The Fourth Annual Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer takes place Saturday, September 26, 2015.
One in three dogs will be diagnosed with cancer, same odds we humans face. It is not specific to any breed or age of dog, after the age of 10 canine cancer becomes a disease of old age.
Canine cancer has been around for over 11,000 years unfortunately it’s still here, stealing, hurting, and maiming our companions.
What would you do to help your best friend?
After receiving the news that her beloved black lab, Baker had Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2011, Katherine (Kat) Reid didn’t hesitate to do everything possible to help him, even if it meant removing his leg. (see Baker’s story here)
“Baker was diagnosed in October 2011.” remembers Reid, “About a year later I became aware of the First Annual Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer. We never thought Baker would make it past that first summer, but here we are over four years later cancer free and we are doing our part to help end canine cancer.”
Reid and Baker have participated in previous walks helping raise over $115,000 for the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund which benefits the OVC Pet Trust Fund (Ontario Veterinary College) in Guelph, Ontario. This fund supports research, treatment, and the life betterment of companion animals dealing with cancer.
Recently they have joined the End Canine Cancer Team and are actively promoting and volunteering at the Walk.
Leigh also joined the Canine Cancer team in 2014 as the Instagram and Twitter social media director.
“Cancer, canine and otherwise, is very much a part of my life. Eleven years ago my father, John, lost his battle to cancer. So, when my best friend Katharine told me just under 4 years ago that her 9 year old black lab Baker (my dog Tank’s best friend) was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, it was a blow.” explains Leigh.
“The Walk is about you, us, and our beloved companions”
It should be noted that 100% of all money raised goes to the Pet Trust Fund, all production costs are out of pocket, and there is no corporate sponsorship.
“This event is very grassroots, all of our donations come from individuals and local businesses.” says Lorrie Holmes, local dog walker and co producer. “We even receive support and donations from other dog charities, that’s how tight this community is.”
Get the kids involved
Holmes created the Mooseketeer Kids Club as part of the fund raising efforts in memory of her dog Moose who was taken by bone cancer in 2013, he was almost 11.
“It’s about kid’s getting together to collect change to make a change for canine cancer. Children are encouraged to find creative ways to raise money for the cause.”
Holmes previously lost Moose’s “brother” Jake to pancreatic cancer in 2008 at the age of 13.
Is your dog ready for it’s close up?
New this year is the Canine Capers Challenge, similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge only without the cold water down your back.
Take a short video of your dog doing what it does best, a trick, sleeping, drooling, whatever makes you smile. Donate a minimum of $20, post it to your FB page and the Smiling Blue Skies page, then challenge five of your friends to do the same, and so on, and so on, and so on.
The walk takes place at Kew Gardens and heads west along the boardwalk to Ashbridges and back. It also passes the Rainbow Tree, donated by a local Beacher in memory of all pets who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Participants can leave a memento there.
Registration begins at 10:30 am.
Walk begins at 12:00 pm. This is an on leash walk approximately 4k. You can do all or part of the route.
Silent Auction opens at 10:30 and closes shortly after everyone gets back from the walk around 1:30-2:00. Visit the auction contributor album for a list of the awesome prizes.
For more information join the Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer Facebook page
Register, set up your personal page, or donate here
For support, info, and updates on studies supported by your contributions,visit Smiling Blue Skies
It’s a coincidence that the dogs featured here are big black dogs. Cancer does not discriminate.