Take a walk on the wild side

Go off the beaten track with your four-legged friend

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Next month’s Hu­man and K9 Ul­ti­mate Chal­lenge of­fers peo­ple and their four-legged friends a fan­tas­tic chance to es­cape the city and go off the beaten track.

The fifth edi­tion of the event takes place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 11 in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore a scenic and un­seen part of the UAE in good com­pany.

Numbers have steadily in­creased since the in­au­gu­ral chal­lenge, which took place in Jan­uary 2015, with crea­tures great and small – from great Danes to Chi­huahuas – tak­ing on the tough ter­rain.

Dogs and hu­mans will get a lot out of the event as or­gan­iser Hussain Dar­wish ex­plains: “You to­tally for­get about ev­ery­thing that has been on your mind back home or in the of­fice, be­cause at that mo­ment you have to think about where you are step­ping and where you are climb­ing and what is next for you and the dog, and the peo­ple with you.

“For the dogs there are new smells and new things to look at. It’s dif­fer­ent to any other walk they go on.”

Five dif­fer­ent groups will set off at dif­fer­ent times on a course, which has five dif­fer­ent check­points and ex­perts on hand to en­sure the safety and health of both an­i­mal and hu­man par­tic­i­pants.

Each stage will bring tougher chal­lenges, but walk­ers and pets can turn back at any time. It’s not ex­actly your ev­ery day walk in the park, but the safety as­pect is hugely im­por­tant to the or­gan­is­ers, who have al­ready staged three events in the moun­tains and one in the desert. Hussain ex­plains: “This is a dif­fer­ent kind of event, be­cause we go to a place where cars and bikes can’t go. Only leg­work and hard work will get you there. So we have to think about the safety as­pect, not only for the peo­ple tak­ing the chal­lenge but for the dogs as well. We have some­one as­sess the dogs with­out peo­ple know­ing, to see if they are friendly or not. Ag­gres­sive dogs are not al­lowed.” With so many apart­ments in Dubai, not ev­ery­one can live with man’s best friend. Or­gan­is­ers are en­cour­ag­ing keen walk­ers to adopt a dog for the day ei­ther from K9 Friends (k9friends.com) or Ras Al Khaimah an­i­mal wel­fare (rakawc.com) Pre­vi­ous chal­lenges have found new homes for 28 dogs. Hussain says: “We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to take the dogs out and ex­er­cise more. “There are peo­ple and dogs who are not fit enough but hope­fully this will push peo­ple to go out more and en­joy the out­doors.” chris.fraser@7days.ae

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.