A Howling Good Time!
As much as I want to add a pup to my family, dog ownership remains to be lived vicariously through my job.
At this point in my life, I can’t bring a dog into my home because I have four frisky felines who would probably torment any canine no matter its size because honestly, my cats can be jerks (whom I dearly love – home wouldn’t be home without them.)
They’re master sneak-attackers, and I not-so-jokingly call them striped ninjas. This furry quad would probably drive a poor dog into a neurotic tizzy.
I never lived in a house without a canine companion while growing up, and the part I miss the most is taking them for walks. Now, there are cat strollers, backpack carriers and even leashes if you’re feeling ambitious (and brave) about taking a feline on a neighborhood excursion but it’s not the same as treading the community with a canine. Walking a dog can be one of the most peaceful, therapeutic activities in the right environment.
So, whenever I have a free moment at the shelter, I’ll take one of our many four-legged friends out for a walk, which is a fantastic job perk and a great way to de-stress. One of the best parts of dog ownership is all the opportunities it offers to be outdoors.
We’re fortunate to have a large, beautiful property where we can walk our dogs, and the spring season has really enhanced the experience. Tiny purple, white and yellow flowers are sprouting from the earth, shades of lavender hang from the trees and some of the most vibrant bluebirds zip through the fields. We have our own patch of paradise that our employees, volunteers and dogs take advantage of daily.
So, we won’t have to do much decorating for our Walk for Animals, which is this Sunday (April 17,) because Mother Nature did all the legwork for us. We’re encouraging anyone participating in this inaugural event to bring their dogs along to enjoy the event.
The approximately 1.5 mile walk will start at the SPCA Albrecht Center. We’ll cut through the back field, get on Hampton Avenue and turn onto Marlboro Street. We’ll then hit Barnwell Avenue, cross Beaufort Street onto Gaston Road and end up back at the SPCA.
Aiken Public Safety officers will be present to make sure both pedestrians and motorists are safe during this pup and people parade.
Once the stroll concludes, walkers are invited to enjoy live music, food, beverages and games at a patio party that will be held at our facility.
If you don’t feel like walking but still want to join us for the party, please come by and partake in the festivities.
The walk starts at 1 p.m. at the SPCA Albrecht Center located at 199 Willow Run Road. Check-in and registration will start at noon. If you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so the day of the walk.
Registration for the walk is $25, which includes an event T-shirt, and proceeds help us continue to care for the many homeless animals in our shelter. If you registered after April 1, your shirt may not be ready the day of the event but we’ll make sure you get one later because hey, you earned it!
Bogie, Karen Gordon and East From West will each provide live music during our patio celebration. We’ll have games that kids and adults alike will enjoy, the dog park will be open, and there will be dog training demonstrations, too. We’ll have a cash bar and food will be available for purchase.
For more information or to register for the Walk for Animals, visit LetLoveLive.org/WalkForAnimals.
Amy Banton is the Community Outreach Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. Hailing from Rustburg, Virginia, she’s a former reporter and digital news editor for the Aiken Standard.