Last Saturday, over 850 animal lovers and their dogs came together at Harewood House in Leeds to take part in Battersea’s Muddy Dog Challenge.
The event, which is supported by Seresto flea and tick control collar, has raised over £65,000 so far, which will go towards the vital care of the thousands of homeless animals Battersea helps every year.
The first ever Muddy Dog Challenge in West Yorkshire saw participants and their dogs jump, crawl and wade through various fun, and very muddy obstacles.
Those taking part included Deborah Tillet, who lives in Goole with her Battersea dog, Lacey, also affectionately known as ‘Poo-face’. Deborah adopted Lacey from Battersea’s London centre back in 2010. Nine years later, Lacey has been by Deborah’s side through the toughest of times.
In 2014, Deborah was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and given the devastating news that she only had five years to live.
Deborah said: “Lacey has been there by my side through everything. When I was too poorly to leave my bed, she sat with me. When I managed a slow walk in the field, she adjusted her pace and stayed with me. When I was just having a sad kind of day, she would lick my face or bring me her favourite toy as if it was a gift for me. Her running up to me wagging her tail was the highlight of my day.”
Deborah has beaten the odds and turned 40 this year. She explains: “I honestly can’t think of a better way than to spend a day getting filthy at the Muddy Dog Challenge with my best mate. It’s probably the only time I’ll be inspired to take part in something like this – because Lacey will love it.
“If people have half as special a relationship with their Battersea Dog as I have with mine, they will be very lucky indeed. She is my best friend, my partner in crime, my carer, my confidante, and the only reason I get up in the mornings some days.”
Battersea’s Challenge Events Officer, Jasmine Monk, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part, with or without a dog, in the first every Muddy Dog Challenge in Leeds, and to those who volunteered too. We couldn’t have done it without all your support.
“The money raised from the Muddy Dog Challenge will help us care for the thousands of abandoned and stray dogs and cats inside and outside of our centres.”
You can now register your interest in Battersea’s Muddy Dog Challenge 2020, check the website for more information on https://muddydog.battersea.org.uk/.