Dog lovers, who enjoy taking their pets for a walk, can stretch those legs a little further than normal by participating in the “Doggie Dash” set for Saturday, March 27 at Pride Field on The University of Southern Mississippi campus.
The event, sponsored by Student Health Services, begins at 9 a.m. and will include a one-mile race around the Southern Miss campus with dogs being led by their owners. Prizes will be awarded in small, medium and large dog categories.
Jodi Ryder, health education wellness & promotion coordinator at Southern Miss, came up with the idea a year ago as a fundraising effort for Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg. But she said the event provides additional benefits as well.
“This is a great opportunity for Student Health Service to support a worthy cause in our community,” said Ryder. “And for those who don’t always enjoy exercise, having a pet to walk regularly is a fun way to stay active on some level. Research has also shown that pets can help relieve stress and increase happiness.”
Ryder called last year’s “Doggie Dash” a resounding success, noting that two dogs were adopted during the event. One of those turned out to be Ryder’s faithful companion, “Dash,” named appropriately for the canine romp.
“I like to think of my dog as the spokesdog for the event,” said Ryder. “Last year he was a small puppy that had to be carried, but this year’s he’s out to win.”
Those wishing to participate but do not own a dog may borrow one from the shelter for that day. Registration forms and more information about the “Doggie Dash,” can be found at www.usm.edu/healthservice/HealthCenter/forms/DoggieDash2010.html
Jodi Ryder’s terrier mix, “Dash,” will be on hand for the “Doggie Dash” event set for Saturday, March 27 at The University of Southern Mississippi. (Submitted photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.