A man running alongside a dog
recently made a huge difference in the lives of many by raising more than
$7,000 for the Humane Society.
Mike Ridsdale, a resident of Grand
Cayman, is considered to be the first person to run from Morgan’s Harbour in
West Bay to Kaibo, following the coastal road through Bodden Town and East End,
for a total of 46 miles, making the run unique in more than one way.
“He ran for the good of the shelter
and to give Pretty Girl a chance, a dog whom he has befriended for some two
years now. Part of the reason for the run was to try and raise awareness about
Pretty Girl and many other dogs’ plight of struggling to find a home,” said the
shelter’s liaison, Twila Escalante.
Mr. Ridsdale, who thanked everyone
involved for their support and pledges, said the day went off without any major
incidents, adding that the weather was overcast for the first 30 miles of the
“Even with a slathering of
sunscreen, I got a little burnt,” he said.
In addition to the sun, Mr.
Ridsdale had others concerns to ponder after running on concrete the whole way
and having the bottoms of his feet take a pounding. The determined runner
simply changed shoes along the Queens Highway and was “back on track”.
Mr. Ridsdale, whose wife is also an
avid volunteer and supporter of the organisation, was on hand to offer wet
sponges and drinks and drove the support vehicle.
The total time of the run was 6
hours and 55 minutes, including 15 minutes for taking photos.
Pretty girl, however, did not join
the run until around 18 miles in, and Mr. Ridsdale joked that, “I wish someone
had told her I had already been running for a couple of miles,” referring to
the enthusiasm with which she entered the venture.
Pretty Girl and Mr. Ridsdale raised
$7,561, which will be used for renovations at the shelter.
Mrs. Escalante said on behalf of
the Human Society: “We all thought it was just remarkable what Mike did, and
the fact that he included Pretty Girl was marvellous.”
She pointed out that it takes
$48,000 a month to run the shelter, which depends solely on donations from the
public, in addition to a grant of $20,000 a year from the Cayman Islands
Government. Some of the services offered include assistance with spaying and
neutering and even feeding for animals whose owners are out of work or have had
their salaries cut.
The shelter spayed and neutered
over 1,000 animals in 2010.