Inspired by her own pooch Rossi, gardener Tracy Jones came up with the idea for the first Bring Your Dog Day at Bodnant Garden, which was a huge success. She is now looking forward to the next…and the next…
Tuesday, January 15, was the first day Bodnant Garden has allowed dogs into its grounds. It was a cold but sunny day, perfect for a dog walk in this beautiful place. I had no idea how many folk would turn up with their dogs but at 11am, when the gates opened, there was already one waiting to come in – a beautiful Golden Retriever called Poppy and her owners. I was so pleased as they were familiar faces from Bryn Eryn where I often walk my own dog Rossi.
From then on until last entry at 2.30pm a steady stream continued to make their way through the gates. In total, more than 50 dogs visited, all shapes and sizes, ranging from a tiny Chihuahua puppy with its two mates to a pair of handsome German Shepherds, both rescue dogs. All were very well behaved and seemed to enjoy the fuss being made of them by me and the other Bodnant staff and volunteers. The free biscuits went down well too!
I met some really great people (a few were folk I see regularly when out with Rossi) but they all had one thing in common – they love their dogs. The atmosphere throughout the whole day was brilliant. At one point I heard that there was quite a large group of people with their dogs around the brazier down in The Dell enjoying the soup on offer and having a good old chin-wag. That’s the thing about dogs…they just get people talking to each other. I know, I’ve certainly made some good friends while out and about with Rossi.
And what about Rossi? What can I say? How cute was he as a pup and how handsome he is now three years later…as you can see from the photos. It’s been three years of some stress and worry but also a lot of fun. He’s turned into my best mate and makes me smile every day.
But he’s not the only photogenic dog out there! Why not bring your camera at the weekend, take some pictures of yours enjoying Bodnant Garden and share them with us on our Facebook page. There are plenty of lovely flowering shrubs out at the moment, especially in our new Winter Garden, providing great photo opportunities.
To everyone who came to the first Bring Your Dog Day I’d like to say thanks for your support and for filling in the comment cards as this has encouraged us to add some more dates and to try a weekend event. So please come again and spread the word to all your dog walking friends…who knows where it might lead?
Due to demand the next Bring Your Dog Day at Bodnant has been extended to a four day event from February 9 to 12, Saturday to Tuesday. Another will follow on Tuesday, March 12, and we are considering a regular programme for the future. For more information see the Contact Us page.