Ever have someone so small change your life in so many ways?

George came to us abused. He was found in a barn chained by his back legs.  He was rescued and brought back to health before he came to his furever home with us. When he was brought to us, he came scared, shaking and not wanting to get to know his own family.

photo(27)Despite his past he showed every one around him the definition of unconditional love.  He became my best friend through some family health issues. We would come back from doctor appointments, and he was always the one waiting at home with his tail wagging, and wanting just a little bit of love. When I started my journey to find my health and happiness, there had been days I would home in tears and he would be the one waiting to calm me down and remind me that he loved me. While I was finishing school, George would snuggle up with me while I studied and just wanting a little bit of attention. He would go to nursing homes and become the star of the show, he would let himself get picked up and carried around like a sack of potatoes because he knew it would make people smile.  There are some days he would just hang out on his bed while I would  handle to day to day chores and he would just want a few head pets and to be able to hand out and watch.  He would also be my co-pilot riding with me in the car and relishing all of the attention he would get from passers by.

The last couple years spending time with him would be my reward after a workout. We would hang out while I changed clothes. And I swear I could tell him about a work out and even though we all know he didn’t understand the words, he understood the tone.

About a year ago he was diagnosed with a grade 6 heart murmur and we knew his time could be short. George never let it stop him. On nice days we would go for a walk, or just sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. He still paid visits to people, he still was the one you could always count on for unconditional love.

On January 12, his heart unexpectedly gave out and he passed away in the arms of his family. That night I made the decision to dedicate my entire running year to him, hoping that I could raise some funds to make a difference so other animals and familes could be brought together like George and I had been. A lot of George’s four footed and two footed friends call Seattle home, and the Seattle Humane Society allows for athletes to work on fund raising for a whole year with all the funds going direct to their programs.

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When asked why I run, I often tell people its because I want to keep finding the stronger me, but this year it is to honor someone who in his own little way helped me find the stronger me.

 

The San Francisco Marathon offer’s numerous ways in which you can support a cause, including official and select charities. If you’d like to select your own cause like Bonnie did, check out The San Francisco Marathon’s CrowdRise page!