Words and photos by Dave Barry
About 150 West Highland terriers were taken for a walk on Filey beach one sunny Sunday morning.
Any unsuspecting walkers, who didn’t know they were witnessing the town’s sixth biannual Westie walk, may have been surprised to see so many dogs of the same breed.
They assembled at West Avenue carpark and strolled down the Ravine to the beach.
For many, that was as far as they got, although many more walked to Primrose Valley and back.
Most of the dogs were understandably excited but remained good-tempered, with only the odd bit of growling and snarling here and there.
Most were off the leash, running around everywhere, sniffing each other’s bottoms.
One had a GoPro camera strapped to its back; another wore a fluorescent coat emblazoned with the words ‘Filey beach Westie walkers’.
At one point, a woman was heard asking if anyone had seen her Westie as she had lost it. Even with the red scarves attached to many collars, it would have been hard spotting your own.
Organiser Maureen Dunn said 126 dogs were registered in the carpark but some were already on the beach.
The dogs (and their owners) travelled from various parts of the country including Durham and Cramlington in the north to Welwyn Garden City and Taunton in the south.
After the walk, everyone gathered at the Belle Vue for an auction, stalls and a raffle.
“We ask each walker to donate £1 per dog and 50p per human”, Maureen says. “We raised £1,680.76 which was made up to £1,700 by one kind member”.
The proceeds go to animal-rescue charities including Yorkshire Coast Rescue, Many Tears, West Yorkshire Animals in Need and one chosen by the Belle Vue.
Maureen has organised two Westie walks a year for three years.
There is usually a bigger turnout for the first one of the year, in June.
The first year’s walks raised about £500. Last year’s raised £1,200 and the walk in June this year raised £1,700.