They converged like a battalion from far and wide with a common purpose – with dogged determination from the more distant environs of Salisbury, Rochester, Brighton and Ipswich – as well as plenty of reinforcements from London and the Home Counties. Such was the size of our tartan army of Scotties that they broke all records. At 23 yes this army was marching to their own tune and could smell victory within the day.

The royal grounds of Bushy Park, once upon a time frequented by King Henry VIII and his deer, suddenly became populated by a Scottie clan keen to make this corner of South West London their own for the first Walkabout of 2024 held on Sunday 24 March. More recent history informs us that Bushy was the stomping ground of one Scottie-loving American General who went on to become a US President, Dwight Eisenhower.

A bright and sunny springtime afternoon – what could be more enticing than to be in the company of a vast Scottie army? Well, the stars shone brightly from the youngest at only 4 months – Duddley – alongside others that were only a little older including Archie and Brighton-based Bondy. So many new faces were part of the happy gathering as well as other more seasoned campaigners including Hector who took it all in his long stride. What was also pleasing to see was the spit and polish elegance of this army. All the Scotties were well groomed save for Pikush and Pudding who looked like wartime barrage balloons on account of a thorough wash but desperately in need of a handstrip.

First we had to confirm the rank of all present. So the familiar scanner came out for the obligatory QR codes as Members displayed their badges with pride.

After a rallying call from leader George (Patton) Matlock, we set forth on the walk passing by the Model Boating and Heron Ponds. With so many dogs in the group there was quite a stretch from the advance reconnaissance pack (Ted, Bondy, Ozzie, Joy and Clyde) to those that were defending the rear position. Other dog walkers seemed bemused as they encountered this proud and loud Scottie force, one commenting that he felt transported, Matrix-like, back to the 1930s when the breed was enjoying heights of popularity.

According to our records, we were also joined last-minute by Isla and her mum Heather. Members since 2019 it was their first Walkabout and their membership predated our Member Tag system. So we class that a Private in the ranks 🙂

There was a joining of forces at the Eisenhower Memorial, an opportunity for George to debrief the troops of the US Presidents that have owned Scotties over the years and indeed Eisenhower himself who was so pivotal to influence the wartime conflict.  An opportunity for pictures to be taken with herds of deer nervously watching from afar.  In fact, the deer hordes retreated in rather a sheepish goosestep when they saw the advancing Scottie army from London Scottie Club. All dogs were appropriately harnessed so there were no problems, other than the occasional spat between those Scotties keen to establish pack influence. No name, no pack-drill as the saying goes…

Nearby there was a further opportunity for pictures and videos beside a large fallen tree. Not a tree lost in battle. It was evident at this stage – with further Scotties reinforcements having joined the fun via the Teddington Gate – that there was a record Walkabout attendance for London Scottie Club, so pleasing to see. Everyone then marched over to enjoy refreshments at the Pheasantry café and with so many of our dogs victory howling around the tables following prompting by Nessie (at an imaginary moon?) there was quite a stir in what would normally be an oasis of coffee and cake calm. More pictures were taken near some café railings with Lady Aggie doing her best to disassociate herself from proceedings. She seemed to nip over the Berlin Wall for this. But she didn’t succeed getting far!

Special and huge thanks to Doug who made a great Carrot cake plus choc cup cakes to share with the owners whilst the Scotties had plenty of treats to wolf down. Wider thanks to everybody who made this such a special occasion simply by being there with their dogs – apologies that there wasn’t a chance to name them all!!

Looking forward to the next Walkabout in June.

And to whet your appetite, below is a series of photos and videos from the special day.


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