Pooches welcome in Sunday's Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure is Sunday, September 17

Jennifer Hoff - PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Portland's Race for the Cure is Sunday and this year there is something brand new: a dog-friendly portion of the race.

It's no secret dogs are man's best friend, but for Suzanne Fountain, her dog Fiona is family.

Pups In Pink FAQs below

She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year just 3 weeks before her wedding. When a clinical trial didn't work, she endured 6 months of chemotherapy.

"I actually got Fiona in the middle of my chemo and she would lay right between my legs when I was feeling at my worst, so it's really nice to have those little creatures around you," she told KOIN 6 News.

Suzanne owns 4 local doggie daycares, LexiDog, and is sponsoring this year's new "Pups in Pink" portion of the Race for the Cure.

"It dawned on us that our 4-legged family members are part of that journey on the breast cancer continuum of care," said Andrew Asato, the CEO of Portland's chapter of the Susan B. Komen charity. "We're delighted as an organizations to have permission to have our dog family members join us."

Suzanne said she was blessed with "a routine where I could still work. I had amazing employees who just picked up the pieces as they needed to."

She eventually had a double mastectomy and then 30 straight days of radiation.

While some dogs are best friends, others are family, like Suzanne's Fiona.

"Having that dog sitting there, sometimes on your chest, looking at you, makes all the difference so that you're not alone," she told KOIN 6 News. "There's nothing better than having that unconditional love around you."

If you run with your dog in the Race for the Cure, your pooch has to be leashed -- but not a retractable one -- and have current vaccinations.

Want to join Jenn's Joggers? Here's how

Pups In Pink FAQs

Q. How many dogs may I register?   

A. Each adult walker is permitted one registered (1) dog at the event. Any Race participant who wishes to register a dog at the event must register as an adult walker and dog or survivor walker and dog.

Q. Are there any limits on dog size in the Pups in Pink event? 

A. There are no size/weight restrictions.

Q. Are there any restrictions on leashing my dog? 

A. Your dog must be leashed and under your power at all times. Retractable leashes are not allowed at the event.

Q. What else should I know if I want to register my dog for Pups in Pink?   

A. To make the event as pleasant as possible for all participants involved (both human and canine), we ask that you follow a few basic guidelines when deciding whether to register your dog for Pups in Pink.

Q. Where do we put dog poop? 

A. Each pup and handler pair will be given one poop bag at Dog Zone.  Garbage cans are stationed throughout the park and race route for you to dispose of any waste.  You must pick up after your pup.  If your pup may need more than one poop bag, please plan accordingly.

Q. What if it is hot?

A. It has been crazy hot this year!  If the forecast is calling for heat, we suggest you take the needed precautions for your dog, have water ready for them, and if it is hot consider leaving your four legged friend at home.  The entire route is on cement ground.  We want to keep their paws safe!

Q. Any other regulations?

• Do not register a female dog in heat.

• Your dog must be current on all its vaccinations.

• Dogs exhibiting aggressive behavior toward other dogs or strangers will be excluded from the event.

• Dogs under 6 months old should not be registered for the event.

• Dogs are permitted on Race Village grounds but are not allowed inside of Hope Village.

• Please clean up after your dog using any of the "Doody Depository" stations along the Race route.

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