Here's a little game that I'll bet most dog owners have played at least once or twice with their canine friends. You have to be sincere about it, though, or else it's teasing, and that's just mean.
Find your furry couch potato lying around somewhere and start the game by calling out his name. Knowing that obedience isn't always mandatory, he lifts an eyebrow and maybe glances over at you. Unless you said the word "treat," it's probably not worth too much effort.
Next, you say (slowly, with drama) "Do you want to ..."
Head pops up and swings around, ears at full attention. Hey, wait. This might be something.
"... go ..."
Muscles tense up. Tail thumps hopefully, several times, hard.
"... for a ..."
Oh boy oh boy, this may be the big one. Rump rises a little and trembles.
YES! You've said just the right word and everything lets loose. The joyous dance, the whines and yelps, the mad dashes between the front door and the place you keep the leash. A walk, a walk! We're going for a walk!
If you haven't played this game in a while with your best friend, or even if you have, the Lawrence Humane Society is going to give you another opportunity to do it. And at the same time you can help out other animals who don't yet have people of their own to take them on special walks.
At 8 a.m. May 12, we're playing host to our 12th Annual Mutt 'n' Strut at Sunflower School, 2521 Inverness Drive, and we're planning for our biggest turnout yet.
The Mutt 'n' Strut is one of our two major annual fundraising events that bring in necessary assistance to keep the shelter going.
It's fun and easy to participate: Pick up a pledge form at any local veterinary office or pet service or supply store, or download it from our Web site, www.lawrencehumane. org. Fill out one for each dog you bring (up to two dogs per participant), or in honor of your feline friends, or just for yourself. You don't need to bring a dog to join in.
Then ask all your friends to help you support the shelter. Gather their financial pledges (a $25 minimum is required per dog or participant, or $30 after May 6) and mail your pledge money and form to the shelter or bring it with you on May 12 between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., during registration and packet pick-up.
Our generous sponsors have helped us prepare gifts for everyone who participates (please support their businesses and tell them how much you appreciate the help they give the shelter). Participants who provide minimum pledges will receive a T-shirt and surprise grab bag. Fifty dollars to $74 earns this plus a Lawrence Humane Society insulated mug, and anyone who secures $75 or more receives a Humane Society backpack/tote as well.
Come early and browse through our gift items. Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., we'll sell coffee, cinnamon rolls and lots of baked goods to give you the energy you'll need to check out all our vendor and information booths. Between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., you're invited to stroll among the vendor booths for a fantastic array of products and information about all types of pets.
Following a blessing of the animals, we'll begin at 9 a.m. on a preset course that will be lined with jugs of water and bowls for our best friends, and bottles of water and cans of ice-cold pop for the rest of us.
Then join in the contests to decide the best animal tricks, the best costume or most interesting howl or bark, most unique mutt, hairiest dog, or which owner and pet look most alike. New and special just for kids are the Sing Star and Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) competitions.
We'll give away door prizes throughout the morning and major gifts to those bringing in the most pledge money. Prizes include Clinton Marina boat rentals, KU pre-season basketball tickets, dog food for a year, a full set of camping gear, Southwind Twelve movie passes, a mobile DVD player and much more.
We even have you covered after you work up an appetite on the walk. Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can indulge in hot dogs, chili dogs, chili pie, chips and pop.
For everyone's safety, we ask that you follow a few simple rules.
All dogs must be current on their rabies vaccinations on the day of the event. "Strutters" under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and everyone must sign the waiver on the form. We must insist that all dogs be leashed and under control at all times - it's the law, and besides, sometimes even the best-behaved canines can forget their manners around so many other four-footed friends.
Please only bring dogs who are healthy and sociable, and if your female is in any stage of heat, she'll need to wait until next year to join us.
All the money we gather goes directly to some form of care for the shelter animals. Every penny you provide helps us with some badly needed supply.
Please join us on May 12. For more information, call the shelter at 843-6835 or visit us online at www.lawrencehumane.org.