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Best selling children’s author treks coastal path for the love of dogs

22 Mar 2022 3 minute read
“Tired Street Dog” by FotoGrazio is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A best selling children’s author is today finishing a 186-mile trek of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path to raise money for a charity supporting dogs on the streets.

Gill Lewis is the author of numerous animal themed stories for younger readers including A Street Dog Named Pup, Swan Song (shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og awards) and Sky Hawk, which was adapted and staged by Tim Baker for Theatr Clwyd in 2013.

Initially qualifying and working as a vet her writing has been inspired and informed by her extensive travels from ‘the wilds of Africa to the frozen lands of the Arctic’ before she returned to university to learn the craft of writing stories for young people and has not looked back.

Gill has been walking the coastal path in Pembrokshire through March, aiming to raise money for Dogs on the Streets (DOTS), a charity which started with an outreach service offering veterinary and welfare support to homeless people with dogs and has since rolled out the service to cities across the UK.

With a fully equipped mobile veterinary surgery vehicle allowing ease of access to dogs in need, DOTS ensures all the essential items and services are provided for free every week, including food provisions to new harnesses and leads plus training and grooming sessions.

In her fundraiser, Gill says: “For people living on the streets, the companionship of a dog can make all the difference – that unique bond between human and dog, offering friendship and a lifeline to many.

“The charity offers regular services including veterinary care and provisions from food to new harnesses and leads.

“I will be walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path starting at Amroth, and finishing, quite fittingly, at St Dogmaels, with my two border collies, Ned and Orla.”

‘Huge challenge’

In a tweet preparing for the last day of the walk, she said: “I have 7 more miles to go of my 186-mile walk. It’s been a huge challenge & one I thought I might not achieve. It’s for @dotslondon providing care for animals of UK homeless community & recently on Ukraine border helping people’s animals from war zone.

“It’s a huge achievement for me, as 3 years ago I could barely walk quarter of a mile as I suffered poly myalgia rheumatica I can’t quite believe I’ve almost finished the walk. Donations and kind words will help me over the finish line tomorrow”

The charity is now also lending its support to the people of Ukraine and their animals, displaced by the war and in need of medical assistance.

The charity website says: “We are loaning our mobile custom designed vet vehicle for them to make this trip safely and securely as well as providing all medical essentials, medication needed as well as fuel, Insurance, indemnity insurance and any essentials needed to complete this trip successfully for both animals and the team.

“We will also be supporting any animals that can make the journey here in the near future (due to quarantine protocols) to stay at our 4-acre sanctuary in the UK.”

You can donate to Gill’s fundraiser here

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