Tributes have flooded in for a charitable man renowned for his love of husky dogs who died tragically just a week before a dream of his became a reality.
John Duxbury (55), of Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Welfare, collapsed and died at home in Nelson on Wednesday last week, just 10 days before the opening of a husky training track at land off Greenfield Road in Barrowford.
The dogs were John’s life. He just loved animals. He was a real Dr DolittleChristine Duxbury
Mr Duxbury set up the charity in 2012 when work dried up in the building trade, and his work has helped re-home hundreds of dogs in the period since.
The organisation holds regular husky walks and has grown to have 6,000 members.
His devastated wife Christine has vowed to carry on with the grand opening of the track as planned tomorrow.
She said: “We just feel numb. It still doesn’t feel real. The dogs were John’s life. He just loved animals. He was a real Dr Dolittle.
“It all started back in 2010 when we got a dog and we joined in with groups on Facebook. We took in a rescue dog and we were just helping out initially with rescues and it went from there.
“Fortunately, we’ve got an amazing admin team and that has taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.
“We’ve got to carry on. It’s John’s legacy and it’s what he would have wanted.
“We’ve got to try and make this bigger and better now. The support has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve had cards from people John didn’t even know, and from as far as America.
“We had up to 50 people down here after he had died. They were also lost. It’s not just us, it’s the community that has been set up. Everybody who comes down to the track feels close to him.
“I can’t thank people enough for the support. It has been overwhelming.”
Born in Accrington, Mr Duxbury was one of seven and had been a builder all his life until starting up the husky venture in January 2012.
The grand opening of the track, sponsored by Colne company XLCR, will be in the form of an open day between 10am and 5pm. There will be food and drink stalls, activities and dog demonstrations.
Mr Duxbury met Christine 12 years ago and they tied the knot in August last year.
He leaves behind wife Christine, children Tony and Kayleigh Duxbury and stepchildren Sammie and Daniel Widdup.
His funeral will be held at Burnley Crematorium on Thursday, September 10th at 2-20pm.
Family flowers only please and donations if desired are to go to Sibes and Sled Dogs. Bank - Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Rescue, Sort Code:- 16-22-20, Acc No:- 10164160, Royal Bank Of Scotland, Paypal - firstname.lastname@example.org
The dress code is SASD T-shirts and hoodies if people have them. Everybody is welcome but no dogs at the crematorium.