Our walk began on March 1, 2012 in Lewes, Delaware and concluded on November 17, 2012 in Long Beach, California. We walked a total of 3,088 miles in 12 states. Over the course of our journey, we visited 45 facilities and countless individuals with our therapy dogs.
On March 1st of 2012, we embarked on a journey across America. We are walking with our dogs, Max and Grace, from Lewes, Delaware to San Francisco, California. We will walk approximately 3,400 miles in 9 months to promote pet therapy, animal rescue, and the positive impact that a fulfilling relationship with animals can have on our health and quality of life.
Along the way, we are stopping to make animal assisted therapy visits at hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other places where a dog’s love and positivity are needed. This also gives Max and Grace, both adopted from a shelter as adults, a chance to show what dogs adopted from the shelter as adults are capable of.
In this fast-paced modern world, our dogs are our connection to the natural rhythms of life. When we travel with our dogs, they bring us a deeper connection to the places we visit and the people we meet. They see, smell, and hear details of our world that we otherwise would look right past. Our dogs constantly remind us to appreciate quiet beauty of taking things slowly, and enjoy the world that is right in front of us.
Whether we are at home or traveling, we are always amazed at how many people our dogs can connect us to. When people see dogs walking down the sidewalk, their faces light up. When we have the dogs with us, we always seem to find ourselves in a conversation with someone that would otherwise have walked right past. In these connections, we see the real value of our dogs – the connections they help us forge with the people around us. And they have an uncanny way of picking out the people who seem to need a dog’s attention the most.
This is why we decided to get involved with animal assisted therapy through Pawsibilities Unleashed. Pawsibilities Unleashed is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Frankfort, Kentucky that provides training, certification, and support for companion pets, therapy dogs, and service dogs. They believe that a dog can drastically improve a person’s quality of life and they are committed to making the health and happiness benefits of a dog accessible to everyone.
When we first began talking about walking across America with our dogs, we quickly realized that the project brought together the things that are most important in our lives. Over and over again, we come back to love, service, animals, and adventure. And so, in 2012, we walk across America for pet therapy and animal rescue.
Kait, John, Grace, and Max walked the first 1,100 miles alone, with nothing but their backpacks and a pushcart. But our team was destined to grow. When we reached the Mississippi River and we hit the summer heat, our good friend Jon Slater and his dog, Old Brown Dog, joined us with a support car.
Then came Jenny #9, a stray that joined us in Iowa. (Jenny’s Story)
Now, our team is made up of three dedicated humans and four very special dogs as we move across America spreading positivity, bound for The Pacific.
Dog Walk Across America is a sponsored project of MarinLink 501(c)(3).