2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Taking the first step…

Posted by Erich Trapp on November 7, 2011

The Puppy Up! 2011 Walk begins -- Belton, Texas

by Tish Beauchamp Cotham

Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 5:30 AM my alarm makes my headache, which was pounding, even worse. My only thought was “let me sleep a little bit longer” and “if I get up then please let the coffee be good.” These thoughts came and went fast because those are not the thoughts of someone who Puppys Up!

I had loaded my truck the night before so I only had to shower, grab a few last minute items, then head to the park. I arrived to a quiet park, free of cars, people and dogs. Within a few hours I was off and running! It was a day of remembrance, honoring and helping. It was a day like no other.

I watched as the four legged, three legged and two legged made their way into the park towards registration and vendors.  Some came from as close as ten minutes away to as far as three hours away.  The estimated 100 people with their companions came to walk two miles because of their own personal desire to make a difference in this fight against cancer.


I walk for Brutus.

I had no idea what I had done until I looked into their eyes, listened to their stories and shared tears with them.  I had no idea what it truly meant until I stood before the crowd and began my speech.  It was a simple speech in the beginning.  I had thanked them all for coming, and introduced our sponsors and acknowledged our vendors.  I introduced our human breast cancer survivor of four years.  She’s a tough woman and refuses to let cancer keep her down.  I moved onto our many canine survivors that were there in the crowd.  Mast cell tumors, lymphoma, osteosarcoma were just a few.  Then there were those individuals who, days before the Walk, had their shirts made in remembrance of the canines they had loved and lost.

I finished my speech and moved onto the dedication of the first Puppy Up! Walk in Belton, Texas which was organized each day for eight months for the love of Murphy Robinson.  I had written so much about what I felt and what I wanted to say.  I had told Luke that I was nervous about my speech and he simply said to speak from the heart and if I got stuck then to look at my bracelet and share what Murphy meant to me.  With tears I did just that.

Following the dedication, the Puppy Up! song was played and my heart was racing with excitement and a sense of sadness.  This was it — the moment had arrived for our two mile walk.  I saw so much in each person.  I saw tails wagging, smiles and tears.  I saw history being made.

I will never be able to truly thank those that made today possible. There are no words that even come close. I know and realize the best thanks I could give is to never stop and most importantly, never forget.

2 Responses to “Taking the first step…”

  1. Teresa said

    You had much better whether than the Costa Mesa, Ca walk–but that walk was inspiring too. Even in the downpour of rain! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tish,
    Thanks from Rhode Island for organizing your Puppy Up Walk and for the success of it. God bless you. Murphy was like no other and will always be in our hearts. He fought the good fight and became the shining example of what Puppy Up! means. We who have followed Luke, Murphy and Hudson throughout their journey are determined to continue the fight of canine cancer and to support Luke wherever the future leads him. Now he has the adorable Indiana along side him and Hudson. Little does Indy know how important his life is going to become and what amazing adventures he will have as part of this threesome.

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