Animal Friends Blog
Fundraising for Streetvet
Phil and his dog, Lucky, have been walking around the UK since mid-July, aiming to cover over 2000 miles, to raise much-needed funds to help pets in need belonging to the homeless community with the StreetVet programme.
Phil and Lucky look very upbeat for a pair that has just walked 1100 miles, especially considering they still have another 900 to go! Traversing the length and breadth of the UK for StreetVet, Phil and his constant companion, Lucky the Staffordshire Bull Terrier have reason to be cheerful, though. After all, they have over a thousand followers on Facebook and are doing exactly what they set out to do – raising money and spreading the word about a cause Phil cares passionately about.
Long distances in beautiful surroundings
“It’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other,” he says, jovially. “And Lucky is doing really well.” When asked about his highlights so far, he’s quick to mention the scenery.
“It’s been lovely”, he says. “Especially Snowdonia. Wales was beautiful.” It’s hard for him to pick a favourite place, though. Phil and Lucky have now walked around the coastline of the UK from Portsmouth to Carlisle and are in their twenty-fifth county, and their third country!
Overwhelmed by the support
As well as the scenery Phil also has endless praise and gratitude for the people he and Lucky have met along the way. From people buying him a pack of flapjacks to families opening up their homes and gardens for them to stay in, Phil has been overwhelmed by the support. When asked if Lucky has bought any luck along on the walk with her he says that the people they have met have been the luckiest part of his trip by far.
“Any night we find somewhere to sleep is lucky. It’s hardest in the big cities, where wild camping isn’t safe. We have a little money for a B&B if that happens, but mostly we’ve received donated nights or stayed with kind people.”
It’s hardly surprising that Phil is receiving so much support. With his clear dedication, easy-going manner, and gorgeous dog, he’s easy company and he’s taking full advantage! Phil can often be found telling people around him about StreetVet and jokes that they are often late setting off because so many people want to talk to him before they go.
While he can’t single anyone out Phil says he’s been especially grateful for the people who have continued to support him even after he has passed through. “I’ve got a lovely lady paying for my mobile phone so I can use the internet,” he says, “and people ringing ahead and finding accommodation. It’s brilliant.”
Hard when it’s cold
Phil only got his first blister a few weeks ago, which he reckons has helped with keeping his spirits up. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing though. “The cold is the worst as I have arthritis, and some mornings I really struggle to roll up my bedroll.” With the winter looming, and still in Scotland, Phil is rightfully worried about how this will affect him going forward. Lucky is staying warm though, with a sheepskin rug and duvet to keep her cosy at night.
With 12-15 hours a day walking, and often no place to sleep organised as they set off in the morning, there’s no doubt Phil and Lucky’s journey is a daunting one, both physically and mentally. Support, care and companionship along the way, as well as seeing the donations start to add up, are essential for keeping up their drive. If you think you could help, to donate to their cause, or to follow their progress, keep up with Phil and Lucky here.
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