“Community Pack Walk – And They’re Off…”

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Blog

“Community Pack Walk – And They’re Off…”

“Community Pack Walk – And They’re Off…”

We’ve come a long way from the walks we took with our pack of 5 dogs over the hills in Sweden last year…literally, and metaphorically. It was late summer when we descended a hill and the vision of a community inspired monthly event struck a deep chord with Sunniva and I.

Northwest Arkansas has a long history of successful dog events, and a heavy population of heart driven people who suit up and show up every day serving the needs of our animals in some capacity… BUT what we did not see happening and believed would work (and didn’t really see anywhere in the US on a consistent basis) was a monthly “Pack Walk” that would ultimately serve many purposes.

–       Bring some unity and cohesion to the 40 plus shelter and rescues that exist in the area doing amazing work, sometimes tireless work, with little fanfare and often lack of knowledge from the public about what they do and how the public can help.

–       Give dogs that often are over looked in shelters for a variety of reasons the chance to be seen in a more natural environment.  Sometimes it’s because of their color, or tendency to jump in a caged situation that does not do a great job of mirroring real life…

–       Provide a deeper connection between dog owners and their dogs. Walking your dog is the BEST way to alleviate behavioral issues, strengthen trust, and maintain good health.

–       Unite like-minded people. With a monthly concept that means meeting in different areas of NWA, with varying degrees of difficulty, we hope that over time as the months grow a small tribe of loyal people can always count on a unique “Pack Walk” so that both you and your dog can meet some new friends

–       Remind dogs what it’s like to be in a pack.  They are pack animals by nature, and can all benefit from being walked together.

–       Never forget that walking dogs is a year round event.  I personally learned with my year in Norway/Sweden that walking dogs is done all the time and the dogs and humans are just geared up with the right clothes.  We often get stuck in Middle America with being fair weather participants in outdoor activities because of habit/lack of appropriate clothing/etc.  Spring and Fall you see dog events in mass, but rarely in January. We look forward to unique concept walks year round for those brave enough to get outdoors in any weather situation (outside of dangerous weather)

–       Solgave Animal Solutions will be available at the end of each walk to field questions about behavioral issues and explain the services we provide.

–       Food is something dear to our heart. We see the future ones with a “potluck” type concept with unique foods brought forward for snacks/fuel before or after longer walks that we plan on having in the future.

These 8 things are many reasons we hope and believe the future of the “Community Pack Walk” will be something unique, something different, and something that will build steam over time.

The first walk has a bit of an “event” aspect to it, but in the future it will be less like that, and more focused on just the walk. It will never be something you have to pay or register for.

We are doing gift bags for the first 25 that arrive on Sunday to show appreciation for the support and launch of our business (and have a little fun with some quality products for both the dogs and owner).  It is a bit of an introduction of who we are and what services we provide, a lot of focus on the shelters and rescue organizations in attendance/what dogs they have/how one can foster and adopt/etc., and also a great chance to meet and see other vendors that may be represented on any given month. (Joey’s Dog Bakery is our primary support on site for the first one)

Our hope is to have the second one likely in Bentonville and pushing the distance a bit further and walking the Crystal Bridges Trail from the square. Other ideas we have are a sunrise “Pack Walk” during the heat of the summer.  Going as far as Devil’s Den and making a full day of it a month in the Fall as the leaves are changing. We want to keep the scenery and difficulty level always changing, so that people can pop in and pop out based on how well that month’s “Pack Walk” would fit you and your dog(s)

The only thing we can guarantee you is that we’ll always try and keep things entertaining and interesting from month to month in terms of concept.  Sunniva will be available after each walk to take some basic behavior modification questions.  She is 7 months pregnant and I’ve put the hold on “red zone” cases until the Fall but 9 out of 10 cases we handle don’t fall into that category. It is those however that she finds the most joy in, dogs that others had given up hope on, or a situation that seemed unfixable.  The behavior modification aspect of our business is a big part of it and these walks are a great chance to get insights into what that means, the difference between a “dog trainer” and “dog behaviorist” and anything else on your mind!

We hope to see you there!