Battersea Supporter Takes to the Heights in Memory of 17-year-old West Highland Terrier

12 Jul 2023

After seventeen years of cherished memories with her West Highland Terrier, Buster, avid traveler Nicole Dawson takes on a mammoth challenge to climb Mont Blanc to raise money for leading animal welfare charity, Battersea, in Buster’s memory. 

When Buster passed away after almost two decades of adventures and friendship with Nicole, she wanted to find a way to mark his legacy. She began exploring options but never found the right time, and has this year decided to take the plunge and, to honour Buster, climb to the peak of Mont Blanc whilst fundraising to help the dogs and cats at Battersea.

Towering at over 4,900 metres above sea level, Mont Blanc is considered to be among the highest mountains in Europe. To prepare for the big climb, Nicole has been undertaking endurance training including regular running and climbing, and recently hiked Mount Etna in preparation. Nicole’s trek will begin with an intensive training course, followed by a further three-day climb to the peak of the mountain and back.

Buster was the heart of the family from his puppy days to his golden years and never failed to make people smile with his loving and affectionate nature. When he wasn’t cuddling on the laps of his family for plenty of fuss, Buster could be found curled up with his favourite toy ‘Mr Ted’, lovingly nibbling its nose in his sleep. He is fondly remembered by Nicole and her family for his cheeky personality and his love for adventure, especially running around the park and using his nose to explore the array of smells.

Talking about the challenge, Nicole said: “Buster was such a special dog who gave me and my family a lifetime of love and memories that I will cherish forever. While I am a complete novice when it comes to mountaineering and I’m not a fan of the cold, I always knew I wanted to do something special in Buster’s memory and a challenge like climbing Mont Blanc felt like a great way to honour his legacy. My family have always been dog lovers and Battersea is an amazing charity that has been close to our hearts for many years. Knowing that my climb will support their work and give animals a second chance is so rewarding.”

Jessica Farey, Challenge and Public Events Assistant at Battersea, added: “Our pets are treasured members of the family and we are so grateful for Nicole’s support to help Battersea help more dogs and cats in Buster’s honour. Without the fundraising efforts of our generous supporters like Nicole, we couldn’t do what we do here at Battersea. We wish her the best of luck for the climb!”

To find out more about ways you can remember and celebrate the life of a pet no longer with us whilst raising funds to help Battersea’s rescue dogs and cats, please visit:  


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Notes to editors  

  • Nicole’s fundraising page can be found here:  
  • At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere.  
  • In 2022 Battersea directly cared for 2,278 dogs and 2,253 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through our Communities programme, campaigning work, supporting other rescue centres and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners. 
  • We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. To donate to Battersea, visit:  
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent. 
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ , Instagram @battersea or