|Can you spot the happiest dog in the world? The center of attention?|
Because I think she is such a great dog (although, my opinion may be biased) and she has so much fun when we're out there running together, I've been dying to sign us up for a 5k. I've seen dogs at races before, and I just know it is something that Pepper would absolutely love. She would love the excitement on race day, the attention from other runners, and the running too (duh).
However, time and time again, I keep coming up to road blocks when finding a 5k for us to participate in. Looking at different websites for small, local 5ks, there isn't usually a policy on dogs. I've emailed 4 different (small, local) races to find out about their policy on dogs. Some have said "We'd rather not" or "No"... While others never responded. If there is going to be a policy, I wish that more races would publish this policy on their website so it becomes common knowledge. I understand not all people are dog people and there are certain liabilities with having dogs at races.
I've even emailed race directors, received a "no" response, and then shown up on race day only to see dogs (plural, more than 1) participating in the event. Being a strict "rule follower" by nature, I was upset by these "rule breakers." The defensive part of me thinks... Why have a rule if it is not going to be enforced? Another part of me thinks... Should I be a rule breaker like these other folks? Quit asking questions and just start showing up to races with my dog? Have you ever seen dogs when running races? Did it make you think one way or another about the race, or dogs in general?
Maybe this is an untapped market for a new type of race? A dog-friendly 5k! I've seen it done in other states (California mostly) but I haven't heard of anything around here. Would you participate in a dog friendly race? Perhaps the FNRC needs to put together a "grass roots" kind of thing where all dogs are welcome. Have you ever participated in a race with your dog? What race was it? Did people treat you differently, during or after the race?