Support grows for annual walk

15 years ago
  PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — People and pooches of all descriptions turned out for a good cause June 6, taking part in the annual Paws for the Cause fund-raiser to benefit the Central Aroostook Humane Society.
This year’s event raised over $2,700 and saw participants come from as far away as Brunswick. For some, it was their first walk, while others have been regulars for years.
Dave and Jen Cyr brought their son, Davy, and their two mixed-breed dogs, Thor and Zoe.
“We get all our pets from the shelter. This is just a neat way to show our continued support,” said Jen Cyr, of Presque Isle. “We try to take part each year.”
First-time walker Kathy Braeuninger, of Fort Fairfield, brought along her Wire-Haired Dachshund, Nikki
“Nikki is 12. She’s paralyzed and gets around using her own doggy wheelchair,” said Braeuninger.
She said Nikki’s breed, due to the long back, is prone to back injuries. That was the case for Nikki.
“She’s been paralyzed for over eight years. She injured her back when we lived in Maryland and can’t walk on her own now. I took her to the University of Pennsylvania for surgery but there was no guarantee,” she said.
Paralysis hasn’t stopped the pup from getting where she wants to go, including a short portion of the recent pet walk.
“She goes anywhere. Her care isn’t easy but I love her. This is what you do when you love a pet — you do whatever you can to help them. We’ve walked in other events like this, including for the Humane Society in Ocean City,” said Braeuninger, adding all her dogs are now acquired from shelters. “My mom lives up here and adopted a cat from here. I like to support places like this, so I thought I’d bring Nikki the first time, get to meet the folks here. Maybe I’ll bring one of my other dogs next year.”
Donna Thibault has been a regular at the annual walk for several years now, joined by Yoko and Willow, two Shih Tzu-Pomeranian mixes she adopted from the shelter.
“I enjoy taking part (in the walk). And the folks here love to see Yoko and Willow,” said Thibault.
As in the past, Yoko took the award again this year for the smallest dog entered in the walk. For most of the trek, she rode in a pouch while Thibault walked Willow on a leash.
Ginny Joles was joined by her four-legged companion, Fannie-Jo, a Miniature Bull Terrier.
“I have to use two leashes on her, with a harness, because she’s so strong,” said Joles, as Fannie-Jo nearly knocked her owner off balance, tugging on the leashes, anxious to check out the other dogs.
Kelly O’Mara took part in the event with her dad, Bernard O’Mara — former director of the shelter — and their three dogs, English Springs Geri and Sadie, and Harvey, the Golden Retriever.
“It was a great day for the walk. It’s good to see so many people turn out for such a good cause,” said Bernard O’Mara.
Approximately 100 participants registered for this year’s fund-raiser. Prizes were awarded to some, while lunch was served for all, with other activities continuing after the walk was completed. Plans are already under way for next year. For more information on the shelter, contact 764-3441.