We have universally felt a profound sadness, this week, at the loss of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II.
In considering whether to proceed with the planned Serpentine walk on Sunday, the LSC committee decided to go ahead. The Queen loved dogs, dogs need walking, and we could dedicate the walk to her. Which we did.
One obituary last week read: “The Queen loved horses and people who love horses. The Queen loved dogs, and people who love dogs.”
Yet the mood on meeting was not sombre. Indeed it is difficult to imagine a meet-up of Scotties to be anything else but joyful, which it was. Particularly as when we met at Hyde Park’s Victoria Gate, we were happy to welcome Carol and Edith back, after a difficult year. We took the obligatory ‘group shots’, all the Scotties performed well for the cameras, especially when bribed by a variety of tasty treats. Ben graced us, minus ten teeth, with a big gappy smile which made all the onlookers resolve to brush their dogs teeth more regularly.
But the walk was dedicated to Her Majesty, and she was very much on our minds as we traced a path along the lake at the heart of Hyde Park, the Serpentine, our intended walkabout route. The park itself was not crowded thanks to a large police presence which kept up a constant vigil for any signs of trouble. The Scotties were in fine form, and suitably well behaved. Only Edith and Ben took to the forbidden waters!
As we walked, talking about the sad events of the week, we were approached by many members of the public and two policemen, all who admired the dogs and had dog related stories to tell. These included tales of arrests made outside Buckingham Palace! Not everyone behaving as politely as they should.
The crowds making for Green Park and Buckingham Palace increased as we walked along the lake, so we decided to stop at a handy kiosk for tea/cake/ice creams and many, many dog treats. Bronte made all dogs jealous as she finished off Elaine’s cone. Archie slept on Carol’s feet while Edith and Ben kept up a sustained guerrilla raid on the bags holding cakes.
People talked of their personal grief over her Majesty’s death, which blended with doggy stories and the usual helpful tips on Scottie ailments. The sunshine, and a bittersweet bathos suffused the assembled group’s environs.
So familiar, yet, suddenly so altered.
Finally, after an hour or so, we all said our goodbyes and started for the gates.
A strangely moving, yet happy walkabout.
We share some of the photos taken at this Walkabout in a gallery below.