Bark For Life

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The Fourth Annual Bark for Life raked in nearly $6000 last weekend, as over 100 people and their canine companions enjoyed the festival at Bill Wood Park. The money raised, after bills are deducted, will be split evenly between the Morgan County Relay for Life and Humane Society of Morgan County. Bark for Life aims to celebrate cancer survivors and the role their dogs have played in their recovery. “Everybody who came had a great time,” said Beth Bradley, event organizer and cancer survivor herself. Children enjoyed a bouncey house and a crazy balloons. Dogs enjoyed an agility course. Families enjoyed food from Amici’s, Walmart and Ingles. Lowe’s donated all the water for the event. Registered dogs received a bandana, a doggie toy, and a goody bag.  Radio stations 95.7 and DOC 103 were the DJs of Saturday’s event. “I want to say thank you to all of the local and surrounding community businesses who donated to our event. We could not have done it without you,” said Bradley. “That what made the event worthwhile…We just wanted people to know this is an event for the entire family, including your dogs, where you can come to have fun and raise money for a great cause.” Last year’s Bark for Life brought in $1715, with about 75 people and 25 dogs in attendance. Bradley is passionate about this event, as she herself is a cancer survivor who was greatly encouraged during her battle with cancer through the love and companionship of her dogs. “A dog can be a great companion and caregiver. They are always on your side giving unconditional love,” explained Bradley. “Celebrate your dog for being a great family member and support two very important local charities while having a lot of fun!” Bradley has two beagle-mix breeds, Madison and Morgan, that she adopted from the Humane Society. While Bradley rescued these stray pups, it was these dogs that were the real lifesavers for Bradley. “We now have two new special doggies, Morgan and Madison. They are growing up as loving caregivers and supporters of local charities,’ said Bradley. “I have been in remission from the last stages of Hodgkin’s Disease for over 20 years,’ shared Bradley, who appreciated the unconditional love and support only a dog can give. “They have been by my side during good times and sick times. They were there when I would come home from the checkups at the doctor office. There is nothing better than a doggy hug and kiss.”Bradley is already thinking about next year’s Bark for Life, hoping to make the event an annual festival that grows each year. “Next year, we are really going to focus on getting more people out to Bark for Life. It’s such a special day and we want everyone to enjoy it with us.”

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