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THE PACK MEETS THE HERD

BySortedPR

Oct 13, 2019 #Entertainment, #Herd

A pack of Elmer fans have worked like …well, like dogs …to complete the North East’s biggest free public art trail in record time.

The family of six Siberian huskies, a boxer, a Staffordshire bull terrier and a Rottweiler cross, have not only visited each of the 50 sculptures that make up Elmer’s Great North Parade, but they completed the trail in just three days.

And, it would have been sooner, had owners Sammie McCormick and Cheryl Waddell not needed to fit the visits around their jobs.

The couple, from Consett, Co Durham, have completed several similar trails in cities across the UK and took their four-legged friends around the Great North Snowdogs trail when it came to the region in 2016.

“We were delighted when we heard about Elmer ‘s Great North Parade,” said Sammie, a 30-year-old retail assistant, “so we got in the car and headed to Tyneside.

“The trail has been great for the dogs – we did as much of it on foot as we could so they got plenty of exercise and it is always good for them to go to places they have not visited before – it helps stimulate them and improves their social skills.”

The nine-strong pack is comprised of six bitches; Ice, Tikana, Onyx, Kiska, Loki and Roxy and three dogs, Torro, Sox and Rollo – all aged between one and 11.

“It was quite a challenge taking them around busy areas of the trail such as Newcastle city centre,” said Sammie, “because they get quite easily distracted.

“But on the whole they have been very well behaved and became very good at sitting nicely so we could take a picture of them with each of the Elmers.”

Elmer’s Great North Parade is organised by, and raising funds for St Oswald’s Hospice. Project lead, Jane Hogan, said: “It has been a huge hit with people of all ages – but we never expected it to have so many four-legged fans.

“We have loved seeing Sammie and Cheryl’s pictures of their furry family enjoying the trail.”

The Parade will draw to a close on 1 November and there will be a last chance to see the 50-strong herd – and the 114 smaller Elmers – at a Farewell Event on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 November.

The event – which will be dog friendly, too – will be held at Newcastle Racecourse from 10am to 4pm each day and the first hour on the Sunday will be a relaxed environment for those who find busy environments challenging.

Online tickets are priced at £5 per adult (age 16+), £3 per child (age 4-15) and children aged three and under will be admitted free of charge.

A £16 family ticket admits up four people including at least one adult and booking fees and VAT apply to all online sales.

Online tickets will be available at the price above until 5 November, after which there will be a small price increase for tickets paid for on the door.

For more information or to book tickets for the farewell event, visit https://www.stoswaldsuk.org/elmer/whats-on/elmers-farewell-weekend/

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