In 2008, Luke Robinson set out on a cross-country trek with his two dogs, Hudson and Murphy. His reason for the trip was a promise that he made to his beloved dog Malcom, who died two years earlier. Malcom was just another victim of cancer, a disease that claims the lives' of between 4 and 6 million dogs each year. For 2,300 miles and across 16 states, Robinson and "the boys" walked and they shared Malcom's story. The vision: if two dogs could walk over 2,000 miles, surely 2,000,000 dogs could walk 2 miles. And that's when 2 Million Dogs Foundation was born.
2 Million Dogs was formed to bring cancer awareness and it's committed to discovering the common links between canine and human cancers and the causes of these cancers through comparative oncology research. Through the Puppy Up! walks across the country, 2 Million Dogs is successfully building the largest pet and people cancer community in the world, a community with one singular purpose, ridding the world of its deadliest disease.
On Sunday, November 3rd, Puppy Up! will reach the Kansas City area. Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Missouri will host the two-mile walk with registration beginning at 12:00 pm. The schedule is as follows:
- 12:00 pm: pre-registration
- 1:00 pm: top individual and team fundraisers recognized, blessing of the animals
- 1:10 pm: walk starts
- 2:00 pm: special speakers Laura Devine and Dr. Kovac
- 2:30 pm: contests, games, agility, CGC
- 3:30 pm: announcement of silent auction winners
- Raffles will occur throughout the day.
One of the organizers of the event is Wendy Schindler. Schindler plans on walking in honor of her best pal, Patrick. One rainy day in April '09, Schindler let her dog Patrick outside for a "potty break" and she went on about her business in the house. A short time later, Schindler heard the distinct sound of Patrick crying in pain. She ran outside to find that Patrick's leg had snapped in half. She rushed him to the vet where she found out that Patrick's precious body was riddled with bone cancer. The vet gave him only days to live. Rather than make her best friend suffer, Schindler made the extremely difficult decision to let him go peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge.
Patrick was more than just "a dog" to his owner. Patrick was her confidant, her strength and her savior for 12 years. As Schindler struggled with her diabetes, Patrick would watch over her, even saving her life when her insulin levels would drop.
When a new insulin was making me drop dangerously low in the middle of the night, he began waking me up when I was so low I wasn't doing it on my own. -Wendy Schindler
To say that Patrick was inspirational is an understatement. About this weekends Puppy Up! event, Schindler says:
The Liberty Puppy Up! Promise Walk is a way to honor my boy Patrick's memory and to help fund the research that may help prevent others from going thru the devastating despair and heartache that comes with losing those we love, with all of our heart, to the evil C word. Most of us need to "do" something, take some sort of positive action to bring hope and light back into our lives after the loss. The Promise Walk is a good opportunity to help and a pleasant distraction from the stress.
Puppy Up! Liberty is being held at Belvoir Winery located at 1325 Oddfellows Road, Liberty, Missouri 64068. For more information on the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/LibertyPuppyUp2013 or the Puppy Up! event website.
Note from the Author: In April of this year, my own furry companion was diagnosed with oral melanoma. Considering how healthy he always has been, it's excruciating to see just how quickly his condition deteriorated after we found out. I walk in honor of him and in memory of my horse SG Black Knight who died in August from stomach cancer and finally, in honor of my friends Dave Stewart and Kris Woodard who also recently lost their battle. You can view my personal fundraising page by clicking here.