We have had a busy couple of weekends! Last Sunday, we headed to Cherokee Park for the Million Mutt March, hosted by No Kill Louisville. The day began with a 5k run/walk (dog friendly, of course) and continued into the afternoon with agility demonstrations, adoptable dog shows, and vendors of all kinds. As the sun came up and the dew started to lift, we wound our way into the park, dodging runners and dogs at every turn. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning.
For the first time, Kait and I set up a booth to spread the word for TDI and our Walk. We had brochures from TDI, outlining their programs and the benefits of pet therapy, and cards with our website and contact information. At each event, we set up a raffle for one of Kait’s phenomenal one-of-a-kind pet portraits, offering the winner a drawing made from their favorite photo of their pet. The cherry on top was a silent auction we set up: Liz Norris of Pawsibilities Unleashed made the generous donation of 6 obedience classes for us to auction off, with the proceeds helping to fund our walk.
While we were manning our booth, we met Leigh Pridemore of Dames and Dogs Hiking, a walking group for women and their dogs. They love our project and invited us to walk with them sometime soon (they even said Kait could bring me and Max along!) Leigh was generous enough to set up a donation page on Chipin.com for our walk! Thank you Dames and Dogs! We are so happy to have met you!
As the day rolled on and more runners crossed the finish line, the vending area swelled with walkers and dog enthusiasts alike. We walked down a few booths and got Max and Grace micro-chipped, thanks to Slugger City Bully Buddies. It’s something we wanted to get done before the walk, and the Bully breed-specific rescue organization was offering a great discount.
Max also got fitted for a tie at The Dapper Dog‘s booth.
This weekend, we went out to Tom Sawyer State Park for the first annual Goin’ to the Dogs, hosted by the Kentucky Outdoor Life Coalition. It was another beautiful day – I had forgotten how many amazing parks this city has! Going’ to the Dogs featured agility competitions, herding dog activities, and even police dog demos.
Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds walked their owners by our booth, which made for some great socialization for Max and Grace. Recently, Max has been a little bit rude when meeting new dogs. He was overwhelmed at first, but with so many dogs constantly coming and going, he quickly found his friendly groove. As usual, he had people all over him (“He’s SOOOOOOO cute – look at that face!”) and Grace’s breed was a source of constant debate.
Putting ourselves out on display and self-promoting is admittedly awkward and uncomfortable. It draws an interesting parallel to the way self-promotion and networking are necessary strategies for navigating the professional art world – after all, if nobody ever sees your work, it is hard for people to like it. It also helps to remember that we are trying to gain support, not just to help fund our walk, but to raise awareness and funding for our causes – pet therapy and pet rescue. Much like in the art world, we cannot spread the message if we don’t talk to people and put it out there.
Thank you to everyone who came out and especially to those who donated to the walk or any of the other wonderful causes represented. We would also like to congratulate the winner of the silent auction, Holly McCue, and our raffle winners, Kathie Dobbins and Cindy Morton. Thank you for your support and Kait is very much looking forward to working on your drawings!