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’s first public walk for Schnauzerfest – a charitable national initiative that started in 2014.
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 brisk sea air and revel in their shared interest.
To see our full picture gallery click on the link at the top of the article.
It was Southsea resident Caroline Sumners who organised the furry feat, as north of 50 Schnauzerfest walks take place across the country this weekend.
‘Schnauzerfest was all started by a lady called Janetta Harvey, after she rescued a Schnauzer from a puppy farm,’ the 46-year-old marketing consultant said.
‘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.
‘Now, it’s grown – and there are lots of Schnauzers which live locally so I thought I’d give it a go here. The turnout is brilliant.’
One of the dogs joining Caroline’s five-year-old miniature Schanuzer, Rufus, was four-year-old Pepper – 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.
‘They’re dogs with brilliant personalities. I don’t think you can own one, I think you’re just staff to it – they’re great fun.’
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’.
Gill Grech, from Portsmouth, said joining today’s walk was a ‘no-brainer’.
‘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.
‘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 – getting dogs out of puppy farming.’
Through its Virgin Money Giving page, Schauzerfest 2018 has so far raised more than £27,500.
Following nationwide events taking place today and tomorrow, the cash will go to The Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (Dbarc) in Berkshire, which treated founder Janetta Harvey’s Schnauzer in 2014.