Thea the Labrador's big Trek for Timor

This year's fundraising Trek for Timor has gone virtual due to coronavirus restrictions, so that means participants can walk anywhere they like over the month of October.

Anne McKenzie and her dog Thea from Katoomba will be taking part in the trek - Thea's first, since the walk doesn't have to be in national park.

Thea had a lot to say on taking part in the event which raises funds for projects in East Timor, Ms McKenzie providing the translation.

It was important for Thea to walk for East Timor because: "When she feeds me dinner my mum often says that the cost of what I eat each day could probably feed a family in East Timor. So I'm a very lucky dog and I can afford to do something for others".

And what about her training and diet regime?

"I'll be helping to train Anne for her 100km commitment, keeping her fit and getting her out for a walk every day. I'll take her around our local streets and parks, sometimes we'll go and do some shopping, for food of course," Thea said.

"I'm hoping that we can come to some arrangement about my biscuit intake going up over the training period because as a healthy Labrador I often find that I need to eat more than I'm given."

The Labrador has considered how she might encourage people to donate to her fundraising efforts.

"I was hoping that a local business might like to sponsor me for the initial $200 as I will be wearing a smart coat that could carry their logo," she said. "Otherwise I'll be hoping that anyone who doesn't have a friend, relative or co-worker to sponsor might remember my soft, loving eyes gazing up at them and make a little donation to my cause".

Ms McKenzie said even a small amount of money can be incredibly helpful in East Timor, where just $200 could allow a young person to study at university for a whole year, or help a women's development group in the remote mountains pay for seeds or materials to create products for sale at local markets.

Thea has laid down the challenge to her doggy friends.

"See if any of you can top my fundraising amount, let's have a fundraising competition. We're out there walking anyway, imagine if it wasn't just the same old boring walking every day, imagine if we were walking for somebody else too! How good would we feel about ourselves then?"

So if Blue Mountains residents or their dog would like to take up Thea's challenge and trek through October to raise funds for Timor, or sponsor or donate to Thea to help her in her fundraising challenge just head to


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