Bob the dog completed his seventeenth and final lap around Nanaimo’s Harry Wipper Park to cheers and applause.

The 17-year-old rescue dog and his owner Tracy Duggan were inspired by Oak Bay’s John Hillman, who completed 101 laps around his care home to match his age in an effort to raise funds for a children’s charity.

Bob’s initiative raises money for the Parksville’s Flying Fur Small Animal Rescue and Refuge. The pair has far surpassed their original goal of $1,700, having currently raised $4,527 according to the GoFundMe page.

With more donations still rolling in, Duggan estimates the total will reach nearly $7,000.

Leah Moore, who is with the Parksville’s Flying Fur Small Animal Rescue and Refuge, said she has been amazed by the outpouring of support for Bob.

“It’s just amazing. It’s so heartwarming that him and his owner are doing this for us, it really helps out during this tough time,” says Moore, who has been struggling with funding since the pandemic began.

Seventeen is considered a smaller number in human years, in dog years it might as well be an eternity.

Veterinarians said he wasn’t supposed to grow old, but Bob never seemed to notice. He’s made a lot of friends over the last few weeks, but his owner will always be his biggest fan.

“He’s my best friend and I love him dearly. Everybody loves Bob, they’ve known him for many years cause we’ve been here since 2011, so he’s developed his own doggie community,” says Duggan after the completion of Bob’s walk.

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Duggan was also blown away by the generosity of her community. Even as the duo walked, donations were thrust in their way, with Bob and his trademark limp leading the charge.

“I cannot thank everybody enough for all their generosity. There are so many things that they can donate to today because there’s so much need, and for them to actually choose Bob and the Flying Fur Rescue Society is fabulous,” beams Duggan.

As for the star of the show, relaxation was in order.

Lying on the green grass just outside of the parking lot, Bob reflected on a job well done while munching one of the many treats that have been sent his way. When he gets back home, he’ll also have a special surprise waiting for him.

“He’s going to have some steak and he’s going to be on his hammock and relax,” says Duggan as she gazes towards Bob.

It’s all in a days work for the best boy on Vancouver Island.

Cole Sorenson