Over the past year, several individuals have reached out asking for advice on how to establish a program similar to Miles and Mutts in their own area. There’s no written rule book and we’re not experts. However, I think we’ve learned a few things over the past year and why this program seems to be working.
Trust your heart, spread kindness and the rest will follow.
1. Get involved. Volunteer. Research. Find your place and the right organization to match your vision and purpose.
2. Start slow. Build trust with an organization. Be patient to ensure quality, focus and longevity.
3. Expect the unexpected. Growing any program, organization or business can be a humbling process. Miles and Mutts has been no exception. Things you may think will help gain visibility may produce zero results and those you may think little of can surprise you.
In short, this means a newspaper article does zilch but a magnet stuck on your car which is parked in a grocery store parking lot is a powerful tool.
4. Never underestimate the power of love. The bonds formed between runners and dogs over the last year has been heartwarming to watch. Those bonds are driving the program forward. Pay attention to them.
5. Be thankful. The power of kindness is so simple. Say ‘Thank You’ as much as possible. Thank you, all runners who continue to be awesome by staying committed, trust-worthy and 100% dependable!
6. Embrace positivity. A positive message is a powerful, effective tool. Notice how everyone is smiling in the end of year video? Use it.
7. Keep it simple. Dog + Leash + Runner = Good time. Don’t make things complicated.
8. Encourage Others. Create a supportive and encouraging environment open to all and keep it that way.
9. Be consistent, yet adaptable. Be open to new ideas yet remain consistent in delivery and execution Do not lose track of track of any original goals along the way.
10. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. You may stumble, you may fall but keep moving one foot in front of the other. You never know where those feet may take you.