Bonnybridge dog walker raises £1100 for Breast Cancer Now with help from pink-clad pooches

Elaine Johnston (right) is pictured with her daughter, Claire, and some of the dogs she walked for charity. Picture: Michael Gillen
Elaine Johnston (right) is pictured with her daughter, Claire, and some of the dogs she walked for charity. Picture: Michael Gillen

A determined dog walker has raised more than £1100 for Breast Cancer Now by pounding the pavements with a gang of pink-clad pooches.

Elaine Johnston (50) took inspiration from this year’s Wear it Pink day on October 19 and decided to go one better, instead spending an entire week fundraising for the charity alongside her eye-catching band of pups.

The Bonnybridge woman, who runs The Muttley Crew dog walking service, wanted to spread the effort out over seven days to include all of the 50-plus pooches she caters for.

As well as the opportunity the initiative afforded Elaine to dress up the dogs in their fetching outfits, her decision was primarily motivated by the impact breast cancer has had on her personally.

Elaine’s older sister, Caroline, was diagnosed with the disease but has been given the all clear.

Other relatives and close friends of hers have also been fortunate enough to see off breast cancer.

That’s why Elaine was so pleased to secure £1110 for Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest cancer research charity.

She said: “I thought I would do a wee bit more than the one day because not everybody is as lucky — I thought I would be lucky to get £250.

“My big sister came through breast cancer a few years ago and she’s one of the lucky ones.

“I’ve had close friends and family who have come through.

“So for the whole week we were out wearing pink.

“Because I don’t walk some of the dogs every single day I thought it was a bit unfair that for the rest of the week they couldn’t join in.

“Another girl, Christina from Collies Canine Capers in Denny, helped out.

“The collars and the kits were the customers’ but I went to the fancy dress shop in Falkirk and bought a roll of satin.

“Some of the dogs’ owners paid in money and the rest was paid over Facebook.”

Since her week-long dog walking exploits, Elaine has been asked by staff at Tesco if she will also take part in next year’s Race For Life event for Cancer Research UK on their behalf.

The responses she and the dogs received from passers-by, combined with the cash they accumulated, has given Elaine food for thought for future fundraising events. For now, though, she just wants to credit her supporters.

Elaine added: “Thanks to everybody that donated, the final amount was outstanding.”