It was the FoGH Open Meeting at St Barnabas School this morning. It seemed very well attended and this must have really pleased the organisers. This newly formed group is doing all it can to promote the Park.
I even recognised a few people that I hadn’t even met before last Wednesday, when I first went to the Park to photograph some of the dogs and walkers. I ran a slideshow from the laptop of some of the dogs I have photographed over the past few months since the blog began and received lots of good comments, so thanks for that.
Here’s a few of the dogs that came along this morning, in between the table legs and shuffling punters.
Back over to Grosvenor Park this morning to seek out the Lazy Dog Walkers. Aptly named group. Yes, they really do just stand about in the middle of the football pitch chatting and launching tennis balls from those ball-flinger things.
Good socialising for the dogs though.
Don’t forget about the FoGH Open Meeting at St Barnabas School tomorrow morning (Saturday). I think I’m still due to go along. Might even take Barney if dogs are allowed.
Change of scenery this morning. I took Barney over to Grosvenor Park after being contacted by a local Tunbridge Wells group called Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park (FoGH).
FoGH launched in 2011 to support the Tunbridge Wells council bid for Heritage Lottery Funding. This process is still on-going and they are keen to promote use of the Park and have many events lined up for the future including an Open Meeting this Saturday (28th Jan) morning at St Barnabas School Hall.
Somebody from FoGH had seen my blog and asked whether I’d be interested in taking some pictures of the dogs that use the Park, so over I went.
I didn’t realise there was so much to it. I was born and brought up in Tunbridge Wells and have used the Park’s facilities, but only really to take the kids to the play area and the pond. There’s so much more to see further round and it’s a great dog walking space. I’ve got quite used to walking in the Southborough woods which are fairly enclosed and as a change, I really enjoyed being out in the open. Photographically, this made things simpler as I could spot dog walkers in the distance and shimmy on over.
Apparently there’s a group that meet up (could this be the Lazy Dog Walkers of Grosvenor Park?) on one of the football pitches each morning as a sort of social thing. I think I may have missed them by going a bit later but I will try to catch them in the next day or so.
Met some friendly owners and lovely dogs and I’ve grouped a few together here. Must mention Louise, the lady in red with the Westies (with the red coats). They all looked so colour coordinated. Louise sent me a lovely email after viewing my blog with suggestions about how to describe her dogs and much praise for what I was doing. There really are some nice people out there.
Suzy is a “cheeky little scamp and likes chasing squirrels, who always manage to run faster than her (thank goodness)”, she also has plenty to say for herself, unlike older and wiser April, who “is much more reserved and would rather be back at home curled up in front of the fire that traipsing round the park in the cold and wet.”
8 year old Robbie, is diabetic, needs insulin injections daily, has impaired hearing and only 25% vision.
Nina, now 4 years old, was rescued from her cruel owners at the age of one. She had been so badly kicked and punched that she had to have her front right leg removed. Luckily she was rescued by South Coulsdon RSPCA and rehomed by her loving new owner who told me Nina is “her best mate.”
Did you know that there’s a radio program dedicated to all things doggy? No, well until a couple of months ago, nor did I.
BBC London’s ‘Barking At The Moon’ show goes out every Thursday from 10-12pm on 94.9FM. The aim of the show is to celebrate all things dog.
I met the two presenters, Jo Good and Anna Webb at Discover Dogs at Earls Court last year, where they were presenting some of the awards. They very kindly asked me on the show and I’m due to go on next Thursday week (2nd Feb)* at about 10.30pm. I’ve been listening to the show ever since I found out about it and the range of guests and dog-related subjects has been rich and varied. Charities, rehoming services, doggy fashion, therapists, behavior experts, groomers, film and TV stars and nutrition (they are very big on the benefits of green tripe) have all featured.
So, I will go on and have a chat about the blog and photographing dogs. I’d love to get a couple of shots of Matilda and Molly (Jo and Anna’s dogs) for the blog post to follow. These are very special dogs indeed; the only two dogs that are allowed into Broadcasting House. Sorry Barney, no trip to London for you.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page; they are very close to 2000 likes so if you’re mad about dogs and I know there’s plenty of you out there, click on the like button.
* I had to add in an asterisk, as when I was writing this blog post this morning, Anna gave me a call as they had bumped me off the show (I was due to go on this Thursday). This was due to the fact that Charlotte Gainsbourg is in town for one night only and they had managed to book her for the show. Anglo-French actress and singer Charlotte is a real celebrity and comes from great stock being daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. How can a lowly dog snapper from Southborough compete with that?
Here’s Brian, a three year old English Springer Spaniel, who is a familiar face in the area. A lot of his siblings are still local too, including Marley, Riise, Dotty and Max.
The owner had stopped to make a call and was sitting on a log in the woods. Brian started eyeing up Barney’s stick and went in for the steal. Barney is such a wuss and gave it up far too easily for my liking. He then spent the next couple of minutes barking at Brian while he teased him about the stick. Barney is not really much of a barker but this really miffed him. Never mind Barney, plenty more sticks in the woods.
Did my Good Samaritan bit on Monday morning. When I was making my way towards the farmer’s field over towards Bidborough, I passed a woman who had a Cairn Terrier (Bibi) on a lead and was looking a little worried.
She had lost Tilly, a Patterdale Terrier who had gone off exploring and hadn’t come back. We could both hear a bit of whimpering somewhere in the woods and as she called her, Tilly would bark a little.
The area to search in was pretty thick so I put down the camera and the woman minded Barney while I waded in. Finally I found Tilly near a section of barbed wire fence. Luckily she wasn’t hurt or anything but part of her collar had got wrapped around the barbed wire and she couldn’t free herself. She just needed a helping hand and once free, happily ran back.
When I returned, I found out that the woman was looking after the dog for the owners who were away in the Caribbean. She was very grateful and only too happy for me to get a picture of the two dogs for the blog.