A dog-lover and his trio of four-legged friends reached the Borders last week, during an epic 1,034-mile walk.
Robert Donkers is trekking the length of Britain from Lands’ End to John o’Groats in a bid to raise £50,000 to help combat the dog meat trade in south east Asia.
Accompanied by shih-tzus Ronan and Wilbur and chihuahua Hannah, the 55-year-old Londoner is averaging 17 miles a day.
The quartet arrived in the Borders on Sunday, walking from Newcastleton to Hawick the following day, then onto Selkirk, where the Southern caught up with them as they set up camp in Victoria Park.
“I love south east Asia – I have visited China, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia, but I am always horrified by the terrible treatment and fate dogs face there,” Mr Donkers explained. “The dog meat trade is widespread throughout south east Asia. The cruelty these dogs go through defies all imagination.”
The massage therapist said eating dog meat was part of the culture there. “I believe that any culture can change to become more humane,” he said.
“I have seven dogs, and each year my little ones and I do a fundraising walk together. All money raised goes to organisation that care for dogs and fight the dog meat trade.”
Mr Donkers is currently six weeks into his latest trek, which he says will take at least another month to complete.
You can track his progress on social media. Follow him on Twitter: @Donkersrobert, Facebook: “Walking to Save Dogs” or Instagram: #walkingtosavedogs where there will be daily updates.