Dog Show volunteers host ‘Doggie Dash’ at Chiswick House as part of The Big Help Out

Image above: Doggie Dash winners: Manners and his family

Dog Show volunteer drive success after event draws over 50 competitors

As part of the coronation celebrations this weekend, volunteers who run the annual Chiswick Dog Show in September braved the weather to organise a ‘Doggie Dash’ on the Western Lawn of Chiswick House & Gardens.

Chiswick House was taking part in the Big Help Out, the national campaign to raise awareness of volunteering opportunities which enable people to make a positive impact in their local communities.

Around 50 dogs of various shapes and sizes were timed as they sprinted along a 30-meter stretch of the Western Lawn, enthusiastically racing towards their owners. The free event, led by Jan Preece, Chair of the Chiswick Dog Show was organised in the hope of attracting some more volunteers for the Dog Show, scheduled for 24 September this year and their efforts paid off as they were recruited approximately more than 20 new volunteers.

The competitors’ timings were meticulously recorded on A-boards in three categories: small dogs, medium dogs, and large dogs.

Image above: Pip and his owner (left), Coco and her family (right); 

Fastest dog ran 30m in 2.93 seconds

Pip emerged as the victor in the larger dogs category, completing the dash in an impressive time of 3.3 seconds. Coco claimed victory in the Small category with a time of 3.7 seconds. However, the true star of the day was Manners, who triumphed in the Medium category, finishing the dash in a just 2.93 seconds.

Every participant in the Doggie Dash was rewarded with a canvas tote bag from Dog Town, the pet shop on Chiswick High Road. They received a grooming voucher and treats from Brian Recommends Dog Treats, a local company based in Shepherd’s Bush, as well as a voucher for more dog treats, while the humans were presented with a bottle of white wine.

While some dogs exhibited a nonchalant attitude and ran in the opposite direction or turned back midway, most got the hang of it, shooting down the 30-meter stretch with enthusiasm.

There werew some however who refused to take part, circling the racing zone instead, barking and playing throughout the event, to the chagrin of their exasperated owners. One told The Chiswick Calendar: “This is the most un-relaxing thing ever”.

Meanwhile, the dogs were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Images above: Some dogs were enthusiastic, others were slackers…

Volunteers clean Chiswick House and tend to its gardens

Chiswick House & Gardens joined thousands of organisations across the UK in welcoming volunteers as part of The Big Help Out. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour Leader Keir Starmer, and members of the Royal Family, along with numerous national organisations, embraced voluntary roles for the day.

The Chiswick House & Gardens Trust expressed gratitude for the support of its funders, members, and patrons, as well as the invaluable contributions of over 180 volunteers who help maintain the gardens’ splendour for the thousands of visitors each year.

Volunteers were invited to work with the Chiswick House & Gardens Trust’s regular gardening team, assisting with tasks such as weeding invasive species and developing habitat areas. People who preferred indoor work joined the spring cleaning team with Director of the Grade-I listed Neo-Palladian villa, Xanthe Arvanitakis.

Jobs included delicately dusting the interior using conservator-approved brushes and cloths, and meticulously cleaning the stonework on the front and back exterior stairways.

Image above: Chiswick House and Gardens Director Xanthe Arvanitakis (bottom right) and volunteers cleaning Chiswick House’s staircase

Images above: Volunteer gardeners spreading manure on the Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House

Volunteer at Chiswick House and Gardens

If you would like to volunteer at Chiswick House, they advertise for volunteers ontheir website when they need them.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar