Sunday, May 17, 2015

Date with your dog: The Million Paws Walk

Is it a dog? A lion? A tiger? A liger? No idea but I loved this costume.
This weekend Phil and I joined staff and students from the University of Sydney running free health checks at the Million Paws Walk at Sydney Olympic Park. It was a fantastic day for so many reasons: it’s the major fundraising event for the RSPCA, it’s a celebration of spending time with our canine companions, and it really does draw enthusiastic dog owners together.

A profile shot.
I discovered that one of my colleagues is a card-carrying member of the Shiba Inu social club (I had no idea!). I ran into some patients belonging to the Inner West Pug Grumble. We met costumed dog owners and even more elaborately costumed dogs.

Staffies in ballgowns.
It’s nice to go to a massive public event and see officials and volunteers alike welcoming dogs instead of politely turning them away. There should be more of it. 

Sydney Uni staff and veterinary students who volunteered (the vets who volunteered for the afternoon shift are not pictured as this was taken early).
Phil with Inspector Tanya and RSPCA veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad.
Phil was a hit with the crowd.
The emphasis was on fear free handling. Its a bit hard to see from the pic but the patient in the foreground is shaking hands with our veterinary intern.
This sausage dog was oblivious to the fact it was wearing a tutu.
Asymmetrical rainbow grooms are in this season.
This guy was hit by a car at the age of 5 - that was 6 years ago. He suffered spinal injuries and a punctured lung, and now uses a wheelchair. He was so excited to be at the Million Paws Walk and very keen to interact with the other dogs.
Volunteers were fortunate enough to recieve meal and drink vouchers. I would hate to count how many cuppas were turned around by this dynamic duo.
That said, there's only so much canine excitement Phil can handle, so after our morning shift we left so Phil could come home and have his cat nap. Did you participate in your local Million Paws Walk? Tell us about it!