Piper's Walk was created in January 2018 with a mission is to prevent canine injuries and/or fatalities in automobile accidents by spreading education and awareness to dog owners about canine safety in vehicles.
Piper was a beautiful chocolate labrador retriever who had an exuberant attitude towards life. Despite her severe allergies and early arthritis (which was successfully managed through a combination of acupuncture, home cooked nutritious meals, and traditional medicine), Piper radiated a positive energy each and every moment of the day. Piper loved to play ball, go on crazy long walks, explore new cities, chase squirrels and rabbits, take doggy classes, and go swimming. She and her humans were incredibly active, always out and about. People often commented on her thriving health, personality ("a dog with a human soul") and the strong, loving bond that she and her humans shared. She had passed the Canine Good Citizen test and was on her way to being a therapy dog for children with special needs. However, this life came to a screeching halt on June 20, 2017.
Piper and her family were on their way to Centennial Park for yet another outing, when a teenage driver lost control of his speeding vehicle, crashing into Piper's car. Piper was thrown against the back of the driver's seat. She broke her back on impact and was paralyzed. Unfortunately the veterinarians were unable to do anything for Piper except ease the pain until her family were released from the hospital to come say goodbye. Piper lost her life on June 21, 2017.
Every day, dogs hang out in the backseat of a vehicle, heads hanging out of the window, ears flapping in the wind. Drivers hold small dogs in their laps. Dogs roam free. This is the life of a dog. However, here's a surprising fact: 4 brands of dog harnesses, carriers and crates have been crash tested and approved by the Center for Pet Safety. Safety restraints for dogs do indeed exist. However, there are several brands that have not been crash tested, or have not passed the test.
Piper's Walk was created so that no canines and their families would ever have to go through what Piper and her family had to endure. Piper was never harnessed in the car, nor did her owners realize that there were products out there to keep dogs safe in cars. The Center for Pet Safety is doing exceptional work, crash testing various safety restraints. They are in the process of starting another round of testing, and it is our honor to help raise funds to make this important work possible.
Let's join together in spreading the word about canine travel safety in automobiles. Accidents happen everyday. They are random, unpredictable, and they do not discriminate. No one can control the actions of another driver, but we can control our own. That starts will keeping loved ones safe.
On the fourth Saturday in June, let's walk one of Piper's old routes in her memory, and be reminded of the never ending loyalty of dogs, who give all the joy in their hearts, asking for nothing in return. Let's walk for all of the amazing canines in this world, who will now be buckled in, every time they get in the car. Let's spread the awareness, so pain can be spared. Let's save some lives, for dogs are truly a man's best friend, sharing love to no end.