Honouring Our Hero: (Re)Walking and Fundraising for SPCA Shelter Dogs

In honour of my dog Victor, who passed away July 13, 2020, my new dog Victoria (yes, named after Victor) and I are participating in the annual SPCA Hamilton/Burlington Wiggle Waggle Walkathon in September, 2021.

Only this time, there’s no walkathon. Participants are asked to ‘walk their way’ and share how they’re celebrating the shelter’s annual fundraiser.

Here’s the link to donation, if you are moved to donate:

Dogtrotting.net Walkathon SPCA Fundraising Page

How are we going to ‘walk our way?’ I was considering re-walking with Victoria many of Victor’s favourite places to run. It’s a particular thrill for me to see Victoria experience some of Victor’s adventures, and that happened recently in the 1000 Islands where we spent a no-screen weekend (almost – the screen, not the weekend).

Our dog-friendly 1000 Island experience is coming up on dogtrotting.net.

But first, the fundraiser. In 2016, Victor and I honoured my beautiful cat of 17-years Kaitlynn by walking along the Hamilton Harbour in Ontario, Canada raising several hundred dollars for the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (who rescued Kaitlynn 17 years prior). Now it’s his turn.

Where are we going on our nostalgic dog-friendly walkathon substitute?

First, we’ve already revisited a few places Victor had a great time exploring:

Second, we’re making new list of places Victor loved visiting and will be heading to the following soon:

  • Guelph, Ontario particularly the Hanlon Leash-free Park;
  • Toronto’s High Park leash-free roam through the forest and nearby dog-friendly neighbourhood zoo;
  • and Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s leash-free hike along the Niagara Escarpment though I’m a little worried about losing Victoria to a flock of birds. Once she sees critters in flight, she’s off like a shot far away from me.

HEART of the Community 2022 Calendar

Even more fun, the SPCA Hamilton/Burlington has modified their annual fundraising calendar – instead of a photo contest of rescued and loved pets (my Kaitlynn was Miss June 2005) the city animal shelter partnered with local artists to create a 16-month calendar of pet art.

Each month a Hamilton, Ontario artist has created a likeness inspired by their own pet. Mediums include oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, digital illustration on photo paper, and my favourite: embroidery. Check out select months, and we recognized artist Katie Favell who helped me create a painting of Victor at a previous animal rescue fundraiser.

Barbeque for Dogs

What’s a walkathon without a celebratory barbeque? At least we think that’s the best end (provided there’s a vegetarian option for people). Just for fun I picked up a six-pack of Merrick Slow Cooked BBQ selections (affiliate link) for Victoria.

Ren’s Pet food offered a six pack case and Victoria will get to try some flavours of my travels with my dog: Kansas City flavour with chopped pork and Kentucky with chopped lamb. Other flavours (places we haven’t been yet) include St. Louis with shredded pork, and Memphis with glazed chicken.


  1. […] dog Victoria had her best day ever on Sunday: We started at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA annual Wiggle Waggle Walkathon event at the leash-free zone beside the animal shelter in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Normally, the event […]

  2. Sorry for your loss, but happy yu have Victoria!

    1. Thank you!

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