On Sunday we participated in this year’s Leaves of Hope Walk/Run Cancer Survivors Celebration on the hospital campus. A number of other pet therapy dogs participated along with us. What was supposed to be a 1 mile family walk ending up being pretty much being a 5K for Sam and me so he was pretty tuckered out after the race and with the visiting with the other volunteers and runners. This is the largest event of its kind in nearby Jefferson County where everyone celebrate cancer survivors, support their families and reach out to communities affected by cancer as part of the National Cancer Survivors Day, a world-wide annual event held in hundreds of communities around the world. Although it’ll be a few days before we know how successful the event was monetarily, there are the fun aspects of the event worth sharing. We participated last year as well and clearly proved once again, I have no skill for juggling leash, poop bag, camera, swag tote, cell phone, car keys, pullover jacket and backpack very easily with only a couple shallow pockets to try and organize all that stuff (how do people manage handling that amount of
stuff belongings and do it so effortlessly). And can anyone explain why women’s pants have such dinky pockets? Naturally, Sam took every opportunity to try to pull my shoulder out of its socket to filch treats and breakfast items set up for runners. I swear his name should be “Hoover” sometimes. But as usual, he made up for it by being sweet as can be.
Meet Joyce, one of the many volunteers who helped put this great event together. Joyce is also a trainer with the Denver’s Children’s Hospital pet therapy program (the model for our own program in fact) and a dedicated enthusiast of pet therapy. Can you tell that Sam fell in love with her?
While the race for pet therapy entrants was designed to be a 1 mile walk with kids and family, we ended up doing pretty much the full 5K race since I apparently missed the mile marker. It was such a gorgeous day with pleasant temperatures and blue skies, something we’ve seen on such a limited basis here in the 303 lately so I guess I was just enjoying myself a little too much. Sam seemed to have his motoring wheels on too. He almost went the entire way without having to stop and check his pee-mail or Twitter feeds (talk about a red-letter day–that never happens!!). He did however have the need to drop a deuce along the race route. Nothing like trying to look cool in a race and having to carry a full poop bag for half a mile till you find a trash can. #keepingitreal. 😉
After the race, we hung out catching up with other therapy members and their dogs. Roxann brought all 3 of her wonderful retired Greyhounds, Lily, Little One, and Munchkin. They were a big hit with everyone-they are so patient and gentle.
One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen at this event is a miniaturized version of a fire truck which the Fire Dept. uses as a training tool to introduce kids to fire trucks. Little kids were able to wear replica Fire Dept. clothes and helmets and can pose with the truck. Everything on it works (including the siren alarm) and all the gauges are just like on a real full-sized fire truck. Sam met one of the fire marshals who graciously allowed us to get in the cab. Seems this vehicle (built on a golf cart) was originally the brainchild of a local inventor whose son was handicapped but wanted to be a fire truck for Halloween some years back. His dad made it to accommodate his son’s wheelchair and then gave it to the Fire Dept. shortly thereafter. This fella continues to maintain, update, and freshen it up for the Fire Dept. every year. I was so touched by this story and his generosity, it just made my heart swell knowing someone was so creative and thoughtful. Sam was freaked out about getting into the cab and his fanny bumped the siren button and set it off which made him even more wigged out, but when I called his name he poked his snout out the window. If there was one of those convo bubbles above his head, I’m sure it would say, “help me.”
Sam met with Deputy Fire Marshall Sprenkle and let him know what a cool thing it is they are doing but mostly to apologize for setting off the alarm which sounded just like the real deal. 🙂
When we left the course some 3 hours later, Sam was pretty well spent (guess all that walking and warm sunshine got to him). I on the other hand needed to get some ground covers planted in the garden. Here he is
napping supervising. He is a relentless taskmaster.
So how was your weekend? Did you set off any alarms? Got any tips to keeping gear organized and accessible? 🙂
Live, love, bark! <3