A couple who have dedicated hours of their time to the dogs at the MSPCA’s Ard Jerkyll rescue centre have been nominated for an Isle of Man Newspapers’ Pride in Mann award.
Lynne and Peter Callister from Glen Vine have given up a large part of their evenings, weekends and bank holidays for a number of years and their names were put forward by the MSPCA’s Margaret Mansfield.
Hearing about their nomination, Lynne said: ‘We were both surprised and delighted to be nominated although it was very unexpected to be nominated for something we enjoy doing.
‘We find walking and socialising with the dogs at the MSPCA a very rewarding way of using some of our spare time and hopefully some of the readers might like to volunteer too, which would be great.’
Peter added: ‘Lynne initially wanted to help out at a charity in the island and around the time we started looking at various organisations we heard the MSPCA was looking for volunteer dog walkers. We thought it would suit us down to the ground as we both love animals and walking - and it was cheaper than the gym. It’s also quite close to our home in Glen Vine.
‘We visited, spoke to the manager, filled in the forms and started walking that day - and have been ever since.’
After starting off with just one dog, the couple now take out several dogs over each weekend, often for a two or three hour walk in one of the plantations: ‘It’s very rewarding as the dogs tend to form bonds very quickly and are soon jumping around excitably when they see us. Many rescue dogs find kennels a daunting place so getting them out for walks or just socialising helps them a lot.’
She said an added bonus was the people they met on the walks, many of whom are kind enough to offer donations for the charity: ‘One lady cyclist in particular, often stops to chat and pushes a £5 note into our hands, ‘‘to help the dogs’’, which is lovely and we thank her.’
Lynne added: ‘We would love to adopt a dog eventually, but at the moment we just love to walk the MSPCA dogs as they need it so much.’
Pride in Mann is an awards scheme from Isle of Man Newspapers and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which aims to recognise unsung heroes in the Manx community. Nominate online at prideinmann.com