Leaves of Hope ~ 2015

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.

image 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.

image These absolute sweethearts managed to captivate everyone’s attention who walked past our booth.

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.

All tuckered out pup.
All tuckered out pup.

So how was your weekend? Did you set off any alarms? Got any tips to keeping gear organized and accessible? 🙂

Live, love, bark! <3

31 thoughts on “Leaves of Hope ~ 2015

  1. As you can see, I’m late again reading/commenting on blogs. 🙁

    Sounds like it was a great day for everyone!

    I’ve noticed too that the pockets in my favorite jeans (LL Bean’s women’s Double L’s) have been “re-designed” to be shallower too. And forget about summer jeans for us older gals who don’t like having to be poured into our pants! I let them know about my displeasure, too. Do they care? No, obviously not since they haven’t made the comfortable summer jeans available again.

  2. Great post, Monika and I love reading about dog owners whose mutts are like my son setting off alarms and creating all sorts of accidental chaos. Sounds liike you had a great day and all for a good cause as well!!
    I’ve never thought of Winter as renovation season before but we have just started on the kitchen and Geoff’s installed some cupboards and next weekend, we rip up the vinyl on the hope that the floorboards are half-decent and all finally move the dishwasher in from the laundry. It’s only been there for 14 years!!
    You might know by now that I’m the last person to ask for organisational advice although I do have a small doggy backpack and that works well xx Rowena

  3. What a wonderful event. Looks like Sam and you had fun. Love the shot of Sam through the window. As always, you’ve brought the whole day alive☺☺

  4. That sounds like a wonderful event to celebrate cancer survivors. Sam certainly looked happy to participate. Our city has a “Fire Town” that youngsters can attend and learn fire safety. Sadly, no big people or dogs can go play.

  5. Our next door neighbor has a greyhound named Lilly. She was zero for three in three races, but finished dead last in only three of them. 🙂

  6. Sounds like you had a great time! It has been my experience that emergency response folk in general (fire response in particular) are a breed unto themselves. I have worked with medical, police and fire on many occasions and, with the isolated exceptions, they were all amazingly giving. As for storing all that stuff, the obvious choices are “cargo pants” so you get lots of pockets (which are going to look really lumpy when stuffed); a backpack (which I get tangled up in when getting it on or off) or (my preference) ……. a doggy backpack and let them carry their own stuff. 🙂

    1. If only women’s trousers (cargo and otherwise) had full sized pockets you could actually put something in besides a dime! I’m hoping with the advent of cell phones the size of small children these days, manufacturers realize we don’t just want to look ‘cute’ there needs to be some function in our apparel and carting around a cell phone falls in that category. Even then, I’d probably still be all thumbs trying to pull it out. Oh skinny jeans why do you torment me? 🙂

      1. But cell phones (modern ones) are so slim they’ll fit almost anywhere, and you didn’t address the possibility of making “pooch” earn his keep with a packpack. Ray has carried his folding water bowl, two small bottles of water, some poop bags and other misc stuff in his backpack …. and he seems to enjoy helping out! 🙂

        1. Me thinks helping is beneath Sam but I’ll give it a go. He’s a bit pampered anyway. BTW, have you tried to fit one of those slim cell phones that’s a foot long in a 2 1/2″ deep pocket? Just saying. 😉

              1. Aha ………. a lady prone to exaggeration! 124mm (Apple iPhone 5S) = 4.87″ . The Galaxy at 153mm is around 6″ …….. both rather less than “a foot long”!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

      2. There’s your problem…the skinny jeans. Real women’s jeans have good pockets.Or, perhaps they just make them Australian sized.

  7. What a wonderful idea… that’s worth a “hot” shoulder and any dinky pockets (that pants are probably designed for girls who only need a lipstick and a toothpick lol). Oh boy, you sat in that firefighter truck Sam? Including a howling siren? wow…. I wish I had such a truck to wake up my staff efurry morning…. you said the water thingy works too? pawfect!!!

  8. I only worked at my Saturday job making smiles at the local Veteran’s Home. Mom has a pouch hanging from my leash handle to help her organize things, but she is still juggling stuff and dropping stuff and saying curses sometimes….

    Love and licks,

  9. Engine 1/2 … love it! Thank you for putting in more photos, it looks and sounds like you two had an awesome day. 🙂

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