The second annual Bark for Life of Cooperstown/Northern Otsego County was a howling success in spite of the cold, blustery weather.
The event, held at Glimmerglass State Park, raised $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. It was a festival celebrating the companionship that dogs give to their owners. In addition to the walk, there was a dog show, agility course, concessions, crafts and several basket raffles.
Of the 87 paid participants, 82 registered with dogs.
“We came into the event $3,000 better than last year,” said Bark for Life Chairwoman Sherri Goodspeed at the event.
Last year, for the first Bark for Life, there were 43 paid participants, according to organizers.
“This year we allowed family members to pay an extra fee to participate in the walk with the dog and their handler,” Goodspeed said.
In addition to the festivities, an honored guest was featured.
“We have the Lily here,” Goodspeed said. “She is a dachshund who was thrown away in a box. She was rescued, and her owner wrote a book about her. We want people to know that good things can come out of bad things.”
“One person can make a difference,” she added.
Lily the Dachshund was rescued by Cyndi West who wrote the book, ‘Lily in the Box.’ West donates proceeds from the book to the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley.
Goodspeed opened the event in the shelter as snow pelted the ground. She welcomed the participants and explained the importance of Bark for Life.
“This event allows dogs to participate in this cause – and it honors them for their undying love,” Goodspeed said to the group of participants. “They are touched by cancer as we all are. They don’t understand what is going on when their person has cancer.”
After a prayer and the national anthem sung by cancer survivor Rachael Fisher, the walk began with 16 cancer survivors taking an honorary lap around the West Shelter at Glimmerglass. Those attending cheered and applauded the cancer survivors.