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Oct. 1 fundraiser in Buckley is for a doggone good cause

EDITOR'S NOTE: The version of this story appearing in the Sept. 21 print edition of The Courier-Herald indicated the fundraising event was this coming Saturday. The event is Saturday, Oct. 1.

Mary Weymiller is an active 5-year-old, a kindergarten student at Elk Ridge Elementary in Buckley.

She also has Down Syndrome, a condition that has the potential for putting her in harm’s way. Mary is vocal, but rather quiet, and her parents fear she can slip away unnoticed. It’s likely she would wander off with a stranger.

Looking for a way to calm their fears, her parents found an answer in Sable, a service dog who is being trained to not only watch out for Mary, but to alert her parents if the youngster starts heading off on her own. The short-haired collie, being trained at Brigadoon Dog Services in Bellingham, seems to be just the answer for the Weymillers.

A catch is the $7,500 fee for the service dog, a cost that will not be paid by the Weymiller’s insurance carrier.

Part of the Waymiller’s solution is a “dog walk-a-thon,” planned for 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 1 at the Buckley Youth Activity Center.

Andrea Weymiller, Mary’s mother, said she has been amazed at the way people – particularly dog owners – have responded. Due to donated time and expertise by the business community, everyone attending Saturday’s event will receive a brief physical exam for their dog and some  mini-grooming. There also will be goodie bags provided.

The cost is $10 and Weymiller hopes to see perhaps 200 people signing up and walking their dogs on the adjacent Foothills Trail.

Aside from attending the Saturday event, donations can be made at www.firstgiving.com (enter Mary Weymiller’s name); donations also are being accepted at Columbia Bank in Buckley, under the Mary Weymiller Service Dog Fund. Or, donors can send checks to Brigadoon Dog Services, 4759 Mission Rd., Bellingham, Wash 98226 (with a notation the money is for the Mary Weymiller service dog).

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