Virden welcomes dog-lover on a mission

A homeless man crossing Canada on foot was tenting this week at Virden’s Lions Campground with his dog Muck. He’s been walking for 28 months raising awareness of the plight of homeless people with pets.

It all began when James Caughill lost his home, and the shelter offered him a bed but his dog wasn’t allowed in. He learned there was a no-pets rule at virtually all Canadian homeless shelters, so he and his first dog, Muckwah, hit the road in protest.

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When Muckwah died, Homeless James acquired Muck, the handsome malamute-husky-wolf cross he travels with now, and they plan to do another three years walking 10 to 15 kilometres a day with Vancouver their goal.

Adventures along the way inspired Caughill to start writing a book, the profits of which will go towards creating Muckwah shelters for the homeless with pets.

At Oak Lake, they ran into trouble in the form of a broken wheel on the cart. Virden Lions members picked them up and delivered them to the campground where the travelers enjoyed the facilities for free while waiting for replacement rims and tires.  

The kindness of strangers had James singing the praises of his Virden rescuers and new friends all across Manitoba:

“It looks like Manitoba is going to take first place hands down for the best overall province in Canada!
Sorry guys, but Manitobans are going to be very difficult if not impossible to beat!”

At last word, the duo were waiting for dry weather before continuing west.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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