James Caughhill and his dog Muck are seen here at the Nelson Campground. They are walking across Canada to raise funds for pet-friendly shelters. Photo: Tyler Harper

James Caughhill and his dog Muck are seen here at the Nelson Campground. They are walking across Canada to raise funds for pet-friendly shelters. Photo: Tyler Harper

Man and his dog walking across Canada for pet-friendly homeless shelters

James Caughhill and his dog Muck made a stop in Nelson

A six-year journey across Canada to raise funds for pet-friendly homeless shelters made a stop in Nelson last week.

James Caughhill and his dog Muck have been walking from St. Catharines, Ont., to Vancouver since September 2016, taking a break each winter before carrying on.

Caughhill’s journey began when he lost his home and was told he would need to leave behind his former dog Muckwah to enter a shelter if he wanted to keep his welfare benefit. That, he said, is unacceptable.

“Companionship is amazing. I have somebody to talk to all the time. I have somebody to sing to that doesn’t criticize the fact that I can’t carry a frickin’ tune.”

Caughhill, who turns 60 on Aug. 16, has earned media attention across Canada for the walk, which he is documenting in a series of books called Walking to the Rockies with Muckwah. The money earned from the books he says will be spent on setting up shelters in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

He hopes the trek west to Vancouver ends in the fall, after which he will return to Ontario for the winter then resume a walk east to St. John’s, N.L.

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@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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