The River Tyne inspired Skipper captured the heart of Sunderland based Melanie Saint after seeing him on the local news. Mel was quickly drawn into the Great North Snowdog trail and decided to incorporate her love of the Snowdogs with getting fit.
“After seeing a piece on the local news about Great North Snowdogs I immediately downloaded the app and decided I wanted to see as many dogs as possible. It became a real hobby for me, I would take half days off work and fit as many dogs into the afternoon as I could.
“I decided to do the trail on foot and using public transport so being out in the fresh air and seeing places I hadn’t before was really interesting for me. The trail was quite an adventure, it was a fantastic experience and in total I walked over 30 miles visiting all of the dogs. It was fantastic exercise and the trail turned into a fitness thing for me.”
Mel came along to the Great North Snowdogs Farewell Event which is where she decided she would love to have a dog of her own. Mel explains:
“When I first found out the Snowdogs were going to be auctioned off I jokingly said I’d love to buy one. However, after the farewell event and as the auction got closer I decided that I really wanted one. I had a list of about six to eight dogs that I liked but Skipper stood out as I’d met his artist at the event and that really piqued my interest in him.
“I had a budget in mind but on the night of the auction I had to reassess it as I was determined to get my own dog. The auction was the day after my birthday so I decided to treat myself! I bid online and when Skipper came up the link went down. My heart was in my mouth but by the time the internet reconnected I had won the auction. I was over the moon to win him!”
Skipper now lives in Mel’s back garden and she is so proud of him they are having a special plinth made for him to stand on.
“It’s so lovely owning my own Snowdog and knowing that the money went to such a worthy cause makes it even more special. I’ve had a fantastic reaction from friends when they’ve found out about him. I hope there is another trail in the region as I’d love to take part again.”
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