me when I was out and about.

“I went out socially less and less as I felt isolated when people around me were laughing and joking and I didn’t have a clue what had been said. I applied for a hearing dog in 2019.

Dawn Swepstone with Digby
Dawn Swepstone with Digby

“I became very depressed due to my hearing loss, and Digby has made me smile again. He’s also given me the confidence to go out on my own. People know I’m deaf when they see his Hearing Dog jacket and they’re more considerate as a result.

“At home, Digby’s my ‘super dog’! He tells me when someone’s at the door, he wakes me up in the morning and lets me know when my dinner is ready. Most importantly, he may one day save my life because he tells me when the smoke alarm is going off.”

On the day, there will be two walking options of either a 3km or 8km route.

There will also be a dog show in the morning, have-a-go agility in the afternoon and a ‘guess the weight of a cake’ competition.

The walk is also sponsored by Specsavers Audiologists.

Carina Hummel, of Specsavers Audiology, said: “This is an excellent way for people to have fun, get some exercise, meet like-minded people and perhaps most importantly, meet lots of cute dogs while supporting a good cause.

“We’re so proud of our involvement in the Great British Dog Walk and the fact that it helps to transform the lives of deaf people.

“We’re very much looking forward to the walks and hope lots of people in each area will come along and show their support.”

Tickets can be bought at www.greatbritishdogwalk.org.

Tickets to each event cost £12 in advance or £15 on the day.

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