Ferndale woman turns grief over dog to fundraiser for Whatcom Humane Society


Kristine and Jesse Lemley with their dog Boomer, who inspired them to create a fundraiser for the Whatcom Humane Society by joining the annual Human Race.


My husband and I have always been animal lovers and when the time was right to adopt another dog into our family, a young dog named Spots caught our attention on the Whatcom Humane Society web site. As soon as we met him, we knew we had to have him. He definitely wasn't the perfect dog ... more of a project dog, but he stole our hearts and we welcomed him into our home. Soon after he arrived we realized the name Spots just wasn't a good fit for this large, energetic boy. The name Boomer just seemed to stick.

Sadly, just before his third birthday, Boomer passed away suddenly, with no time to prepare. We were at a loss at how to deal with our grief. Then I read an article about the Human Race and I thought it was a great way to honor our beloved Boomer and support a wonderful organization, the Whatcom Humane Society. Without them, we wouldn't have had the chance to adopt this amazing dog.

The Human Race is an organized event sponsored by the Whatcom Volunteer Center. For 18 years Human Race participants have registered for the 5k walk or run, or the 10k run. Then they choose a non-profit that they will raise pledges for. It's a great opportunity for community members to champion a personal cause and small non-profits are able to get donations without putting on a big fundraiser themselves. You can join a team, organize your own team or compete as an individual. I created Boomer's Buddies and for the past two races I ran in the 10k event with my husband and our pit bull, Howie, another Whatcom Humane Society rescue.

The amount of support we received from our friends, family and local businesses was so wonderful. Their willingness to join our Boomer's Buddies team and raise money for our cause was amazing. The donors were incredibly generous, pledging more than $3,000 the past two years. In 2012, Boomer's Buddies received awards for Team to Raise the Most Money, Individual Adult to Raise the Most Money and Best Dressed Pet. For our efforts we won a party at Boundary Bay, Mount Baker Theatre tickets and a basket of pet supplies. More than the prizes though, it was an amazing way to remember our friend Boomer and give a little back to the Whatcom Humane Society. I encourage others to join the Human Race and support an organization that makes a difference in our community.


Window On My World is an occasional essay in Monday's Bellingham Herald that allows Whatcom County residents to share their passion for what they do, an idea or cause they support. Send your Window On My World, which must be no more than 700 words, to Julie.shirley@bellinghamherald.com.

Kristine and Jesse Lemley have owned and operated Mt. Baker Auto Glass for 13 years. They live in Ferndale with their two dogs. Whatcom Volunteer Center's Human Race is happening on Saturday, June 1, at Squalicum Boathouse, Zuanich Point Park. To learn more, visit the website at whatcomvolunteer.org or call 360-734-3055.

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