Sunday, May 11, 2014

Furry 5K!

Furry 5K 2014. Thea chased these cats!
Today marked our second running of my favorite race!! The Furry 5K! This 3.4 mile run (2x around Big Woods Lake) benefits the Cedar Bend Humane Society. Steve and I have been volunteering there for about one year--and fostering kittens from there for three years. We are so grateful for all they do for the animals that come their way. I ran the race as kitty-cat bait--I led most of the way, but ended up second, fittingly behind a dog named Tucker, in 23:50. Steve and Thea weren't far behind.

The race is heartwarming--not only because it's exercise--but because we get to see quite a few pooches running with their adoptive guardians. One pitbull in particular, Charlie, happily jaunted around the lake with his guardian. He had been the longest resident at Cedar Bend. He spent the first three years of his life in a shelter and was just adopted in April. To see him out and happily enjoying the morning at the lake, the people, and all the other dogs was so gratifying. Pitbulls especially often are misjudged and often wait the longest for their furr-ever homes. From personal experience with Thea, our 8-year-old pit mix, and from walking all the pits that rotate through the shelter, I can tell you they are the smartest, sweetest, and most energetic dogs. Some have issues, but they're issues developed as a result of people mistreating them. To judge a dog just because of its breed is, in my mind, equivalent to judging a person by his/her race. Such judgments are based on stereotypes, assumptions, and misinformed fear, not reality. (Annoying statements Steve and I hear frequently: "I've got nothing against pitbulls, I just wouldn't want one." and "I wouldn't want a pitbull next door." Sound familiar to racist speak? If you don't want a pitbull, ground it in something logical, like "I wouldn't be able to exercise him as much as he needs" or "A big dog isn't a good fit for my lifestyle.")

The Furry 5K is one of my favorite events because it's a great way to show people that shelter dogs are amazing. I saw one black pooch, Darla, just loving her guardian-for-the-day, pressing into her caresses. Darla had a great walk, and in that short time, bonded and trusted with her walker, gratefully accepting the pets and hugs, and giving affection right back. The dogs can be a handful at the shelter, but wouldn't you be too, if you were confined most of the day? All of the dogs still in the shelter who ran or walked had a great time. They were all so good. This event demonstrates that exercise is good for the soul--animals' and humans'. 

Want to help animals? I'm fundraising for Cedar Bend and Waverly Pet Rescue as I train for the Twin Cities Marathon! Click my link-> Running to Rescue

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