Dog-loving Volunteers at Wag ‘n Trail

Friends at Wag `n Trail

by Katarina Wright, volunteer writer

Every year at this time, you hear dogs barking excitedly as they get out of their cars at the Glendale Farm Open Space for Wag `n Trail. All around are the waggy tails and smiling faces of dogs of all breeds, shapes and ages. Volunteers at the event all agree: their favorite part of the day is all those happy dogs.

It took 98 volunteers and a staff of about 25 to pull off the annual Buddy Center fundraiser on Saturday, September 16. This year’s event started out with a real fall chill in the air. The cooler temperatures helped the Dumb Friends League Event Store booth almost sell out of sweatshirts but it certainly didn’t dampen the dogs’ enthusiasm.

All around the event, friendly volunteers were smiling, helping attendees, and petting dogs. They made sure owners and dogs got fresh water before starting the 1.6-mile hike. Volunteer Trail Marshals helped guide hikers and offered poop bags to make sure the trail stayed clean.

Along the trail, there were photo booths staffed with volunteer photographers. The lines quickly grew long as many attendees took the opportunity for a beautiful photo with their pooches. There was lots of squeaking and calls for “treats” to get dogs and owners to look at the camera at the same time.

Many hikers stopped to chat with the volunteer dog-walkers who hiked with adoptable dogs. Rito, a 4-year old cute Maltese/Yorki mix, already had four adoption holds placed on him before 11 a.m., but lovable, 7-year-old Siobhan was still hoping to find her new owners at the event.

At the top of the trail was the popular Good Times booth where many sat down to relax for a bit and enjoy the view. Dogs received free Pawbenders—custard with dog treats inside—while owners received a regular custard. A mother-daughter couple with their rescue dogs reflected on how peaceful the Wag ‘n Trail event was. They said they chose to participate so they could raise funds to give back to the community and to support the League.

League staff were also spotted walking up and down the trail. It was the first event that our new Education Manager Amanda Kludasch had attended. “It’s an awesome event,” she said, noting that she certainly got her steps in for the day!

As the tired-but-smiling hikers approached the free treat table, staffed by volunteers, several dogs apparently thought their owners were taking too long to pick a bag so they jumped up on the table to sniff at the options themselves. The next stop was the Beer Garden for some rest.

The event raised $132,750 (and counting) for the Buddy Center and would not be possible without the support of our amazing volunteers. Thank you! Some dogs liked it so much that they refused to leave. “Come on, we’ve got to go, we’ve already done the trail twice,” an owner said to her dog, who stubbornly pulled her back toward the event venue. Good thing there is always next year with another chance for more fun!