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SARDA Wales Collection Day With Our Four Legged Friends!

On Saturday Kevin Thomas and I spent the day at Snowdon railway station in Llanberis, North Wales collecting donations for SARDA Wales.    

From 8am until 4.30pm we met members of the public, taking the dogs on walkabout to meet people waiting for the Snowdon train, answering questions and giving advice to people wanting to climb Snowdon (some better equipped than others!).  The Platform Grill took very good care of us with free refreshments all day – and the dogs did well out of our leftovers!  We also had dog teams on the summit every day.

Kevin collected with me all day, above and beyond the call of duty, and I was amazed at just how much he knew about the dogs and how they work – maybe he does listen to me after all!  We rely on our partners and spouses not only to help with collections but also to commiserate and cook a hot dinner when it has been a wet and cold training weekend, put up with wet kit all over the house, cry with us when a dog is lost to old age, worry with us when one of the dogs is ill, get up with us in the middle of the night when the callout comes……. 
 
In the photos below I am cuddling Search Dog Cluanie who belongs to SARDA Wales chairman Helen. Cluanie has had three finds since she qualified as a search dog. Kevin is seen with Search Dog Scout. In the other photo, the older dog on the left is Celyn, a 14-year old retired search dog who has had countless finds and saved many lives.
 
The dogs were wonderfully behaved and put up with endless cuddles and photo calls when they would far rather have been out searching, although the photo of Celyn and Cluanie together was at the end of a long day when they had had enough!  Celyn, in particular, could have been forgiven for thinking she had earned her stripes and a quiet life - no such luck!
 
Last year we raised £1500 at the Bank Holiday collection and we are hoping to improve on that this year.
 
It takes about £20,000 a year to run SARDA Wales, which is run entirely by volunteers and funded by public donations. The team are on call 24/7, and cover all of North Wales, North Powys and will also go out to Cheshire and Shropshire when needed. The dogs are all family pets of the handlers.  

I've been a member for 7 years, and Lanyon Bowdler do their bit by allowing me time off for training and callouts.

For more information on the work of SARDA Wales go to www.sardawales.org.uk

 
Caroline & Search Dog Cluanie         Kevin & Search Dog Scout

 Retired Search Dog Celyn & Search Dog Cluanie