Pete Dunigan and the Shepherd’s Lantern

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Do you know what a Shepherd’s Lantern is? 

Let me start at the beginning. Many of you know Pete Dunigan. He has been a longtime volunteer with Ignite Adaptive Sports.

A few years ago, Pete and I were talking about our dogs. It seemed like we both had a Border Collie mix. Pete mentioned his dog Sue—yup, that is her name. She has a white tip on her tail, like my old man, Shiloh.

I asked if he knew the white tip was called a Shepherd’s Lantern and why. He did not. I proceeded to share with him what had been told to me when I got my dog, Shiloh, so many years ago. The white tip on their tail is a Shepherd’s Lantern, because when the dogs are in the field working, a very far distance away with their tails up, the shepherd can see them. 

In fact, if you Google Shepherd’s Lantern, you will see a meme that has a Shepherd standing with his dog, the dog’s tail is high in the air with a white tip, and the thought bubble says, “I’ll get us home safe.”[1]

You may be thinking, nice story but what does this have to do with Ignite Adaptive Sports?

Well, Pete recently shared with me that he was thinking about our conversation, and he can see similarities between Ignite and the Shepherd’s Lantern.  

“The Shepherd’s Lantern, a symbol or meaning you told me about because of our dog friends somewhat rings true for the Ignite Community. I make this comparison: To guide. To lead. To illuminate. More comparisons can be made. I’m looking forward to others showing their Lanterns.” said Pete.

Pete was so inspired by this idea, he donated $10,000 to Ignite’s permanent home and has invited everyone at Ignite to join him with a match! This campaign is called: Shepherd’s Lantern.

“I hope the community can push this on,” says Pete.

If this story resonates with you and you want to help match Pete’s donation, you can do it by donating here

Enjoy your summer, and the next time you see a dog (maybe yours) with a white tip on their tail, hopefully this story will come to mind.

Thank you, Pete Dunigan, Sue, and all the Shepherd’s Lanterns – at Ignite and beyond.

Carol Nickell
Executive Director
Ignite Adaptive Sports


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