On Saturday, Feb. 26, the much-celebrated local canine hero, Sage, will act as the â€œposter childâ€ to raise funds for the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve.
The Sage Foundation was created to provide funding to dogs who are ill or injured, often as a result of their work The Sage Day festivities will begin around 10 a.m. at Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St., with an announcement from Mayor Del Jurney proclaiming Feb. 26 Sage Day. This will be followed by a parade through town to Champion Harley Davidson, 2801 W. Second St., complete with an escort from Roswell Police and Fire departments.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, who will come from throughout the state, will accompany Sage as she raises awareness of the needs of service dogs who suffer from medical issues that are not normally covered by any insurance or funds from the military or civil organizations that they have served. Requests to the Sage Foundation are coming in from handlers throughout the U.S. The most recent requests for assistance are for dogs that require dialysis in Ohio and Texas.
Part of the dayâ€™s activities include a canine demonstration, a Fun Run from 12 to 3 p.m., and raffle, which will be held at the Elks Lodge, 1720 N. Montana Ave. Organizers have collected $1,200 in door prizes. Sageâ€™s service to her country are well known, including her work at the Pentagon during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in the Gulf Coast following hurricanes Rita and Katrina and in Iraq where she helped locate fallen U.S. servicemen.
Diane Whetsel, Sageâ€™s human companion, described experiences at Bagdad Al Faw Palace. â€œMilitary personnel were issued security ratings from 1 the lowest, to 6 the highest. Sage was issued a clearance rating of 6 while I had a rating of 2.â€ On one return trip to the U.S., Sage played Frisbee inside a military transport plane.
â€œI canâ€™t be sure, but as far as I know Sage is the only dog who has played Frisbee at 35,000 feet,â€ Whetsel said. Sageâ€™s struggles with cancer are also well known to the community. She has already gone through two surgeries to remove tumors, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Country Club Animal Hospital. Dr. Craig Walker says that Sage is reacting well to treatment.
â€œShe comes in smiling and she leaves smiling.â€ He describes Sage and her handlers as the true heros.â€ Sage is still playing Frisbee and Whetsel confesses that it is difficult to get her to rest after her treatments. Sageâ€™s enthusiasm and continued good spirits is apparent as she gets bored with the interview, picks up her leash and parades around the office, telling her human handler that itâ€™s time to go outside and play. Sage T -shirts and wristbands are for sale at Champion Harley Davidson and Country Club Animal Hospital, 301 W. Country Club Road, to help raise funds.