Wigan man to embark on 1,800-mile bike ride in memory of family pet

Joe Fielding and his fiancée Shelby I'Anson, from Standish, lost their two-year-old dog Romie to a mystery illness

Friday, 9th April 2021, 8:08 am
Joe Fielding and fiancee Shelby I’Anson with pet dogs Duke and Dexter

A Wigan man will embark on a massive 1,800-mile bike ride over the summer in memory of the family pet.

In February this year, Joe Fielding and his fiancée Shelby I'Anson, from Standish lost their two-year old dog Romie to a mystery illness.

They chose her name to remember her rough start in life on the streets of Romania where she was rescued by the amazing charity - Flori’s Friends Rescue.

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The couple’s beloved pet Romie who died in February

The 1,800 miles represent the distance Romie travelled to get to her forever home in Wigan.

The challenge will see Joe and his friend Andrew Cunningham cycle in different parts of the North West and they will encourage friends and family and others to join in.

Joe, 30, who is a teacher at Hawkley Hall High School, said: “After such a rubbish start in life, Romie really was the happiest little soul, she lived everyday to the full and we were so lucky to have found her.

“We’re just so glad that she knew love before she was taken from us way too soon.”

Joe, who was born in the village, has no bike riding experience and does not even have a bike of his own to start off with.

So he is currently relying on a loan bike from a friend and hoping to buy one as he progresses.

Joe said: “Unfortunately, Romie’s is a journey that many animals have to face just to find a home they deserve and a family who love them - they are the lucky ones.

“We’re hoping that by doing this, we’ll raise awareness and funds to support Flori’s to save more lives and give these poor, neglected animals a chance of finding happiness, just like they did for Romie.”

The couple’s passion for rescue dogs is so great that they have gone and got two more. Mixed breeds Duke, five months old, and Dexter, four months old are both now settling in at their home

Shelby appealed for people to donate money.

She said: “You might see him riding around Standish, as he’s never home these days.

“We’d really appreciate every single pound that we can raise to support this fantastic cause.”

You can follow his journey on his Facebook and JustGiving pages, as he’ll be documenting the challenge online.

So far Joe has raised £2,450 for Flori’s Friends Rescue. To donate money visit his JustGiving page “Romie’s Journey Home”.