‘There is a slight end-of-pier, seen-better-days quaintness about Maryhill Park’

By Ronnie McGowan

There are some handy tips posted on the entrance to Maryhill park, we pause to have a look before setting off.

A notice reminds Buddy about the importance of “strength and balance”, but he’s not listening as I try to explain the benefits, his head is elsewhere and he’s tugging on the lead.

Buddy the dog

Buddy strides out in Maryhill Park

It’s accepted wisdom to limber up; he used to bark and do spectacular ‘helicopter lifts’ as I tied the running shoes, but nowadays he falls out of bed and gets dressed which amounts to putting on his collar, going on fourteen and he still can’t do it himself.

His warm-up routine involves sitting on the stairs, conserving energy, or hoping for breakfast, at most he’ll get a pat on the head.

In the early morning sun, with trees in blossom, the open views to the Campsies and Dumgoyne hill gives a sense of running in open countryside.

Buddy the dog

Open views to the Campsies.

There is a slight end-of-pier, seen-better-days quaintness about the park, perhaps there was a football pitch or two; the bowling green could do with a trim, but it feels like an old friend.

Buddy meets a new friend, a whippet puppy dressed in tweed that wouldn’t look out of place on the grouse moors.

Triumphantly

There’s no point in trying to dress Buddy quite so elegantly, strapping on a lightweight high-viz coat is problematic.

He’ll launch into a frenzied Harry Houdini act, the yellow straitjacket discarded triumphantly in seconds; a nice cut of cloth has never been his thing.

Sign in the park

Handy tips at the entrance to Maryhill Park.

As you would expect, there is a hill to help the cardio, we take the gradient gently. Anything faster than walking is running.

With a last look towards Glengoyne, a nice glass would be good I’m thinking, but his doubtful stare suggests it’s too early, which it probably is, at barely 7.00am.

* Keep up with Buddy and Ronnie as they sample Glasgow’s ‘Park Life’ with a focus on wellbeing.