|Barked: Tue May 19, '09 2:49pm PST |
|this is a colum from one of the local newspapers. I thought I would include it under my storys from the shelter because even though I did not write it it is about the shelter & it has some points in it about how animals end up in a shelter-the reasons they end up in the shelter. It is included here just to start people thinking about thier local shelters where ever they are not just ours here in Winnipeg. So here it is the whole colum directly form the website of the Winnipeg Free Press
Rescue ride Winnipeg shelter owner to pedal from Vancouver to raise funds, save critters
by Charlene Adam
12/05/2009 1:00 AM | Comments: 1
After living through such a horrid winter, I can't wait for the month of June. I have plans. It'll be fun to take leisurely strolls in the local park with my dog or enjoy a few beers with my husband while soaking up the warm sun. Actually, just enjoying the warm sun sounds like a good idea.
But when I think of what D'Arcy Johnston, owner of D'Arcy's A.R.C (Animal Rescue Centre) has scheduled for June, I feel I should reassess these goals to include something more substantive.
Why has Johnston made me feel that I'm erring on the frivolous side of life?
He's going the extra mile for an important cause, literally. Beginning June 1, Johnston will ride his bike from Vancouver to Winnipeg. Pedaling for Paws, as his journey is called, will cover approximately 2,400 kilometres and should take nearly the entire month to complete. He isn't doing this to make fellow Manitobans feel like sloths by comparison. His goal is to raise $25,000, while also building awareness for no-kill animal shelters.
Johnston started D'Arcy's A.R.C eight years ago because he strongly believes in the no-kill shelter philosophy. He sees the problem of homeless animals as a human one. The organization's website offers an example of a pet surrender that could make any animal lover shake his or her head. One cat was abandoned because it meowed too loudly. Johnston wrote that it is unacceptable to give up a pet because of one fault. "Show me a perfect human," he says. He makes an excellent point. If my husband wanted to give me up for talking too much, I would have been kicked out of the house years ago.
In February, when I interviewed Kurt Browning at D'Arcy's A.R.C, Browning seemed surprised when Johnston revealed the details of this trip. It's a lofty goal. As a professional skater, who knows how difficult the journey will be, he was quick to question Johnston on his training schedule. I suspect worries were quickly allayed when Johnston explained that this was no whim.
He's been working out for months. Three times a week, Johnson heads to the gym after a full day of work. Admitting that he can't train for the mountains easily because it's difficult to adjust for the altitude change, he knows The Rockies will be gruelling. I'm sweating just thinking about it.
Taking no chances, he's followed his doctor's advice --- drink eight glasses of water a day and take vitamins. Johnston doesn't want his body to give out on him, he says.
My worry about this trip wouldn't just be the altitude. As the biggest chicken in the world, I fear the wildlife. Rest assured Johnston won't be stopping to feed the bears along the way. Wildlife concerns are in the back of his mind, too. He's also considering potential problems with tough terrain and weather. Weather has already bogged down some of his plans. Cool temperatures have thwarted a few attempts at outdoor bike training. But I suspect he'll take cool temperatures over what a website, Canmore Mountain Adventures, reported about typical June weather conditions. It stated that June can offer rainy periods with the occasional dump of snow.
Johnston plans to stop every 100 kilometres to rest. As much as sleep is vital, he's keen to take some time to blog. It's important for him to update daily with pictures and stories about the journey. No doubt many will be interested in what he has to say. Some shelter volunteers have already been inspired enough to offer to ride along with him during certain stretches of the trip. I'm impressed too, but my ride-along will be in spirit only.
There is one exception to Johnson's 100 kilometres pit stop rule. He'll make the 160 kilometres trip from Grenfell, Sask., to Virden in one day. This town has championed his tour. Seven businesses have stepped forward to help raise funds and families have offered their homes for him to stay overnight. He seemed thrilled by the response. By then, he'll likely be as excited by a home-cooked meal as he will be to be back in his home province.
While Johnston notes that there doesn't seem to be a large number of no-kill shelters out West, he has partnered with pet-related businesses to increase awareness for this cause. He's happy to reveal that he's already raised $5,000, but he acknowledges he still has a long way to reach his goal.
Upon his return, Johnston's going to take well-deserved day off. On that day, I hope he'll share my preferred June goal -- leisurely soak up the warm sun.
Those wishing for further information on Pedaling for Paws, please go online to www.darcysarc.ca or call (204) 888-2266. Johnston's blog is scheduled to start June 1st.
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