Falkirk to host Great British Dog Walk - here’s what you need to know to sign up

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Dogs and their walkers from all over Scotland are expected to descend on Helix Park later this month for The Kelpies Great British Dog Walk.

Run by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, this popular event is now in its fifth year and is coming to Falkirk for the first time on Saturday, March 23.

Hearing dog puppy,Troy.

Hearing dog puppy,Troy.

The event is one of 17 fun-filled walks taking place around the UK helping to ensure more hearing dogs can be trained to bring life-changing benefits to deaf people and help them reconnect with their family, friends, and community around them.

There will be two walk options available at Helix Park on the day – either a 3km or a 7.5km route, making it ideal for dog owners, families, single walkers and organised walking groups.

Hearing dog owner, Alison Delaney said: “At home my dog Lenny is my ears, alerting me every day to important sounds that I would normally miss, like the alarm clock, oven timer and in an emergency, the smoke alarm.

“He doesn’t only give me practical assistance though; he provides lots of emotional support, helps me to feel less isolated and when I am out and people see him, he really breaks the ice and his burgundy jacket tells people I have hearing loss, which really helps.

“People are amazed by what Lenny does for me and I really can’t put into words just how much easier my life is because of him.

“Everyone who walks the Great British Dog Walk will be helping Hearing Dogs for Deaf People to train another hearing dog that will change someone’s life just like Lenny has changed mine.”

It costs around £40,000 to fully train and support a hearing dog like Lenny for the duration of its life and individuals can help by either getting people to sponsor them or by fundraising for hearing dog puppy Troy’s training journey.

Troy is a cocker spaniel puppy who has just began his training.

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Chris Other, director of audiology at Specsavers, which supports the Great British Dog Walk, said: “If every person taking part raised just £10 the charity could train another dog to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds that they would otherwise miss and give them a lifetime of companionship and emotional support.”

There is a free limited-edition Great British Dog Walk dog bandana for each adult ticket purchased.

There will be family activities at the Helix event as well as stalls with gifts and refreshments.

Tickets to each event are £10 in advance or £12 on the day. To sign-up visit www.greatbritishdogwalk.org