ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Billed as “New Mexico’s biggest party for pets and people,” the 31st annual Doggie Dash & Dawdle, a fundraiser for Animal Humane New Mexico and the more than 300 pets in its care, is Saturday.
And here’s who’s invited: adults who wish to dash for 5K, with or without a dog as partner; adults and kids who want to dawdle for two miles, with or without a dog; anyone who enjoys an autumn day’s activities at a park, with or without a dog; anyone who wants to support the state’s largest private, nonprofit shelter and animal welfare organization.
Animal Humane’s Doggie Dash & Dawdle has humble beginnings, with about 100 people and a dozen dogs in the foothills in 1982. It’s grown over the years to attract thousands.
This year, the usual day has changed from Sunday to Saturday (scheduling conflict; will go back to Sunday next year) but the location, Balloon Fiesta Park, is the same. The 5K Dash starts at 9 a.m., the 2-mile Dawdle at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, all around the park is live entertainment; a Doggie Carnival featuring games and bobbing for hotdogs, a photo booth, paw print painting and more; contests, starting at noon, for the best look-alike person-pooch team, best trick and best costume; and food.
There will be dogs.
You can rent one to dash or dawdle – or just hang out – with from Animal Humane’s excellent supply of adoptable pets. You can bring your own, of course, and let him or her play in the off-leash dog park where dog-sitting is available. There’ll be plenty of water and doggie first aid.
Some rules: Dogs should be well-behaved, be current on their shots and on a non-extendable leash 6 feet long or less.
No dangerous dogs, and no cheating: Anyone who pulls a dog across the 5K Dash finish line is disqualified.