This past weekend, I did the Breast Cancer Awareness walk at Jones Beach with the Motivators team. Much to my delight, we received 2011 promotional items just for participating: comfy hooded sweatshirts that came in very handy for the cool, windy walk. Gathering way too early for any Sunday, we came to show our support for such a great cause.
The weeks leading up to the walk, I tried and tried to find out if dogs were allowed to attend. During the summer months I wouldn't dream of bringing Brodie to a Long Island beach because of the crowds alone, but in the off-season I thought "why not?" I tried calling Jones Beach - ring, ring, ring. I tried calling our local coordinator of the walk - voicemail. I tried asking around the office - nothing. Finally, about two days before the walk, it was posted: per Jones Beach State Park, no pets allowed. There it was - my answer.
I'm usually a rule-follower, but I just couldn't come to terms with this. I saw news footage of last year's walk and there were several dogs in the background, so I thought it might be worth a try. Worst case scenario: they tell me he has to leave and we turn around.
Sunday morning I was a little nervous about knowingly breaking the rules, but I think I was even more nervous that Brodie might be "B-A-D" (we spell that word in my house because he's quite the sensitive boy, cowering at the mention of it). To my surprise, the whole thing went off without a hitch. We walked the entire boardwalk and were not stopped once. There was a bit more pulling from my eager border-collie than I would have liked, but I was incredibly impressed with the way he behaved overall. We also met plenty of other dogs along the way who were showing their support with breast cancer awareness promotional products. Brodie was strutting a pink bandanna with the awareness ribbon symbol to show his support as well.
After the 5K walk, the stress of the crowd and getting lots of pets from new people he'd never met, my normally energetic pup was pooped. Mission accomplished. He came home and zonked out for the rest of the day while we watched the Bills/Giants game. The walk turned out to be a truly rewarding experience... on many levels!