We went to our very first Mutt Strut and had a blast. What’s the Mutt Strut? Part fall festival, part fundraising walk, the Mutt Strut is an annual event held by and in support of one of Philly’s premier animal rescue organizations, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Between eating treats and making new friends (fun for Dipper), and paw-painting and free stuff (fun for me), we can’t wait for next year!
Both Dipper and I are pretty nervous creatures. In the weeks leading up to the Mutt Strut, I wondered what the event would be like. Would the crowds, sounds, and energy be too much for him (or me) to handle? A rain date gave me an additional day to worry, but I quickly realized after arriving on Sunday that it had all been for nothing.
The atmosphere of the Mutt Strut was open and inviting, aided by the beautiful fall weather. Dipper immediately set in and began casing the Navy Yard, making a few friends along the way. There were tents upon tents for Philly pet businesses and other vendors. Among them were some amazing opportunities to bring home a sweet memento, like the paw-painting station, caricature artist, and photobooth.
We arrived shortly after the 9 a.m. registration and left as everything was winding down around 1:30 p.m. The actual strut took place at 11 a.m., and despite the time before and after, I felt like we didn’t get the chance to do everything. Part of that may have been our strut speed—somehow, we were among both the first dogs to start and the last dogs to finish.
The ultimate event for dog owners
One of the best things about the Mutt Strut was the opportunity to simply be with other dog lovers. I could approach anyone and ask them a million questions about their pets before even introducing myself. I got to meet so many amazing dogs and their owners, including those working at the booths. I had a fantastic time speaking to many business owners, PAWS volunteers, veterinarians, and dog trainers.
Among our favorite booths was OpBarks‘ (a friend of ours here at LDBP!), complete with an agility course, snack bar, and…wait for it…pumpkin spice pup-lattes. They were actually a mixture of goat’s milk, pumpkin puree, and dried beef liver. Naturally, Dipper loved his.
The lure course was another main event, and had by far the longest wait of any activity. If anything was disappointing at the Mutt Strut, it was probably that. The dogs in line were anxious, and many of them were preemptively trying to chase the lure. I heard someone compare it to waiting for a mall Santa. When it came to the actual course, that was a bit of a bummer, too. Not due to any flaw with the course itself, but Dipper promptly lost sight of the lure, turned tail, and ran back to me so he could pee on the fence again. If only he’d do that with squirrels at the park…
Is it October 2017 yet?
Ultimately, the good outweighs what little bad there was at the Mutt Strut. We had a positive experience because we love those sorts of events, and also because I can gauge Dipper’s comfort level. Despite not getting to do everything, we made it from start to finish because we took time-outs—time-outs that I made into photoshoots, but time-outs nonetheless.
Next year, we’ll come better prepared (photobooths are always better with friends!), but for first time strutters, I think we did pretty well. Dipper kept his cool, and I was able to keep him from any problematic situations.
I’m thankful to have been a part of such a wonderful day. I can’t believe our fun went towards the efforts of saving homeless animals—like Dipper—in Philadelphia. We can’t wait to make some more new friends at next year’s 11th Annual Mutt Strut!