Steve Attenberg was not supposed have another dog. When the retired 43-year resident of Buffalo Grove and his wife, Joan, visited a south suburban breeder nearly eight years ago that thought went out the window. As Attenberg was meeting the litter of golden doodles -- "Charli" -- as she became to be known, settled down on his lap and promptly fell asleep.
"I guess she chose me," Attenberg said. "It must have been meant to be."
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Charli could be nicknamed "Charitable Charli" for all the community service the two do together.
"Since I'm retired I spend eight to ten hours a day with my buddy, and I try to include her in everything I do."
Attenberg and Charli have volunteered with the Wheeling Township Friendly Face program providing companionship to a senior citizen with diabetes, the Jewish TOV program offering friendly canine visits to Alzheimer and stroke patients in a nursing home and for the last three years they have walked together to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Bark For Life.
"My 91-year-old mother in Florida is a three-time cancer survivor, my 60-year-old cousin has survived two battles with bile duct cancer and is currently taking chemotherapy and my wife's mother lost her battle to cancer. Cancer is all around me and I decided I've got to do something about it," Attenberg said.
Attenberg and Charli are on the planning committee for this year's Bark For Life on Sunday, August 19.
"This year Joan, Charli and I will be walking the one-mile course with my seven-year-old granddaughter, Isabel. It's an event for all ages."
Registration begins at 8:30 am and the walk at 9:30 on Sunday morning at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates and will include activities such as Pet Trick Competitions, Pet Photos, Dog Wash, Best Bark Contest, Dog Costume Contest, silent auction items and much more.
The event will raise money for the American Cancer Society. Registration costs $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Dogs must be up-to-date with their vaccinations. Please limit one dog per owner and be prepared to clean up after your pet.
For more information, to register or to donate please visit relayforlife.org/barkforlifenwsuburbsil or call 847-368-1166.