Each dog could be entered for a cost of just $10 (plus any additional donation you’d like to give), as well as an item from the Humane Society’s “wish list”: dry dog food, plastic dish pans, pillow cases, liquid hand soap, bleach, cloth towels, toilet paper, leashes, etc.
Aside from the walk portion of the event, the Mutt Strut also encouraged both humans and their pups to dress up in costume and participate in any or all of the contests later that day: Best Owner/Pet Resemblance; Best Pet Costume; Waggiest Tail; Wackiest Pet Talent; Howlin' At The Moon; and Best Owner & Pet Costume Combo.
Naturally, I showed up to the Mutt Strut with the honorary OHventures mascot, Slider the Chihuahua! It was long overdue that he joined me on one of my adventures, and being that he himself is a rescue dog, it was only fitting. I am a huge supporter of animal shelters and the amazing work that they do (after all, there would be no Slider if it weren't for the Franklin County Animal Shelter).
Volunteering time, donating money and items, and encouraging others to "adpot, not shop" when they are looking to add a furry friend to their home, are just some of the ways that you can be an animal advocate as well. Taking part in events such as the Mutt Strut is also a great way to show up and show your support.
Over 100 dogs were accompanied by their humans at Schneider Park on that sunny September afternoon. The walk kicked off a little after 2:00, and everything from rat terriers to huskys, yorkies to golden retrievers were struttin' their stuff on the dirt trails surrounding the picturesque ponds. There were two water stops along the way, which were crucial due to the heat beating down on the dogs (especially when some of them were costumed!).
After the walk, it was time for the contests! I entered Slider in three categories: Best Pet Costume,Wackiest Pet Talent, and Best Owner & Pet Costume Combo.
The competition was stiff for the costume categories. Slider was dressed as Spider-Man, and I was dressed as Peter Parker turning into Spider-Man! While we looked pretty darn dapper, it didn't hold a candle to the gigantic dog dressed as a lion (looking EXACTLY like a lion), and a woman dressed as the Scarecrow and her greyhound dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
However, the competition for the Wackiest Pet Talent was not so stiff, with only about 6 entries. Slider and I got on stage and he was to perform his talent that I like to refer to as the "prairie dog." This is when he sits up for a treat, but keeps his butt on the ground and balances like that for a very long time without falling. Much to our surprise, Slider WON for the best talent and we received a GIANT basket full of dog gifts (including treats, grooming tools, food, toys, and best of all, a pet carrier for an airplane).
As silly as it may sound, I was pretty proud of my little dude for pulling off the big win! And I was really happy to see so many people in the community out supporting our four-legged friends in their fight for better lives.
Check this list of Ohio Animal Sheltersto find a shelter near you that might have volunteer opportunities or community events like the Mutt Strut.