Dog Jog Fundraiser for New Therapy Dog Sunday, April 3 at Melham Park

BROKEN BOW—Bring your very own ‘man’s best friend’ for a special dog walk/jog fundraiser on Sunday, April 3 at 2 p.m. at Melham Park in Broken Bow. The cost of the event is $20 per dog and 100% of the proceeds go toward helping Nathan King purchase his new therapy dog.

Pearson Physical Therapy is hosting the event along with the help of other local sponsors. Becky Pearson of Pearson Physical Therapy shared Nathan King’s story on KCNI/KBBN’s Get Up and Go Breakfast Show:

Nathan grew up in Ansley until 2nd grade and returned to Custer County in October 2020. He is the son of Deanne Loehr and grandson of June Tolen. While working in the oils fields in Oklahoma, Nathan was involved in a rollover semi-truck accident in 2015. He injured his back and has since suffered PTSD along with a sensory processing disorder.

To help with his PTSD, Nathan had a service dog “Hooch” who calmed him down and gave him confidence for venturing back outside after spending much time recovering from his back injury indoors. Hooch recently passed away from cancer and left Nathan without that important comfort.

To help with his anxiety, Nathan has found a new therapy dog, a chocolate lab named “Raisin.” All of the proceeds from the dog jog fundraiser will go toward helping Nathan purchase Raisin.

“Nathan was referred to our clinic for help with the sensory processing disorder and at the time he had a therapy dog named Hooch. And Hooch was wonderful and Hooch gave him a lot of confidence and it was very calming for Nathan and so we had him bring Hooch into the clinic and made a lot of progress. Unfortunately Hooch had cancer and they had to put Hooch down the first part of March,” Becky Pearson said.

The loss of Hooch set Nathan back on his recovery journey but Becky said she is excited to have the community come together to help raise funds for the new dog Nathan has been approved for, Raisin.

“I just hope that people embrace this need and show him what small town Broken Bow, Nebraska can do for him to meet his needs,” Becky Pearson said.

The public is invited to walk or jog with other pet owners and enter raffles. Prizes will be awarded for best dog costume and best course completion time. Nathan braids dog leashes which will be some of the prizes along with other “doggie bag” treats.

Even if you do not have a dog, you can still show up to walk and support the event this Sunday afternoon. Becky told KCNI/KBBN how dogs become part of the family and how it can be a devastating loss when they are gone.

Nathan’s service dog provided him with companionship on his recovery journey and aided in Nathan’s confidence, comfortability in going outside, and adjusting to living with a sensory processing disorder. Hooch also helped Nathan with weight loss, socialization, and his overall mental health—some things Becky says a service dog can help with and that a pill can’t fix.

“They just really provide an invaluable service. Dogs have unconditional love for their people so it’s somebody that’s always happy to see you no matter what and so they really are very comforting and the mental therapy that they bring people is amazing,” Pearson said.

Check out the event on the Pearson Physical Therapy Facebook page, click here to register online, or call 308-872-5800 for more information. Checks can be made payable to Nathan King. Click here for more of Nathan’s story on YouTube.