This morning Alice, The Human Male, and I participated in the Walk for the Animals, a benefit for our neighborhood shelter, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. I have to say, it was the most fun that I've had at 8:30A on a Saturday in a very long time.
It was held at Bluemont Park, this really nice park about five miles from our house. We'd never been there before, and it was so much more than I'd imagined. There were a lot of fields, a nice river (which I think might be part of the river by our house), and a ton of paths that connect to others. I just loved it-- I'm ready to go back now!
We weren't quite sure what to expect. AWLA's a shelter for the county (Arlington has just under 207,000 people in 26 square miles), but I guess I feel like it's our neighborhood shelter-- and how many people truly live in our 'hood?
Had I actually read the Walk for the Animals website, I would've had an idea: last year, they had 500 walkers and 300 dogs. My guess is that it was about the same this year-- people and dogs everywhere! It was great.
We were really lucky-- after what seems like a thousand days of rain (in actuality, it was nine), we had a beautifully warm and sunny day. True, it was muggy and allergy-inducing too, but it was soooo much better than the alternative. We'll take it!
All of the human participants got t-shirts, and the dogs got bandannas. I didn't get a good picture of Alice wearing it, but I did get some cute ones of her in it (and a couple of the bandanna).
The walk was three miles and took us from the park, through a couple of streets in Arlington, and onto some city paths. They actually closed a lane on one very busy street. Traffic was way backed up-- I felt really badly for the people who were stuck in it, but hopefully the silly dogs in bandannas made them smile.
Along the route, they had volunteers pointing the way and water stations set up along the way-- for both the humans and the dogs.
When we got back to the park, we perused the sponsor booths. There were some great ones-- Furget-Me-Not, Dogma Bakery (I can't wait to go there!), Time for a Walk, and Caring Hands Animal Hospital to name a few.
There was one in particular that Alice loved: Max and Ruffy's Dog Treats, a brand-new local dog treat company. We talked to Kelly, one of the founders (and also an incredibly nice guy), and he said that they just launched last night. Alice LOVED their treats-- especially the tomato one. She's actually curled up on a couch with a molasses one right now.
I like that they're local and human-grade-- The Human Male and I tried a couple. We'll definitely be ordering some.
By the end of the walk, Alice was one pooped-out puppy. It was a great morning-- and a terrific cause.