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Dog lover strides ahead in walking contest

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Dog lover strides ahead in walking contest

ONE girl and her dog from Dumfries have been crowned the winners of a nationwide competition.

Katie O’Brien, 18, and German Wirehaired Pointer Misty won an online contest which encouraged dog owners to keep fit and active during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Taking place between January 18 and February 12, the Dog Walk Challenge called on members of the Young Kennel Club (YKC) to make the most of their daily exercise whilst getting outside with their dogs. The challenge involved walking short distances each day to ultimately total either five or ten miles in their local area, depending on their age.

And Katie and her four legged friend traversed a total of 90 miles together within the four weeks of the challenge, achieving 80 miles further than the competition requirement.

She said: “I am over the moon to win the challenge as I have never won anything like this before. It was a super fun challenge, especially in lockdown, as it helped give me motivation and set goals for myself.

“At the moment it’s easy to feel isolated but this challenge helped me feel connected to others who were also doing the challenge and I loved seeing everyone’s progress.”

Congratulating the pair, Ben Ashcroft, Young Kennel Club chairman, said: “Ninety miles in four weeks is an incredible achievement and they should be so proud of themselves.

“We were thrilled to see so many Young Kennel Club members not only taking part in this challenge, but also supporting and encouraging each other. The pandemic has meant that our members have sadly been unable to socialise with each other at their usual members’ events, but we are so glad that this initiative has been able to keep them connected, even whilst being miles apart.”

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