Wonder Dog Recovers In Time For 5k


Some 5Ks are a drag -- run around a course, drink some Gatorade and go home.

Not the case May 7.


Mazatzal Casino's marketing director Marc Kaplan and Cee Cee the Wonder Dog will be two of the participants in this year's PAHH 5K run.

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's "Home Run" 5K should be a blast -- especially since Cee Cee the Wonder Dog and Marc Kaplan, Mazatzal Casino marketing director will be there.

"She's pretty well known," Kaplan said of Cee Cee, his sheltie mix. "I'm urging everyone out there with a dog or dogs to join us for the walk. It'll help raise money for habitat for humanity."

Troubled with health problems, Cee Cee, 14, is on the up and up, and should be ready to go for the 3.1-mile walk.

"Cee Cee had a little stroke in August" Kaplan said. "It got to the point last year around Thanksgiving where I didn't think I'd have her around in 2005. Little by little I've been getting her back into shape. We started out with six minutes. Last week at Wood's Canyon Lake we did 4 miles."

Cee Cee was diagnosed last November with Cushing's Disease, a condition in which the adrenal gland produces too much hormone.

"She's slowed down quite a bit," he said. "The people of Star Valley (veterinary clinic) have done a tremendous job."

With the right combination of medication, Cee Cee's disease is under control, and Kaplan's looking forward to walking the 5K with the dog he picked up as a 3-month-old puppy at a Santa Fe, N.M. pound.

These days, Cee Cee isn't doing many of her old tricks or wearing her trademark bandannas. Her years of fetching items from Kaplan's mouth are over, but that doesn't mean she's lost her spirit.

"I'm just happy to have her get up in the morning, wag her tail and hold her head up high," Kaplan said. "When I walk her at Green Valley Park, kids ask to pet her and she just loves it."

Not only should you bring your canine friends down to Rumsey Park for the 5K, it's a great opportunity to get the children out in the crisp Rim country air for a walk around town.

For those parents competing in the event, Payson Area Habitat for Humanity will have activities -- sack, three-legged and egg races, and face painting -- to keep the children occupied.

After the race, sit down for a pancake breakfast prepared by the Knights of Columbus.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers can earn sweat equity by donating their time to the event.

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 7. The course covers a 3.1-mile winding, loop beginning at Rumsey Park. The top three male and female winners pocket cash awards of $100, $50 and $25.

The entry fee is $15 if received before April 29; $20 afterwards. Fees include a free T-shirt and breakfast. Guest breakfast tickets are available on the day of the race for $3 for adults and $1 for children.

Entry forms are available at the Payson Athletic Club at 400 E. Highway 260 or at PAHH, 1013 S. Goodfellow Road. For more information, call (928) 474-0330.

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