LISBON WITNESSED the largest gathering of dogs in Portugal of every breed, size and colour last Sunday at Monsanto Park. It was the city’s attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records and included a 5km walk through the park.
However, it failed to beat the UK record of 5,017 animals, with 2,840 registered for the walk. Sponsored by pet food giant Pedigree and organised by Lisbon Câmara, dog lovers had started gathering at the registration points from midday onwards for the 2.30pm walk.
Each dog was duly registered under its own name, the name of its owner and contact number, and participants were given dog snacks, a yellow T-shirt and plenty of free water to sustain them on the two hour ramble.
There were the smallest dogs in the world (Chihuahuas) to the mighty St Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain Dog, as well as the famous Serra da Estrela.
Co-ordinator Raul Andrade said: “this event is not only about trying to beat records, it’s also a chance for people, who adore dogs, to get together and show a certain solidarity and pride.”
The Resident’s Chris Graeme spoke to Vasco Lechner, 38, from Oeiras, who brought along his huge white and brown Pyrenean Mountain Dog, which, evidently, was the largest dog among the thousands that took part. “My dog Axel is something of a star here today. So many people have asked me what breed it is and complimented me on having such a lovely dog,” said the café owner.
The event was also a chance for the canine industry to promote their products and there were plenty of dog freebies given away. For the children and adults, there were coffee and cold drink stands, candy-floss and popcorn. To keep order and also show off their own guard dogs, the GNR were very much in evidence.
For those who wanted a souvenir of the walk, mini photo developing labs were set up half way along the course where, for a few cents, you could search through the data base and find your faithful pooch and have it printed out.