Could your furry friend be the top dog?
Derian House Children’s Hospice is inviting dog owners to take the lead and walk every day throughout February to raise vital funds for the charity’s children and young people.
Pooches and their owners will take to their heels in the four-legged fundraiser with a goal to rack up 100km – equivalent to two miles per day.
Awards will be dished out for dogs that go above and beyond, from ‘Picture Pawfect’ to ‘Mutts Amount Raised’.
Daniella Crossman, whose family use Derian services, is hoping to win the ‘FUR-thest Walked’ award in Derian House’s Top Dog challenge with springer spaniel, Myla.
“We’re hoping to walk even more than 100km with Myla – we want to raise as much money for Derian as we can,” said Daniella, 27, of Westhoughton.
“We have been lucky to have the help of Derian House for three years, and we want to give something back.”
Daniella’s twin boys, Tommy and Arthur, were both diagnosed with a severe form of cerebral palsy, as well as a rare genetic disease, and have visited Derian House since the age of one.
However, in 2021 one-year-old Arthur passed away after a sudden illness.
“Arthur loved dogs, which is why Myla joined our family,” said Daniella.
“She was always cuddling up to him, so it seems right that we’re taking part in this walk with her. She’s fantastic with Tommy too. Although she’s still a puppy and absolutely full of energy, she is very gentle with him.”
Arthur’s twin brother Tommy, now four, continues to visit Derian House for respite, to splash about in the pool, to relax in the sensory room, and to watch films in the cinema.
“We will forever be grateful for the hospice – it’s hard to describe what they do for you and what an impact they have on your life,” continued Daniella.
“When I think of Derian House now I think of happy times, I think of love and care and this bright place that it is. We know more than most how important it is to spend time with your child.
And the support Derian gave us after we lost Arthur was amazing and we will forever be thankful.”
Last year more than 40 prize pooches and their owners took part in Derian House’s top dog and together hit a total of 4,500km, raising almost £10,000 for the charity in the process.
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “We know you love walking your four-legged friends – so get your walking boots on and join Derian House’s Top Dog!
“It cost £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023. We rely heavily on the generosity our local community – and their precious pups – to make sure we can continue to provide care for our families.”
To take part in Top Dog for Derian House, contact Ellie Smith on 01257 271271 or firstname.lastname@example.org