IT may have been raining cats and dogs, but the weather failed to dampen the mood at a charity event for pet owners and their four-legged friends.

Armed with wellies and waterproofs, around 50 people embarked on a 2.5 mile dog walk in Headington.

Participants donated £5 to take part in the walk, with money going to two charities: Dogs Trust and Medical Detection Dogs.

Walkers started and finished at The Victoria Arms pub in Mill Lane.

Helen Straudley, from Headington Dog Training Company, who organised the event, said: “After the success of last year's walk we decided to make it an annual event. We start at the pub and end at the pub with lots of chatting and play on the way.

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“People stayed behind for a drink which was nice and people want us to do a walk every month because they enjoyed it so much. We’re raising money for Dogs Trust and Medical Detection Dogs because they both do fantastic work.”

The dog walk saw people follow a trail from the pub to the River Cherwell and Marston Sports Ground. Last year the event raised £600 for the charities but because fewer people took part this year due to the weather, organisers put this year's total at closer to £300.

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Medical Detection Dogs train animals to detect the odour of human disease. It also trains dogs to become medical alert assistance dogs which warn people about an impending medical event.

Connie Schofield, from Oxford, currently has a dog that is being trained and will hopefully soon be accredited.

The 23 year-old lives with a condition called adrenal insufficiency which is where the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones – primarily cortisol – and has to administer her own medication with the help of her dog, Roo.

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She said: “He lets me know when I need my cortisol and with my condition, if I get very tired or stressed or use too much energy, he will sense that I need to take more doses. He’s incredible.”

Miss Schofield was bed-bound until her dog helped her to improve her mobility. She said: “I feel confident and I don’t worry about anything bad happening when I’m away from home or being taken to hospital because he’s always here with me. He’s my guardian angel.”

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