Hike on the Dike raises $16,500 for the WCGHS

Runners and walkers participate in annual event in Washougal

The song, “Who let the dogs out,” played as runners prepared to take part in a 10K, to benefit the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.

The sound of an air horn signaled the official start.

Forty-five minutes later, a 5K got underway, followed shortly after by a walk — the namesake of the “Hike on the Dike.”

Men, women, teens and children participated in the seventh annual event, which took place Saturday, at the pedestrian tunnel near Pendleton Woolen Mills, in Washougal.

Hugh and Ruth Rice, of Vancouver, ran the 10K after finding out about the event that morning.

“We were going to run today anyway,” Hugh said. “It’s fun to do it as part of an organized event.”

“It’s a good cause,” Ruth said.

Jenna Lukowiak, Regan Farnand and Taylor Robertson enjoyed running the 10K together.

The three 12-year-olds, of Camas, all have dogs.

Robertson said her friends encouraged her to keep going during the run.

“They kept me entertained,” she said.

Farnand said she wants to stay in shape, and she likes to run.

Paula Knapp and other volunteers with East County Fire and Rescue were stationed in front of a rehab bus near the start/finish line.

“We’re here to educate, provide information and help anyone who needs a quick rest or hydration or wants their blood pressure taken,” Knapp said.

The fundraiser generated more than $16,500 for the WCGHS.

Nacy Hettling, of Washougal, participated in the Hike on the Dike with her daughter, Aubrey, and Hettling’s parents’ Pomeranian.

“We’re dog lovers,” Nacy said. “We’re excited to donate to the Humane Society.”

Vendors in the Pendleton parking lot included veterinary clinics, providers of chiropractic services for pets, cat scratching posts made out of recycled wood, overnight lodging for dogs and construction equipment rentals. Some of them provided complimentary Frisbee discs, dog treats and bandanas.

Jewelry was available for purchase, along with pottery, candles and nail wraps. There were also balloon artists and face painters.

Lori Schumann, owner of Skirtin’ Around, of Portland, enjoyed the view while she sold aprons and shopping totes from a booth.

“The dogs are adorable,” she said, as an assortment of canines passed by. “They are precious.

“I’ve gotten to pet a lot of them and play with their ears,” Schumann added.

Lunch options included barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, fajitas, cupcakes, elephant ears and deep fried ice cream.

A children’s activity booth included opportunities to make catnip toys, finger paw prints and tennis ball braided dog toys.

Katie High, owner of High Expectations Dog Training, of Camas, provided guidance as dogs attempted to complete an agility course.

There were also demonstrations provided by several K-9 police officers.

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