Ever been in a mud race with your dog? Well, if last year's Muddy Dog Challenge was a good example of how dogs behave in the mud, they loved it!
Come to think of it, my dogs have never been happier than when they're filthy with mud!
The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home held its first Muddy Dog Challenge in 2017 with the aim of raising money for its nearly 260 year-old dog and cat shelter. This year, the Home will sponsor Challenges in 6 cities in Great Britain for dogs to race on-lead with their owners or handlers. Dogs of any size and breed can enter but, of course, dogs and their owners had better be trained for these events: a 2.5 kilometer obstacle run and a 5 kilometer run.
As you can see, this was not "a walk in the park." Nor will it be this year in the muddy British cities of Nottingham, Windsor, Manchester, Peterborough, Cardiff, and Tunbridge this summer.
With the wet weather we've had in the east and mid-west U.S. so far this year, muddy dog challenges might be a timely way to raise money for U.S. shelters. The weather's right for them and they are a twist on traditional shelter fundraising events.
But they are also a lot of work to put on. First, you have to design a course for the run, making sure it's safe as well as wet and challenging without being dangerous to all-size dogs, as well as their owners.
Individuals would also have to get sponsors for their teams to raise money. But most importantly, they'd have to train themselves and their dogs to make sure they are both physically ready for the Challenge. The Muddydog website has excellent advice for dogs and owners to get prepared for the race and what to bring with you.
If you sponsor a shelter, a "muddy dog challenge" would be a fun and a somewhat different way for U.S. shelters to raise money.