It's that time of year, when the most frightful of holidays is but a fortnight away, that animal aficionados turn their gaze to their treasured companions and think "should you be a pumpkin, or a dragon, or a princess, or some zany combination of the three?"
Truly, in some households this question is far more urgent than what type of candy will go in the bowl next to the front door, for dressing up one's pet is a time-honored way to bring the furry residents of a home into the spooky swing of Halloween.
But best put this all-important question aside, at least for the moment, and ponder what sort of athletic wear you yourself shall don to saunter alongside your dog at Exposition Park on Saturday, Oct. 22.
That's the date for the Los Angeles Strut Your Mutt, a large-scale fundraiser that helps home-needing pups in a host of ways. You're right, NKLA and Best Friends Animal Society is behind this annual assist-animals-in-need event, one that's mirrored in robustly attended community walks across the country.
And, you're right again, it isn't just about the walks, but all of the extra on-site activities, too, that happen during the morningtime to-do.
And, bingo, there are two walks to choose from, one that's "Long" (it's 2.26 miles) and one that's billed as "Short" (it's half that, at 1.13 miles).
The canine-centered activities include a bean bag toss, a race that's all about seeing what hounds excel at balancing a bone, and the thrilling Frisbee-based Tic-Tac-Toe.
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A pet communicator, trainers, and vets will be there to answer questions and/or chitchat, while Metro Pets wil have the soothing paw pad treatments at the ready (and mini massages, too, with "(s)kin/coat conditioning.")
The lengthy roster of exhibitors and participants is a who's who, or an arf's arf, if you prefer dog-ese, of people and organizations involved with helping our poochly pals.
To register? That's $35 if you're an adult, $18 for kids between the ages of 6 to 12, and entry is free for those kids under the age of 5.
Does your dog need to wear anything special? Not at all. Their joyful, shaggy, tongue-licky presence is all that's required at the walk. You can save the pumpkin costume, or the dragon outfit, or the princess dress for Oct. 31.
In the meantime, focus on a gathering that's not at all frightful, but very much about assisting some true-hearted organizations as they joyfully assist those who can't advocate for themselves.