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It’s a dog’s life at Lockmeadow’s first Doggy Funday

Lockdowns led to an increase in dog ownership. Funday will offer advice on how to prepare your dog as you return to work

Tomorrow (July 18) sees the first Doggy Fete Funday being held by Lockmeadow and Maidstone Market with a host of events including training demonstrations and advice for those returning to the office and leaving their furry friends post-lockdown.

The day’s programme brings together a combination of fun activities for the dog and all the family to enjoy, local animal charities, including Battersea’s Brands centre, Foal Farm Animal Rescue and even a doggy ice cream van. The aim is to bring pet owners together for a family fun day out with core welfare messages. 

Maidstone mayor Cllr Fay Gooch will be opening the inaugural event and says: “I am absolutely delighted that Lockmeadow is holding such a terrific event as the Doggy Funday.  I am a dog owner myself, so I know how important dogs are to so many of us, and they have been a lifeline for a lot of people during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“It’s great to know that we can all get together at the Funday this weekend and celebrate all things canine. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Maidstone mayor Cllr Fay Gooch

Alexa Kersting-Woods, the council’s leisure services manager, adds: “After a year of lockdown we are pleased to be able to start bringing events back to the Lockmeadow Market areas. Many people aren’t even aware of the market hall there unless they have attended auctions in the past. We are showing new audiences what a fantastic space we have to host events and widen our offering as a part of Maidstone’s town centre.

“We have wanted to host a doggy funday and fete for a long time. The boom of pet ownership during lockdown gives us the perfect opportunity to do this now.”

Alexa Kersting-Woods, Maidstone Council leisure services manager

The Lockmeadow Doggy Fete has been designed to include a number of training demonstrations which many new dog owners wouldn’t have been able to attend during those first few months with their pup due to Covid restrictions. The event will also include several animal charities including three rescue organisations which can offer advice on long-life care for a dog.

During the day there will be a great collection of doggy-related stall holders including made to measure clothes, food and nutrition, a dog portrait artist, dog groomers, a dog bakery and anti-theft accessories.

One charity attending is Battersea Dogs and Cats. Michelle Bevan, a spokesperson for Battersea, said: “Now that restrictions are lifting it is great to be back out in the community, talking to local pet owners and offering expert advice.

“Over the past year or so many people have welcomed a new dog into their homes and may now need support as they start to face the long-term responsibilities of owning a pet. As lockdown ends and we all start to spend more time away from home, it is crucial that owners know how to prepare their pets for the changes ahead, and we’ll be sharing tips about this and much more. We can’t wait to meet lots of dogs and their owners and we hope that visitors enjoy a really fun and informative day out!”

The event takes place between 11am-3pm and has training tip demonstrations every 15 minutes. Maidstone Radio will be broadcasting live from the event.

To find out more about Lockmeadow and the Doggy Fete please go to the website.  

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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