On Saturday, September 22nd, Better Days Animal League will be holding their 2nd annual Peace-4-Paws 5K. This is a unique 5K since it is pet-friendly, both the run and the walk. There is something for everyone! All proceeds benefit the animals of Better Days.
Peace-4-Paws is where Miles and Mutts all began. Last year, I ran the 5K with one of my own dogs, Hannah. I was more excited for that race than any other of the year. 5Ks are not usually my cup of tea – give me a long and slow race any day over a short 5K. At the time, Hannah was the newest addition to our family and from the beginning she needed plenty of exercise. She’s a highly active dog who needs to release energy and I’ve run with her from day one. The more I ran with her, the more rewarding it became. She was the first one that seemed to truly need it, not just go along with me.
Pet-friendly events are few and far between. I’ll support and participate practically any event that supports a worthy animal welfare cause but throw in pet-friendly and I’m guaranteed to be there.
The 5K itself was one of my slowest (turns out Hannah isn’t quite as well behaved when in a group of people and not in the lead) but still one of the most enjoyable. Having a dog at the end of a leash beside me is the most fulfilling kind of running. Making a connection with a dog while they are ‘working’ at running cannot be explained, only experienced. Just like humans, dogs can experience the runner’s high. That’s what Miles and Mutts is all about. Release the stress and get the endorphins flowing – both human and canine.
After the Peace-4-Paws 5K last year, I was able to get involved with Better Days Animal League and eventually pitch the idea to get some of the dogs out for a run. With strong support from another volunteer and 5K organizer, Amy, the program slowly started to take off.
This year, it will fun to participate with more of the dogs from Better Days Animal League. I’ll run with Hannah again while several others will be running with adoptable shelter dogs. Some may even win some titles. In fact, I’m placing my bets on these two:
In the end, I hope more people will see how rewarding running with a shelter dog can be and will consider joining the pack for a run. Registration is still open for the 5K. Please consider signing up if you can make it. For those not local, consider making a donation directly to Better Days Animal League.