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Jog with dogs

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What do wine tasting, helping the community, and Elvis Presley costumes all have in common? Why, they’re all things that happen at the Paso Robles Dog Jog, of course!

The Dog Jog is an annual fundraiser for Sherwood Dog Park in Paso Robles. It is put on by nonprofit organization Parks 4 Pups and takes place at the Vina Robles vineyard. Dogs and their humans can go on a 4K or 2K jog or walk, and afterward there is a variety of activities and entertainment. This year’s Dog Jog will be on Saturday, April 1, with check-in at 9 a.m. and the jog beginning at 10 a.m.

“My favorite part is watching the dogs cross the finish line,” said Parks 4 Pups President Paula O’Farrell. “They’re always looking so proud. It’s like they know they’re on display and they want to show off a little. … Especially with kids, you can’t help but smile.”

BARK FOR FUNDS:  Parks 4 Pups organizes a dog jog at Vina Robles annually to raise money in support of Sherwood Dog Park in Paso Robles. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PAULA O’FARRELL
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF PAULA O’FARRELL
  • BARK FOR FUNDS: Parks 4 Pups organizes a dog jog at Vina Robles annually to raise money in support of Sherwood Dog Park in Paso Robles.

Post-jog activities will include lunch, wine tasting, a silent auction, an expo of local vendors, and live music, with on-site photographers to capture it all. This year’s musical entertainment is the band Rag Bone Saints, whose style “gets you into the party spirit,” O’Farrell said. There will also be dog contests, with categories such as “best pooch smooch,” “dog/owner lookalike,” and “most appropriate name.”

The fun doesn’t have to wait until after the jog, however. As if watching a mob of dogs run or walk together isn’t adorable enough, O’Farrell said that many of the four-legged participants will arrive in costume.

“Elvis always makes an appearance,” she said. “Always someone comes as Elvis Presley. … Someone always dresses their dog up as a hot dog, like Oscar Mayer. … Super heroes are well represented.”

Dressed up or not, every dog registered for the jog gets a goody bag full of treats and other fun rewards, plus a commemorative bandana.

“[The bandanas] are pink this year, and really cute,” O’Farrell said.

The funds made from the Dog Jog will mostly go toward Sherwood Dog Park’s normal operational costs, such as insurance, plumbing, dog bags, and any fees required by the city of Paso Robles. If there is money left over, O’Farrell said that they want to replace the park’s gravel entrance steps with safer, concrete steps, as well as provide the dogs with more sun protection.

“We’d like to add another shade structure,” she said. “It gets very hot over the summer, and it’s a very social area as well.”

The Dog Jog is entirely volunteer-run, with all of the auction items and other goods donated by local businesses. To register yourself and your dog, visit parks4pups.org or call O’Farrell at 239-4437. Early registration is open now and costs $25. Registration after March 30 will cost $30.

“This is our ninth year, so it’s obviously successful,” O’Farrell said. 

Fast facts

• More than 60 California Men’s Colony inmates raised $2,000 for charity by working for the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA). CALPIA gives jobs to those in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation institutions, paying them between $0.35 and $1 per hour. The inmates chose Jack’s Helping Hand as the recipient, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance, medical equipment, therapeutic programs, and other support for families of children with cancer and special needs.

Morris & Garritano Insurance is opening a full-service office at 2721 Santa Maria Way in Santa Maria to provide services to Northern Santa Barbara County individuals and businesses. Founded in 1885, Morris & Garritano is a full-service insurance agency focusing on business insurance, workers compensation, employee benefits, personal lines, surety, and life insurance out of their home office in San Luis Obispo.

New Times intern Katrina Borges wrote this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send tips to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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