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Dogs’ day out in aid of canine charity

Betsy Duncan Smith with Rebecca Dedman and Yogi the Bernese Mountain Dog, winner of the handsome dog competition.
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Betsy Duncan Smith with Rebecca Dedman and Yogi the Bernese Mountain Dog, winner of the handsome dog competition. 130317M-B493 ENGPNL00120130317152145

Dogs that can run, jump, retrieve or even do tricks will be out in force at a charity fundraiser in Swanbourne on Sunday, March 23.

Dogs’ Day Out brings together working dogs and family pets with a variety of fun events and challenges for canine companions – all to raise money for Great Horwood-based charity Medical Detection Dogs.

See who can clock up the fastest time over the Fun Dog Scurry course, take part in the Novelty Dog Show, or have a go at the proper Gun Dog Scurry events.

Human companions, meanwhile, can enjoy a barbecue, tea and cakes, country stalls, tractor rides, games and a raffle to win a clay pigeon shooting lesson.

Pupils from Winslow’s Sir Thomas Fremantle School will be running their own stall in support of the charity.

Taking place from 11am to 3pm in the Old Park at Swanbourne House School, Dogs’ Day Out is the brainchild of a local fundraising team led by Kerry Gurman and Betsy Duncan Smith.

Mrs Duncan Smith said: “We held Dogs’ Day Out for the first time last year and the weather was truly atrocious, ranging from snow to torrential rain. But we still had great support and managed to raise more than £2,000.

“This year we are hoping for a glimpse of sunshine and are determined to raise even more for this deserving charity.”

Medical Detection Dogs works in partnership with researchers, NHS trusts and universities to train specialist dogs to detect the odour of human diseases such as cancer, Type 1 diabetes and Addison’s disease.

Medical alert assistance dogs are trained to identify subtle human odour changes and alert their owners to dangerously fluctuating blood sugar levels in the case of diabetics or changes in cortisol levels for people with Addison’s disease.

They can also be trained to warn people with severe peanut allergies.

Cancer cells release small amounts of volatile substances. Cancer detection Dogs are being trained to detect these volatiles in urine and tissue samples and the charity is working with doctors and scientists to develop an effective, early cancer screening system.

Mrs Duncan Smith, herself a cancer survivor, is a trustee of Medical Detection Dogs.

She said: “I went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy after a late diagnosis of breast cancer in July 2009 and visited Medical Detection Dogs, having heard about their unique research into early detection.

“I was invited to become a trustee in September 2012.

“The work the charity is doing is truly pioneering and has the potential to benefit not only those whose lives are transformed by being united with an alert dog, but also in the early detection of cancer, which is vital in preventing the spread of the disease.”

 

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