To grasp just how far Chance has come, you have to know where he started.
When Ian and Rachael Keeley adopted the five-year-old Akbash dog from the Langley Animal Protection Society a year ago, Chance was timid and skittish. Everyday things like steam vents and passing cars startled him, and he didn’t want to leave the sanctuary of his kennel.
And while Chance was still a tad reserved Sunday morning as he and his family prepared to take part in LAPS’ Furry Tails Foot Race fundraiser at Fort Langley’s Derby Reach Regional Park, he has come a long way.
“Now he loves exploring places and loves exploring this park,” said Rachael, who credits the extra care and attention LAPS’ volunteers gave to Chance to ensure he was ready for adoption.
“He was a really shy dog, but since he’s come home with us, he really came out of his shell,” Rachael said. “Especially with the work that the trainers from LAPS did with him. They worked so hard with him.”
Taking Chance to the third annual Furry Tails Foot Race — a 5K and 10K fun run/walk through the park’s trails — was the couple’s way of giving back to LAPS.
“We’re here to support LAPS,” Rachael said. “One of our cats is from LAPS as well as (Chance) so we have two alumni. We really love the organization.”
A record 138 participants braved the rainfall to get in some Sunday morning exercise, while at the same time raising funds to help the stray, lost and unwanted dogs and cats being cared for at LAPS’ Patti Dale Animal Shelter.
This year’s totals surpassed $10,000 for the cause.
“This is such a fun race,” said LAPS marketing co-ordinator Emily Bush. “I love it. It’s so nice that it’s a casual environment where people and their pets can come out and show their support for the animals. We have such an incredible and supportive community. It’s so great to have everybody… come out and show their support.”