Friday, May 16, 2014

Furry Friday Feature: Meet Abbi and Hannah from Miles and Mutts

TGIF, friends! Welcome to the latest edition of Furry Friday Feature. Once a month I introduce you to a runner and his or her favorite furry four-legged running partner. This month I am especially excited for you to meet Abbi and her running partner, Hannah. Abbi has such an awesome story and special website, that I couldn't wait to share it with you.
Abbi is the founder of a great organization called Miles & Mutts, a program dedicated to connecting runners with shelter dogs. This is a fabulous program for runners and dog lovers to donate their time to the dogs who just want to get out and run. I know how excited Ollie gets when it is time for his run or walk, so it truly is a wonderful thing to give that kind of joy to a shelter dog!
Abbi and an adoptable shelter dog from Miles and Mutts.
Abbi and Hannah from Miles and Mutts
Abbi and Hannah from Miles and Mutts

Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner
Out of my four dogs, Hannah is my main running partner. Mixed breed and six-ish. Last year alone, I also shared miles with about 50 adoptable shelter dogs through Miles and Mutts.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

My neighborhood with my own. The local rail trail for the shelter dogs.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Absolutely!! Hannah and I have raced in 6 local 5Ks that support three different local shelters and rescues.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud!

One of the earliest Miles & Mutts runs was with a dog named Cricket. She was all over the place on the ride to the rail trail, completely crazy. The run started the same way but about half a mile to 0.75 miles in she fell into certain pace with me. All of a sudden I saw her relax, calm her breathing enjoy the magic of the mile. That moment made me realize all time and effort into Miles & Mutts will be worth it.

What Important Running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?
Don't get caught up in the details, enjoy the act of movement!

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?
Be patient and start with the right approach to it to build a perfect running partner

Tell us a little more about Miles and Mutts and how you got started.
Promoting rescues and animal shelter involvement has always been a passion. However, I never felt the time and energy I was spending to volunteer was really making much of a difference and could never really find the right fit. I had the idea to start running with shelter dogs when I became highly involved in running in 2010. The idea just sat in the back of my head because I did not feel I was involved in the right organizations to make it work. In 2011, I ran a 5K for a local rescue with one of my dogs, Hannah. After the race, I began volunteering with the organization that hosted Peace 4 Paws 5K, Better Days Animal League, and pitched the idea to them. Starting very small to figure out how to make it work, I started taking dogs to the local rail trail and soon had a few other dedicated volunteers involved. This was in April 2012. From there, we slowly started to spread the word and it has grown into a very dedicated group of volunteers. We now coordinate runs each week and can transport 8-10 dogs each time. The volunteers run whatever distance pace they (or the dog) wants to run and we meet back at the end where the dogs get plenty of love and time away from the shelter. Kennel life can be tough on dogs and it's gets them away from a shelter and out for something more than just a short walk around shelter grounds. It calms them down, helps with their socialization skills and gets them seen by potential adopters. At times, it can be a lot of organization to coordinate, however, the moment you have an overly excited shelter dog who suddenly relaxes and falls into place beside you, every single minute is worth it! Interest has continued to grow and we are very fortunate to be in a place now where we often have more people than dogs! Over the past two years, I've been contacted by many others wishing to start a program in their own towns and several have! Additionally, many other programs are also in existence and I've compiled a list (http://milesandmutts.com/2013/01/29/do-you-want-to-run-with-a-shelter-dog/) of all those we know about for others to get involved in their own ares. After a few years of doing a lot of high mileage and long distance races, I've become quite burnt out on running (reason my old blog is no longer updated), however, the one thing that will always get me out the door with running shoes on is a energetic four-legged running pal who needs an outlet.

If you want to learn more about Miles and Mutts, check out her site at www.milesandmutts.com to find out how you can get involved!

You can also follow Abbi and Hannah on social media by following her Facebook page or her Twitter account. Leave a comment and tell Hannah how cute she is and how lucky she is to have a momma like Abbi!

If you're a runner who would like to be featured with your favorite furry four-legged running partner just fill out this form to be considered for a future Furry Friday feature. (Bonus points if you can say that five times fast.) Note: Entries from the gentleman are lacking. Come on guys, I know there are some boys out there who run with their dogs!!

If you want to check out some other great running dog blogs, check out my post from earlier this week, Top Dog Running Blogs (spoiler alert: clicking on link will lead to cute pictures of running dogs).

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Keep Running,

Lea

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2 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. thank you for all you do for those shelter dogs! :)

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