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Dogs, humans walk for a cause

Event raises money for new canine park

Lolah’s pink hooded jacket kept unzipping, so her owner changed the miniature schnauzer into her gray sweater for the first Thanksgiving Day Fun Run or Walk for Dogs and Their Humans.

The event was held to raise awareness and money for a new dog park at High Bridge Park. SpokAnimal CARE, the city Parks Department and the Spokane Park Foundation have teamed up to create a place for dogs to run free.

The money raised Thursday will go toward building a fence around the five-acre park bordered by A Street, Riverside Avenue and Government Way.

“Right now, where do we have to go? Stateline?” said Gail Mackie, executive director of SpokAnimal.

Nearly 40 humans led by more than 60 canines participated Thursday morning in the fun run and walk. Retrievers, terriers and miniature breeds were well represented. Mackie hopes to make the dog fun run and walk an annual event.

Chloe Cooper and her husband brought Nikki, a miniature schnauzer.

“Nikki loves being around other dogs,” Cooper said. “And we wanted to support the park.”

Nikki was excited for the walk until the hood on her doggy jacket slipped over her head. She brought her paws to a halt until it was fixed.

Mackie was encouraged by the fact that the Coopers drove from Otis Orchards to participate. She’s hoping more people will support the dog park.

A $12,000 grant will help with the landscape and design of the park, which will include separate areas for small and large dogs, a fitness trail with obstacles and a shelter for the humans when there’s inclement weather. Mackie said there eventually will be a water feature, too.

Organizers hope the park will be ready for dog owners by the end of this year or early next year.

Tags: dog park