Small dogs march for a big cause

Owner recruits pets for walk to aid famine victims

Itty Bitty Betty and Rosie will be walked from Port Alberni to Nanaimo to help raise money for the ADRA East Africa Drought fund.

Itty Bitty Betty and Rosie will be walked from Port Alberni to Nanaimo to help raise money for the ADRA East Africa Drought fund.

It will take three days for Rosie and Betty to walk from Port Alberni to Nanaimo to raise money for the drought and famine relief effort for east Africa.

That’s because the pair are really, really small. Their tiny legs can only carry them so far so fast.

Rosie and Betty (Itty Bitty, that is) are two small dogs owned by Louise Waller and have been welcome guests of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Port Alberni.

Shirley Gong said the children at church wanted to do something to help the children in Africa hit hard by famine. So, they enlisted the services of their two favourite canines, came up with the idea for a Mutt March and set out to raise $200 — a goal that Gong said has already been surpassed.

“Any small amount that you do from your heart will multiply, and God will bless it,” Gong said.

Gong and Cindy Kettner will walk the dogs over three days‚ Aug. 17 to 19, as Waller drives a support vehicle. Already, businesses along the 90 kilometre-route have offered to put out dog water to keep the pair cool. Their progress can be monitored via their blog at http://muttmarch2011.blogspot.com.

Donations are being accepted as well, Gong added. People can e-mail pledges to rosie.mom2@gmail.com or visit www.ADRA.ca for more details.

The Mutt March starts Wed., Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the boat launch at Harbour Quay in Port Alberni. The day ends at around the Whiskey Creek gas station.

Day two, Aug. 18, takes the marchers into Coombs and then Parksville. There will be a community walk — inviting anyone and their dogs — on the boardwalk at 3 p.m.

The final day, Aug. 19, will see the group walk from Parksville, along Northwest Bay Road, drive to Lantzville, then continue the march into Nanaimo. There will be a community march at the Nanaimo Seawalk at 3 p.m.