Hannah Grover reviews the Doggy Dash

Maggie Wegrzyn
Farmington

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Anyone who knows me knows my biggest passion is dogs, especially my dog, Shadow, a 3-year-old cocker spaniel. So when I heard about Animal Welfare Day's Doggy Dash, I knew I had to participate.

We arrived at Animas Park around 9 a.m. Saturday, half an hour before the 2-mile run/walk started.

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This gave Shadow time to greet a few of his friends from the dog park before we picked up the free T-shirt and dog bandana.

After I received the bandana, I led Shadow over to a bench and tied the bandana around his neck. The bandana is black and decorated with the animal shelter's logo, which made it a little hard to see against Shadow's black fur.

People and their furry companions were still in line to pick up their T-shirts and bandanas when the dash started.

While the doggy dash was geared primarily toward canines and their humans, one other four-legged companion showed up. A 6-week-old piglet completed the walk, although it was carried most of the way.

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Even the piglet was given a bandana, which covered it like a blanket.

At 9:30 a.m., even though the registration line still stretched back a long way, the doggy dash began with the sound of a horn.

The course started by the animal shelter and headed down to the river, where participants ran or walked beside the river, crossing the first bridge. The course continued past the veteran's memorial plaza before turning once again to cross another bridge. After, participants headed over toward the canal running through AnimasPark and then made their way past the RiversideNatureCenter before finishing once again next to the animal shelter.

The first-ever doggy dash wasn't without confusion. The signs used to mark the course read runners and most of the people decided to walk. A few people thought there was a different course for runners than from walkers and took the wrong turn, but they soon realized their mistake and returned to the course, or simply did the course slightly backwards.

Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the dash and the opportunity to spend the morning in the park with other dog lovers.

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The Doggy Dash was the perfect event for the entire family. Parents brought their children along in strollers or on foot. In addition to promoting healthy pets, the dash also provided an opportunity for the dogs' owners to exercise. Some of the younger participants even jogged the majority of the dash.

When the dash finished, the other Animal Welfare Day activities commenced.

I was happy to hear that the shelter plans to make Animal Welfare Day an annual event, and I hope they decide to bring the Doggy Dash back next year as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZZcP8usbTA&list=UUPJePN4nd9Pvr58ULDGB9AA