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Gallery: Dog walker Fred Simpson needs a new set of wheels for his daily stroll along Felixstowe Prom

17:58 26 February 2014

Fred Simpson , from Felixstowe, walks up to nine dogs at a time for people who are unable to take them out themselves.

Fred Simpson , from Felixstowe, walks up to nine dogs at a time for people who are unable to take them out themselves.

Archant

Fred Simpson carries out a valuable community service – exercising dogs for people who would not otherwise be able to have a pet.

The 78-year-old gets his daily exercise at the same time, pushing a pram with a dog or two in it and accompanied by a handful of others scampering alongside.

Mr Simpson is a well-known sight along the seafront at Felixstowe, sometimes walking up to nine dogs at a time.

He said: “I love doing it – it’s good for the dogs and it’s great for the owners I am helping.

“Many of the owners are housebound or cannot walk very far at all, and some are people who are out all day, and so they cannot exercise their dogs – many of them would have to give up their dogs if I didn’t take them out.

“I usually walk them down to Felixstowe Ferry and sometimes meet up with other dog owners.

“One day last summer we had 27 dogs running about on the beach down by the sandbanks, having a great time paddling in the sea and playing with the other dogs.”

Mr Simpson, of Leopold Road, Felixstowe, has been involved with Felixstowe Dog Training Club for 35 years and uses his experience of training to help the dogs, curing some discipline and socialisation problems.

The pram – which most people notice as he takes the dogs along the prom – is an essential part of his equipment, though it has seen better days and is gradually falling to bits. He is appealing for anyone with an old Marmet or Silver Cross carry cot style pram they no longer want to get in touch.

He said: “The pram is very useful for some of the smaller dogs who cannot walk as far. If a dog gets into trouble I can tie the others to the pram while I sort it out.

“It is also useful for the other service I provide – clearing up all the dogs’ mess from all the other dogs that use the seafront and whose owners do not clear up after their pets. I carry the poo home in the pram.”

Mr Simpson, who has a Cairn terrier and a Staffy of his own, is hoping someone will have an old pram lurking in a shed or loft . Anyone who can help should call him 01394 277330.

9 comments

  • I do love internet experts, they never fail to amuse with in depth knowledge and logic. I happened to have the pleasure of meeting this lovely man and going on a walk with him and a pack of dogs a few years ago. His awareness, control and expertise with the dogs was astounding. You might want to consider that if someone has been doing something like this for 20-35 years, without incident, a couple of times a week that they may in fact be far more qualified than you to decide if it is "madness" and if "disaster is only one step away" But then again, why let actual facts get in the way of a good gripe about how other people shouldn't be doing things. ;)

    Report this comment

    Nick Joyce

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Well done for being so active at his age, but walking 9 dogs at once is madness. There is no way a person on their own could control that many dogs if something happened, it only takes meeting 1 wrong dog to create a disaster.

    Report this comment

    Danielle

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Nick, you're calling me an "internet expert" where as you are vouching for this man after 1 walk years ago. I have never said he wasn't good with dogs or he shouldn't walk them just that 9 is too many. So when he has them all off lead does he watch them all every second? What about when he's cleaning up after 1 dog how do you know another one isn't going to the toilet behind him without him knowing? I don't care who you are,nobody should be in control of that many dogs at once, even professional dog walkers are limited to 6 dogs.

    Report this comment

    Danielle

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • I really can't believe the nasty comments from Mr Cynical. If he read what has been said, he would see that this wonderful guy is a very experienced dog handler of 35 years, and the reasons why he uses a pram. I think he is doing a great job, for the lucky dogs, their owners, and the community. Long may he continue and a big well done from me.

    Report this comment

    Chris B

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Right Explain to me HOW he is in control of the dogs TIED to a wheelde pram???????????????? There are too many people ready to jump on me BUT now look carefully he isnt in real control of ANY of those dogs. Like already said WALK THE SMALLER DOGS FIRST duuuuuurrrrrr and as for having 35 years as a dog trainer ok look at that picture again? SURELY a dog trainer understands how to teach a dog to walk to heel? NOT ONE of those dogs is walking to heel is it ...... Yet im the one in the wrong here. Not really NO i am right is thisq guy insured??? What if that dog in the pram fell out and needed vetinary treatment ( dogs bounce IDIOT comment ) at that height it could easily do a leg or hip is he going to pay for it?..one thinks not....

    Report this comment

    Mr cynical

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Jesse, you are obviously a friend of this man judging by your response but I'm with Mr cynical nobody should be walking this many dogs at once as you won't have full control. If he wants to carry on walking dogs he should cut down on the numbers, he could take the dogs that can't walk so far on a shorter walk first then take out the more active ones. Just because he has always done it doesn't make it right.

    Report this comment

    Danielle

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Just to reassure commenters, he's been walking this many dogs for 20 years and never once had any kind of incident. The dogs all respect him and do what he says immediately. He also doesn't let any off the lead until he is 100% certain they can wont cause trouble with other dogs. I've seen rescue dogs that shake violently at the thought of even going outside learn to play and run with other dogs from just a few weeks walking with him, as well as boisterous dangerous dogs learn to become part of a pack with him at the head. This article understates how much he helps the dogs as well as the owners, many of whom would be still cowering at home without his care and patience. Also, Mr Cynical obviously underestimates a dog's ability to bounce ;)

    Report this comment

    Jessie Clinch

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • He int walking nine he is pushing neo in a pram..... HOW does that consitute exercise for the dog????????? What if one fell out ???? Cruelty case coming up i think, even though he is trying to be helpful.... AND he is not in full control of the jack russel it could run into the road and cause an acident. IDIOT MAN walk one or two at a time.....

    Report this comment

    Mr cynical

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Just to reassure commenters, he's been walking this many dogs for 20 years and never once had any kind of incident. The dogs all respect him and do what he says immediately. He also doesn't let any off the lead until he is 100% certain they can wont cause trouble with other dogs. I've seen rescue dogs that shake violently at the thought of even going outside learn to play and run with other dogs from just a few weeks walking with him, as well as boisterous dangerous dogs learn to become part of a pack with him at the head. This article understates how much he helps the dogs as well as the owners, many of whom would be still cowering at home without his care and patience. Also, Mr Cynical obviously underestimates a dog's ability to bounce ;)

    Report this comment

    Jessie Clinch

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

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