Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of charitable giving. Why not give the gifts of extra love and a dose of exercise to a new four-legged friend? You can do this with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s Loaned Jogger program. Read about our art director’s experience on an early morning run with her new furry friend, Bella.
Mornings are not usually my thing, but on a recent Thursday morning I was excited to get up early and head to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s location on Conroy Road. . I signed up for their Loaned Jogger program, which partners you up with one of the shelter dogs for a 2-mile run or walk. It’s a great program that not only keeps you active, but helps the dog expend energy and get outside their shelter environment.
The program happens three times a month on Thursdays and you can find the details and sign-up dates here: Pet Alliance.
Like I said, it was a super early morning, but it was so worth it! I pulled up at 6:45 a.m. and met nine other Loaned Jogger volunteers. I happily signed a waiver and the volunteer coordinators paired me with my running buddy Bella, a four-year-old Terrier/Pit Bull mix that enjoys jogging. If you are not a jogger and would rather walk, that is absolutely OK too. Bella and I went over the route, but to be safe, there were also two volunteers stationed along the way to help us if needed. After I gave Bella some love, we were off and running!
It was a beautiful, cool morning and I could tell that Bella really enjoyed the run, stopping a few times to smell some bushes and do her business. (Warning: if your running buddy poops, you are given a bag and have to pick it up!) The entire path is paved and flat, which makes for an easy run or walk. We had to cross the street twice but each time there was a volunteer on location to help us. When we were stopped, I used the wait time to give Bella an extra pet or two and let her get some water. If I didn’t already have three dogs (all 11 years and older, so they are in no shape to run long distances), I might have just taken Bella home with me.
I was told that the Loaned Jogger program only has 10 spots at a time available for a run and it fills up fast, so be sure to sign up early and give and get some exercise. Both you and your running buddy will be happier and healthier for it!
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