Dog wash is pet fundraiser for overseas rugby tourney

With the dog days of summer at
their height, several owners took their four-legged friends for a cool and
sanitising wash and spruce up last Sunday to help the Cayman Islands National
Women’s Rugby Team.

The squad charged $10 per animal at
its first dog wash fundraiser. During the three-hour session, members of
national 15s side hosed down 21 canines, outside — where else — but the Dog
House, from 2-5pm. After a thorough shampoo and rinse, the pets were towel
dried and groomed before receiving a doggie treat or two.

The total proceeds of $229 went to
the fund for the squad’s hotly anticipated trip to the North America Caribbean
Rugby Association’s 15s Championships, in the Bahamas this weekend.

Among the dogs that seemed to
enjoyed their wash and brush up were Muffy and Mojito. Another hound who was
taken along by one of her owners, David Dobson, was Cayman mutt Lila. Not eager
at first to let strangers wash her, she soon settled down and made the most of
her mini makeover.

The event, also attended by Kenneth
Morgan, a dog trainer for the Cayman Islands Humane Society, was the last of
three fundraisers the team held for the trip. The earlier two were garage
sales, which raised a combined total of $1,518.

One of five teams competing in this
weekend’s North America Caribbean Rugby Association event, the Cayman squad is
up against the national sides like the USA U20s, the Canadian U20s and the
Bahamas, as well as a Caribbean Select team.

Fresh from a sevens tournament in
Guyana two weeks ago, team captain and scrum half Rowena Lawrence said, “We’ll
be up against stiff opposition particularly at the championships especially
from the Under-20s sides because we are an older team. Our average age is 32.”

She mentioned that the team is now
seeking to enlist new members. “We are looking for athletes bored of running
round the track who want to have fun in a competitive sport,” she said. “It’s a
physical game, but it’s not violent.”

Cayman Rugby Football Union coach
Caroline Deegan said, “The Caribbean Championships is going to be a great
learning experience for our women. They’ve been working hard to prepare and are
looking forward to playing USA and Canada U20s as their first two games.
Although it is an honour to represent Cayman, travelling overseas to do so to
all these great tournaments is also expensive, so the women always put their
all into raising funds.”

Cayman is the only country in the
Caribbean at the moment to be fielding both sevens and 15s squads in overseas
tournaments.

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