A group of volunteers is hoping to raise money for a memorial dedicated to Meg, the 12-year-old Border Collie who was left up Beinn Sgulaird earlier this month.
Meg was walking up the Scottish mountain with owner Paul Finnegan on Sunday 14 January when her legs gave out. Paul tried to carry Meg but when severe weather rolled in he was forced to abandon her at 3,074ft.
In the days that follow Paul and volunteers went back to try and find Meg and her body was discovered five days later. Paul received a huge backlash online for his decision but mountain rescue experts sympathised with his choice to put his own survival first.
Many dog walkers take their dogs on mountain walks but Meg’s death has many dog lovers concerned that some owners are unprepared.
The group called Action4Meg, made up of volunteers who helped directly and indirectly in the rescue effort, hopes to raise money for a memorial to Meg near the mountain. As well as keeping her memory alive, the group want the memorial to be a reminder to owners who are setting off with their pets to be fully prepared and equipped, and hopefully avoid this tragic incident from reoccurring. They aim to raise £500 through their JustGiving page.
The group also wants to make mountain safety information easily accessible to hill walkers with dogs. They’re looking to gather guidance on equipment and local contacts who can help in a crisis, and create pamphlets, websites and training days.
A spokesperson for the group wrote, “We have no doubt that Meg loved her time in the Mountains, however, we want to help minimise this happening ever again. With Meg’s Mountain Trust and the help of all who are involved we feel Meg’s memory can go a long way to doing just this and more.”
Scott Finnie from the group adds, “It’s not always exactly clear in walking guides and magazines what additional precautions and equipment are helpful when you take your dogs into the hills, or which organisations exist to help. Also as technology changes and becomes more affordable, then there are new groups such as DroneSARforDogs, who can provide assistance in addition to the more established groups. We want to try and collate and publish the information in one place.
“We think that a monument to Meg would be a way of honouring her but also if it acts as a reminder and prevents another tragedy then that would be a great way to remember her.”