Week 51: Strutting with a Thousand Mutts [Score +19]
My four-legged copilot has an intrepid scoring category all of her own, and yet it had been more than six months since I took Mylee along on an adventure. This spring, the perfect opportunity came along: the Mutt Strut.
Mutt Strut is an annual fundraiser benefiting Indianapolis’ humane society, Indy Humane. For a reasonable entry fee/donation, I got to take Mylee with me to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to walk around the famed oval.
I expected it to be fun. I didn’t expect to see thousands of dogs and families there. It far surpassed my expectations.
We parked, I double-checked that I had plenty of disposal baggies on hand (Mylee has a habit of finding a spot for a bathroom break that has the biggest audience), and we made our way to check in. Dozens of pet-centric vendors were offering their wares and services around the plaza, from gourmet treats to canine massage. When we got out to the middle of the plaza, I took several minutes just to stand and take in a 360° view of the activity. Mylee did essentially the same.
I was most pleasantly surprised that for all the excited dogs in the vicinity, I only heard one brief spat erupt between two, and it was minor and under control within a couple seconds.
We aimed to meet up with a group of coworkers—a registered “pack”—but couldn’t find them in the chaos. I finally gave up searching and went to the start/finish line to begin our walk. I coincidentally spotted a woman wearing a sweatshirt with our company logo on it, so I introduced myself and Mylee, and we enjoyed our stroll with her, her husband, and their puggle, Otis. Otis and Mylee were instant, chill friends who were content to trot happily along at an unhurried pace while observing all the activity around them. We couldn’t have found a better human-dog pair to make friends with.
The course was 2.5 miles and took us on a combination of the oval and road course. At regular intervals, veterinarian medical support was stationed specifically to check and soothe sore paws. This year’s event was on a chilly morning, but past years have also been unseasonably hot, and many pups’ paws aren’t accustomed to walking a long distance on a hot asphalt track.
By the time we finished our walk and made it back to the car, we’d logged four miles of walking without realizing it. Our usual walks add up to about 1.5 miles per day, so Mylee was one tired—but happy—pooch.
We had a great time and will be looking forward to inviting some of our two- and four-legged friends to join us again next year.
- Did something outside my routine: +1
- Left the house: +1
- Did something entirely new: +1
- Activity benefits my health/wellbeing: +1
- Burned real calories (so I got some exercise): +1
- Signed up for an activity without knowing anyone else involved: +2
- Had a conversation with a stranger of at least 30 seconds: +2
- Had a conversation with a stranger beyond basics (i.e., work, hometown, what’s your dog’s name): +2
- Learned someone’s name: +3
- Copilot Mylee came along: +5