Marathon dog helps raise money for cancer - - Columbia, South Carolina

Marathon dog helps raise money for cancer

(Florida-NBC) June 26, 2006 - Countless volunteers give their time and money to help fight deadly diseases, but now there's a new philanthropist on the scene in Florida, taking part in some long distance running to support a good cause. What makes this big heartened soul even more unique? He's got four legs.

Think running 12 miles is difficult? Then you've never tried to get this black lab to stop. Mike Pemberton, Bailey's owner, says, "We'll go in the car on McGregor and we'll see people running so she wants to run and she starts crying."

That would be three-year-old Bailey, a dog who's at her best when she's running. When owner Mike Pemberton first bought her, he had no idea what he was in for, "I didn't buy her for that reason, but since I'm a runner, we started to run together and it just evolved."

Bailey can be seen practicing several times a week outdoors, and at her local gym.

"We opened the gym, got on a treadmill. I got on and she got on and she took to it like a duck to water," said Pemberton. 

Bill Garofolo visits that gym, "At first they'll look, they kind of do a double take. People forget his name, but they sure know her name."

Bailey has taken part in several 5k runs raising hundreds of dollars for the American Cancer Society. Her newest feat: drumming support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

But there's something about Bailey her owners will tell you you have to know if you're competing against her - she always takes the lead.

"She's really competitive," says Mike. "She looks back at me and says let's go, let's pick it up here."

Now Bailey has become Mike's inspiration, man's best friend who's found her calling - taking an extra step for mankind!

Mike says, "She just wants to run, she enjoys people."

Bailey's owners don't allow her to run when it's too hot outside, she usually trains early morning. They're also careful about keeping her hydrated.

Posted 1:47pm by Bryce Mursch

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