Last Saturday ( May 3 ) started out as a beautiful, sunny, spring day. Then I left the house. The dogs and I headed over to pick up our friend Kathy and head down to Montrose Beach for the 14th Annual Bark in the Park. Our wild spring weather took an ugly, windy turn that my hair is still complaining about. But it was the day of the Bark in the Park, and our dachshund group had been looking forward to it for months, so my hair, my short dogs and I persevered. The Bark in the Park is a 3.2-mile fundraising walk to benefit The Anti-Cruelty Society ( ACS ) . The ACS has been around since 1899 and, according to its mission statement, the organization 'exist [ s ] to prevent cruelty to animals and to advance humane education.'
Just since 1999 the ACS has found loving permanent homes for more than 40,000 pets, and has spayed or neutered more than 61,000 animals. They also offer many services, including an adoption program, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, a rehabilitation and treatment center, a low-income clinic, humane education/community outreach, cruelty and abuse investigations and rescue, dog-training classes, a free behavior hotline and pet visitations. They are busy people and do great work.
The Chicago Dachshund Lovers has adopted the ACS as one of our annual fund raising projects. The group walks together as Team Hot Dogs: Chicago Style. This year the wieners rocked the park for the second year in a row as the winners of corporate-team challenge. That award goes to the team that raises the most money, and our group outdid ourselves—raising a whopping $18,430!! I have never been prouder of our big-hearted members and our short, long dogs. We were quite the visual as well this year with 60 humans and over 67 dachshunds ( or honorary dachshunds, as we are not elitists ) walking. All over the park we heard whispers of 'What's with all the doxies here?' and a few 'Hey, look at all the wieners,' and, of course, the never-been-heard 'Anyone got a bun?'
If you missed the Bark, there are many more fundraising walks and events you can participate in to help the other great animal organizations in town. They all do great work saving thousands of dogs, cats and even rabbits all year round. If you are considering a pet, please consider adoption from one of the many organizations that work so hard for the welfare of the animals. Here are some events coming up soon.
—Sun., May 18, 10 a.m.: Harmony House is hosting the 26th Annual Walkathon for Cats and Kittens at 3809 N. Kedzie. www.hhforcats.org
—May 19, 20 & 21: Take part in the Jewel Shop & Share. If you shop at any Jewel-Osco store in Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin on the days listed above, 5 percent of your total purchase ( excluding tax ) will be donated to ARFhouse Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter. Just hand the signed slip to your cashier and help ARFhouse Chicago raise money to help homeless pets! Download a form at www.ArfHouseChicago.org
—Sun., June 1, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Red Door Shelter's 8th Annual Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals will take place at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt. There will be a brunch; raffle; entertainment: tarot card readers, dog tricks and treats; and animal communication for people and their pets. $15 in advance; $20 day of the walk. www.reddoorshelter.org
—Fri., June 13, 6 p.m.: PAWS Chicago's Viva Paws Vegas! Casino Night & Poker Tournament will take place at 1365 N. Dearborn. Features include a four-hour Texas hold 'em, high-rollers room, casino games, open bar and buffet dinner. two-legged guests only. www.PawsChicago.org