Niagara Gazette — When someone is facing cancer or illness, going bald from chemotherapy treatments, or too tired to function, the warm greeting of a four-legged pet can make all the difference. The unconditional love of a furry companion has helped many people through the battle to survive.
Organizers are about to hold their second Bark For Life for the American Cancer Society at Day Road Park in Lockport, and they hope to top the $8,000 raised last year for the fight against cancer.
When Bark For Life takes place Aug. 25, pet owners will have their beloved canines on leash, ready to take a one-mile walk to celebrate and remember those who have faced cancer and to “bark back” in the cancer fight.
Dirk Markee, a two-year canine survivor of a lymphoma diagnosis and 26 chemotherapy treatments, will lead the walk. Dirk’s owner, and event co-chair, Jenn Markee, is excited about all the additions to the 2013 event.
“We have a sound stage for music and ceremonies, as well as a carnival-like atmosphere to welcome families for a Sunday morning of fun. The basket auction will be huge and we welcome old and new vendors,” she said. “Most of all, we can’t wait for the return of the cute dogs. Last year, they ranged from dressed-up poodles in a stroller to Marmaduke-sized mutts, and all was harmonious and fun.”
Sponsors will have their business signs around the track and on the event website, and sponsorships are still available. Vendors on site will offer everything from embroidered bandanas to gourmet pet treats, as well as many types of pet services, from day camps and sitting services to grooming and training.
Admission is free for spectators and those without dogs, and there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Those who attend will see free dog agility demos, as well as a return visit by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Police dog demo team with Sarge, Taz and Vedder, a crowd favorite last year. Sit n’ Stay Pet Services, Inc. will provide pet first aid demonstration.