Eastside dog enthusiasts Bark for Life in Issaquah Highlands
By JOSH SUMAN
Issaquah Reporter Sports Reporter
July 2, 2012 · Updated 11:07 AM
Dogs and dog-lovers from around the Eastside came to the Issaquah Highlands Bark Park on Saturday for Bark for Life, an American Cancer Society event to raise money for awareness and research of the disease.
Many of the event-goers had a pet that had previously been stricken with cancer, including Kelly Hinderberger of Belleuve, who was on hand with her dog Charlie honoring a previous pet that passed from cancer.
"It was pretty tough," Hinderberger said. "We thought this would be a nice way to remember our old dog and start a new tradition."
Along with exercise stations and plenty of room to roam, the event featured a demonstration from the King County Sheriff's Department's K-9 Unit, a "smooch booth" for dogs, booths and vendors with dog treats and foods, clothing and even specialized dog-friendly recreation like hikes and water sports.
One of the local businesses displaying their services was Loving & Gentle Dog Grooming, which specializes in small dog care.
Owner Rebecca began in the dog grooming industry 35 years ago as a teenager and has been putting her passion for canines to work ever since. A small dog owner herself, Rebecca's home-based business in Issaquah offers owners of small dogs the assurance they need.
"I've always loved dogs and small dogs are my speciality," she said while holding her Toy Poodle Paige. "They really have special needs and I've found owners worry about them more."
The honoree of the event was Tully, an 11-year-old Golden Retriever that was diagnosed with Lymphoma three years ago.
Luminita Sarbu, the veterinary oncology specialist that has helped treat Tully, said events such as Bark for Life are important for both pets and pet owners.
"It's important as pet owners to educate ourselves and know there is a lot we can do for our dogs," Sarbu said. "Events like this are great to let people know that this happens to pets as well and when it does, we have options."
The event was the first in the Highlands, but one that event chair and local resident Stephanie Quam believes will become an annual happening. She and her 11-year-old dog Otis spearheaded the event after doing the same last year at Bark for Life in Renton.
"I wanted to bring it here because everyone around here is so passionate about pets," Quam said. "I love dogs so much, they are my passion. Everyone has been touched by cancer and I try to find things Otis and I can do together."
According to the event's website, over $1,400 was raised, 100 percent of which goes to the American Cancer Society.
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