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Dog lover to run London Marathon in memory of her Border Terrier

PUBLISHED: 18:10 09 April 2018

Nikki in her paw print leggings with her two dogs and a photo of Earl. Photo: Nikki Stebbings

Nikki in her paw print leggings with her two dogs and a photo of Earl. Photo: Nikki Stebbings

Nikki Stebbings

A Norfolk woman has decided to take on the London Marathon in memory of her Border Terrier.

Nikki training at the Dynamic 5k. Photo: Nikki StebbingsNikki training at the Dynamic 5k. Photo: Nikki Stebbings

Nikki Stebbing, 40 from Tasburgh has plucked up the courage to run her first full marathon. She will be running for the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and has been raising funds for them ever since her beloved Border Terrier, Earl passed away last year aged 13.

Earl was previously treated at the AHT for a cataract in 2013.

The veterinary research charity, which also offers specialist veterinary referral services in East Anglia, helped to give Earl a new lease of life in his last years, something Miss Stebbing will always treasure.

Miss Stebbing has suffered with anxiety in the past and has found that running helps her to focus and feel good about herself.

A photo of Nikki with Earl. Photo: . Photo: Nikki StebbingsA photo of Nikki with Earl. Photo: . Photo: Nikki Stebbings

She has raised almost £5,000 for the AHT to date, with over £3,000 raised so far for her London Marathon effort.

She said: “I’ve received amazing support from friends and family, and also local businesses. I will also be wearing a special piece of jewellery on the day which was made using some of Earl’s ashes, so he will be with me every step of the way too.

“The care he received at the AHT was amazing, they treated him like he was part of the family and I will be forever grateful to them for giving Earl his sight back.”

“Earl was my first dog, my partner got him for me. We did lots of things together, he was part of our family and a little character. He loved being at home and in the garden but when he was 10 he didn’t really want to go outside, we took him to our local vet and he was diagnosed with cataracts.

A photo of Earl at a check up. Photo: Nikki StebbingsA photo of Earl at a check up. Photo: Nikki Stebbings

After the diagnosis we took him to the AHT to see if there was anything they could do for him. After a few tests, they operated on him and he was instantly back to his usual self. It was lovely to have him back again.”

She added: “I wanted to give something back to the AHT so I signed up to do a fundraiser for them. They invited me behind the scenes to have a look around and it was great to see how the money gets put to use.

“We had to have Earl put down last year and I pushed on without him, so I’m running in memory of him.”

To find out more and to sponsor Miss Stebbing, visit www.aht.org.uk/londonmarathon

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