Memorial Walk Raises Welcome Funds For Merlin
Susie-Belle’s Memorial Walk on Sunday saw lots of dogs and their humans hit West Wittering beach despite a grim weather forecast and rain-soaked reality! Someone gave up counting when they reached 70 dogs, which was a terrific turnout for Susie-Belle and the fundraising for DBARC greatly benefited from everyone’s enthusiasm and kind generosity. The fund currently stands at £2644, a much needed sum as the costly veterinary care for Lacey and Merlin continues, more on this in a moment.
As always with the group walks, especially on an empty winter beach, the greatest pleasure comes from seeing how happy the dogs are careering around, being sociable with their own kind, making friends and getting spectacularly messy. Our great friend Mike has some superb photos here which capture the spirit of the walk perfectly. Here are just a few of my favourites from Mike’s collection
Behind the joy, there’s a serious reason for the Memorial Walk becoming part of the ‘Schnauzerfest’ Calendar.
As Susie-Belle’s legacy continues to educate people about the life she was forced to lead in the puppy industry, her Memorial Walk has become an active part of this education. I spoke to a few people on Sunday who were there for a dog walk, not realising the background to it, and now they do know and will tell others. I was handed a donation that someone had collected in the cafe before the walk began from a stranger, asking what was going on with all the schnauzers; now she knows, and immediately wanted to do something to contribute and gave her donation on the spot. This is the magic that Susie-Belle’s story, and the ever growing Schnauzerfest Family and collective efforts are achieving. Real, tangible awareness through the dogs being out, having fun, and doing what so many dogs trapped in breeding sheds and kennels will never experience.
One dog who knows the harsh reality of what breeding dogs experience is Merlin. Taken into the expert care of DBARC after being rescued from a breeding facility where neglect and profit-making featured highly and kindness and care non-existent, Merlin’s medical needs are many. Most urgently he has a large tumour on one leg, plus other smaller ones. The results from all the tests show that this is a huge sarcoma and the best treatment option, the one most likely to save his life is amputation of his left leg. He’s scheduled for surgery tomorrow and he’ll be in the capable hands of DBARC’s trusted veterinary team. He’s a lovely natured boy, and in spite of the abuse and neglect he’s experienced in his life, he’s showing a breathtaking willingness to trust humans and accept the love and kindness he’s surrounded by at DBARC.
If the human being – some might say inhumane human – who had kept him captive for all his years had sought treatment for his tumour, there’s every chance he would not be losing his leg tomorrow. Yet another cruel, wicked example of how the puppy trade wrecks the bodies and lives of innnocents like Merlin.
Sunday’s Memorial Walk was to remember little Susie-Belle and Merlin, Lacey, and all the other many dogs in breeding facilities the world over. Thank you if you have supported it in anyway, I know there are many, many people who have done so who were nowhere near the Sussex beach with us, you are all so valued and appreciated.
The fundraising link will stay open for a while yet, so if you’d like to make a donation for Merlin and Lacey, you can do so by clicking here.