Walk is given royal blessing

This Is Wiltshire: Mandy Taylor, from Blunsdon, has organised a sponsored dog walk and has received a royal letter from Charles and Camilla Mandy Taylor, from Blunsdon, has organised a sponsored dog walk and has received a royal letter from Charles and Camilla

A SPONSORED walk to help pets with cancer has been given a royal seal of approval.

Pet carer Mandy Taylor, who runs Crackerbury in Blunsdon, received a letter and a phone call from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall after they found out about a sponsored walk she organised to help the Cambridge Veterinary School Trust.

She was told to contact them by the duchess’ former husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles. who had been at the veterinary school with his Labrador.

“I had a phone call from Andrew Parker-Bowles after he found out about my fundraising. I had a long chat with him and he said he had heard about my fundraising for the cancer unit at the veterinary school because his dog had been there for treatment,” she said.

“He told me to promise I would write to Prince Charles and Camilla.”

Mandy’s dog walk fundraiser will see about 40 dogs and their owners walking for about an hour on July 8.

The pet carer, who has raised about £3,000 in four years for the unit, wrote to the royals after receiving the phone call.

“This week I had a letter from them saying they couldn’t attend. Then I had a phone call from Prince Charles,” she said.

“He was so nice and so down to earth. I spoke to Camilla as well. They said they wouldn’t be able to come but asked me to send a photo of the day.

“I was relaxed but I felt like a lump of jelly. I just thought to myself this is the first and probably the last time you will speak to them.”

The dog walk on July 8 will see the fundraisers walking from The White Hart Inn in Ashton Keynes and back. A raffle and activities will be held afterwards.

Mandy has also organised another walk, which is just for Labradors, on August 5.

She started raising funds for the unit four years ago after her late dog, Tarka, had treatment there.

Her business is named after her previous dog, Cracker, who died of spleen cancer.

“It is hard work but it is so rewarding,” she said.

For more information about Mandy’s fundraising visit www.pet-carer-crackerbury.co.uk.

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