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Park Life: 'Ruchill is great for a strenuous workout, the early calm is an extra bonus'

The latest park excursion with Glasgow's favourite Jack Russell dog and his owner Ronnie McGowan.

The approach to Ruchill park is eerily silent, yet at any time of the year there will normally be groups of students carrying provisions of all descriptions along Maryhill Road into the students’ village in Murano Street.

The uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus crisis has impacted dramatically on the daily routines of city life.

 Buddy still going strong and stretching his legs.
Buddy still going strong and stretching his legs.

Today there isn’t a single soul to be seen. Because the park is so quiet Buddy is allowed off the lead but parameters have to be explained. The Do’s and Don’ts of running free.

He’s warned not to try any funny business, like heading in a random direction and not returning for half an hour.



From his expression it’s impossible to tell if he’s listening, but probably not.

We’re here for a bit of hill work and the climb to the flagpole is the ultimate test for his tiny legs and heart; it’s good to keep that muscle pumping away, mine too.

 The A-listed water tower at the former Ruchill Hospital next to the park.
The A-listed water tower at the former Ruchill Hospital next to the park.

With ears pinned back he still has a decent burst of speed.

The views span what looks like the whole of the west coast; Goat Fell is visible on this fine Sunday morning.

Glasgow University stands tall, an ever-present landmark and even closer are the floodlights of Firhill lurching over the stadium.

 Towering view: looking west over Maryhill.
Towering view: looking west over Maryhill.

Ruchill is a great park for a strenuous workout, the early calm is a bonus.

There have been positives during the past six months with a radical change in diet since his April health scare.

He now survives on three square meals per day with no snacks. Sampling West End and Glasgow parks has given us both a renewed focus with a bit of variety and fun thrown in.

 Looking south, the city and the University of Glasgow open up.
Looking south, the city and the University of Glasgow open up.

After this early run it’s home for breakfast and back to bed, dreaming no doubt if he’ll ever be allowed off the lead on Byres Road.

Dream on Buddy.

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