Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

New Agility Equipment For Stirling’s Lasting Legacy

Excited dogs and their owners have been heading down to the Cannonvale dog park to sample the newly installed dog agility equipment that will now be a permanent fixture for all the community to enjoy.

A tribute to the beautiful spirit of Stirling Edwards-Bland, the young man who tragically passed away in a road accident last year, the equipment has been purchased with money given to his family in the immediate aftermath.

His mum, Tracy Edwards-Bland, said that they wanted to use the money to give back to the community and her son’s passion for animals and love for his own dog inspired them to create this new facility.

“It would have meant a lot to him,” said Tracy.

“He was here every day with his dog and he would sit on the floor and play with all the dogs, they all knew him, he’d probably be climbing through the tunnel with them now if he was here.”

A bitter-sweet day for the family, the new equipment will bring delight to lots of people, but in many ways will always be a reminder that their son is no longer with them.

Tracy said she comes to the park regularly and brings Stirling’s Bordoodle, Lloyd, and their new Groodle, Maggie with her.

“We’d like to say thank you very much to everyone who contributed, this is all down to you,” she said.

The fundraiser was initiated by local resident Kellie Chart and raised just over $14,000, a figure which happened to be almost exactly what the equipment cost.

Supplied by Paws4Play, the equipment includes a tunnel, three jumps, weave poles, and a bridge.

The installation also includes a dog-friendly water fountain with a special bowl.

Tracy said they will soon install a plaque with Stirling’s name and a QR code which people can scan to see a website full of photos and information about Stirling.

A passionate animal-lover who had aspirations of becoming a vet, the new agility equipment is a fitting way to remember this beautiful soul who was taken too soon.

Tracy Edwards-Bland with her two dogs, Maggie and Lloyd. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

In other news