Being on the Trans-Canada Highway where the Yellowhead funnels under Manitoba’s great lakes, Portage plays host to many characters traversing the country for one reason or another.  Today we caught up with Frank Sapach and his loyal friend Shiela as they made a pit-stop at the local A&W.

IMG_1269They are “barking across Canada” to raise awareness for homeless and abused animals but if you talk to Frank for any length of time you’ll realize the trip might be about more than just that.  He shares a deep bond with the canine he’s had for almost eight years and a common story.  The original plan was to walk this great country but Shiela was having struggles physically and Frank was battling a diagnosis of severe arthritis and cancer so the plan changed to using a bicycle and trailer.  At one point Frank thought that if the cancer caught up with him along the road and he died, someone would take pity on Shiela and give her a good home.  But since leaving Calgary in mid-May both man and dog have enjoyed a turn around physically and perhaps spiritually.

Through the course of the journey the dog has suffered through sore paws from unforgiving gravel shoulders but has recovered and is cruising along now and can even help pull the trailer at times.  Frank on the other hand has gone from being on morphine for pain and using two canes to walk to riding his bike for hours pain-free.  He credits the increased exercise and God for his new-found health.  He is determined to stay away from any cancer ward and is confident he and Shiela can make it to the East Coast by winter.  You do get the sense from speaking with him he may be in fact, re-born in many aspects.  Frank is living out a Canadian, real-life, version of Forrest Gump as he carries his uplifting attitude on a cross-Canada quest that is more inner than outer.

Here is a video interview and photos of the journey.  He plans on heading east tomorrow and you can follow his journey on his blog at www.shielastrip.blogspot.ca. Franks Blog Link  If you feel inclined, I’m sure you can find him on the road to Winnipeg and offer him a donation of money, food or dog food.  He’s not raising money but could use a donation or two to help him and Shiela along.

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3 Responses

  1. sharon

    With all the negative things happening in the world today, it does ones heart good to see such good people that have a purpose and a love of animals everywhere. I wish them many more happy years together and I will keep them in my prayers.

    Reply

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