Schnauzers! So why did dozens of dog owners unite for a walk along Portsmouth's coastline today?
WITH wind-tussled beards and a spring in their step dozens of dogs descended on Eastney beach this morning.
Far from a regular Saturday stroll, the beauty spot played host to Portsmouth'sÂ first public walk for Schnauzerfest '“Â a charitable national initiative that started in 2014.Â
More than 30 owners of the German breed united outside Coffee Cup for the meet at 11am, in a bid to make new friends, enjoy the briskÂ sea air and revel in their shared interest.Â
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It was Southsea resident Caroline Sumners who organised the furry feat, as north of 50 Schnauzerfest walks take place across the country this weekend.Â
'˜Schnauzerfest was all started by a lady called Janetta Harvey,Â after she rescued a Schnauzer from a puppy farm,' the 46-year-old marketing consultant said.Â
'˜It was started in order to help the rescue centre which gave all the medical treatment to her Schnauzer, which as you can imagine is very expensive.Â
'˜Now, it's grown '“Â and there are lots of Schnauzers whichÂ live locally so I thought I'd give it a go here. The turnout is brilliant.'Â
One of the dogs joining Caroline's five-year-old miniature Schanuzer, Rufus, was four-year-old Pepper '“Â whose owners Vanessa and Peter Robinson travelled more than 30 miles from the Hampshire village of Holbury.
Mr Robinson, 49, said: '˜As soon as we heard loads of Schnauzers were going to be in one place we knew we had to go.Â
'˜They're dogs with brilliant personalities. I don't think you can own one, I think you're just staff to it '“Â they're great fun.'Â
On what makes the terrier-family dog such an enjoyable breed to own, revellers said their dogs were '˜stubborn', '˜high-energy', '˜great with children' and '˜extremely loving'.Â
Gill Grech, from Portsmouth, said joining today's walk was a '˜no-brainer'.Â
'˜I went to the West Wittering Schnauzerfest walk last year and it was just fabulous, so obviously I was keen to join the Southsea one,' the 49-year-old said.Â
'˜It's brilliant we can let the dogs do their thing, meet other people who have the same dog issues, meet the different sizes and do it for a fabulous cause '“Â getting dogs out of puppy farming.'Â
Through its Virgin Money Giving page, Schauzerfest 2018 has so far raised more than Â£27,500.Â
Following nationwide events taking place today and tomorrow, the cash will go toÂ The Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (Dbarc) in Berkshire,Â which treated founder Janetta Harvey's SchnauzerÂ in 2014.