Loss of pet dog inspires London Marathon entry


A keen runner is going the extra mile for pets in need after signing up to this year’s TCS London Marathon in memory of her dog who died last year.

Joanne Dobie, (46), is running the 26.2-mile challenge to raise vital funds for leading vet charity PDSA after losing her dog, a black labrador cross called Coopers, last year to cancer.


“We lost our lovely girl Coopers last year and it totally broke us,” explained Joanne. “She was only 10 years old, and it was all very sudden.

“In the days before we had to make the terrible decision to let her go, we spent a lot of time in the vets, as she had to have tests and scans to try and find out what was wrong and whether any treatment was possible. Sadly, Coopers had kidney failure and incurable cancer and it was the kindest option for her to have her put to sleep.

“We were in the fortunate position of having pet insurance that covered most of the bills. Which meant we didn’t have to worry about how we were going to pay for them, at the same time as being so upset and heartbroken about what was happening to our best friend.

“The experience really highlighted for me how important charities such as PDSA are, as during that time I could imagine how awful it must be for pet owners who are unable to afford veterinary bills or pet insurance, especially during such an emotional point in a pet owner’s life.”

It’s been almost 12 months since Coopers passed away and Joanne says there’s still a hole in her family.

“Just before Coopers passed away, the London Marathon was on and I pledged then that I would run the marathon next year and raise money for PDSA in Coopers’ honour.”

The self-employed editor who lives with her husband Greg (48) in North London isn’t new to the challenge.

“I ran the London Marathon 15 years ago when I was a lot younger,” she laughed. “I am still a very keen runner though. I’ve done numerous half-marathons, three marathons and one half-ironman in my time. I enjoy it!

“I’m halfway there with my fundraising, it’s mainly come from generous friends and family who have seen my social media training updates, I also had a massive clear out and sold loads of clothes on Vinted.”

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Faye Waters, Fundraising Manager at PDSA, said: “We’re all so thankful to Joanne for choosing to run for PDSA this year in memory of Coopers. Her generous fundraising efforts will enable us to continue our life-saving work, treating pets whose owners have nowhere else to turn. It is thanks to the incredible support of kind-hearted people like Joanne that we are able to provide vital treatment for poorly animals and make a real difference to their owners’ lives.”

To support Joanne on her marathon visit justgiving.com/page/joanne-dobie-pdsa