Pet walk about community, anniversary

Published 5:46 am Monday, May 9, 2022

We need volunteers!
Guardian Animal Medical Center is hosting a 5K run and 1 mile dog walk on Saturday, May 21. We thought that it would be easier this year since we had the experience of last year.
Like last year, we decided at our roles and goals meeting at the New Year that we would host the race again.
While I did complete my 5K race last year, I made no such goal this year! I am too old to do a race without training again and besides college graduation, COVID-19 issues took up too much space on my goals list.
Last year’s 5K went well. We use it as a community service and celebrating Guardian Animal’s anniversary.
We wanted to do something big and a 5K is big! Even though we realized that we had never done anything like this before, we started early enough to work everything out. Since we had done it before and there are good notes, we thought it would be easier this year.
But a few things came up this year. The first issue was the date. It snuck up on us sooner than we expected. Realistically, we wait until the last moments anyway. So, it was perfect!
We decided to call it the Guardian Angel 5K and 1 mile Paw Walk. We shifted our race to the May 21.
Our second mix up was our city council permission. Russell requires us to be on the agenda and go to a meeting in person. Flatwoods does not. Since the race goes through both towns, we must have permission for both. Last year, we didn’t have to go in person. This year, we did. Unfortunately, I remembered to force the issue of checking the morning after the council meeting. Fortunately, they have a meeting right before the race.
Then we sent our information, signed the contract and submitted a deposit on the fee to TriState Racer. This year the contract arrived in two days, not the four weeks of last year. They will do the chip timing, online registration and have a race director present.
We select a cause, name, date, race route and decide which package we wanted. We are doing registration at Guardian Animal Medical Center this year. It will be easier for some and cheaper than the online registration.
The cause was easy and the same as last year.
In addition to the race helping with community fitness, our 501(c) charitable trust fund is again empty. We want to build a flight cage for raptors beside the building. We also have a few dozen gunea pigs from a not great situation.
All proceeds will support our Guardian Angel fund for strays, rescues, wildlife and owner assistance for special cases.
Because we were able to work out the city council thing, we could keep the same route.
A flat course for the dogs is considered mandatory for pet walking. I want all the dogs to be safe, so it will be a fun walk without times. There will be emergency coverage at an open office for pets during the walk.
The race starts and ends at Guardian Animal for parking and set up.
We still will have meetings with the Flatwoods police and planning on Google maps.
All walkers and runners will start at GAMC, loop around back streets to Bellefonte Road and up to the city park.
Runners will run around the park and parking lot, but dogs (and owners) will only be in the parking lot. All will head back to GAMC with the 1 mile walk ending at GAMC. The 5K runners will continue down the hill, and then return up the hill to finish.
We will still need volunteers to work the road crossings.
Volunteers will only pay $5 for a shirt. (They cost a bit more than that!) And we still have to borrow or rent cones to mark the route.
Because of past year’s notes, we were able to quickly get event insurance.
We got plenty of medals last year to do both races.
The trophies will be picked up locally. Trophies for first overall women and man look good. First three places (male and female) in each of the other divisions will get a medal. Thirty-six medals and two trophies should arrive Tuesday.
Purple was a popular color and we tag teamed on the T-shirt design.
One of us would start an idea and the other would pick it up and make good changes.
This meant that we got a better design than either of us alone would have done and because of our schedules, much quicker.
Graphic designs will get the shirts and have a design that is similar to last year’s, but different. The design was slightly modified for the dog bandannas.
Erika has taken most of the lead on getting things done. She has contacted our vendors for goodie bag support and has some exciting things coming.
We are working on getting sponsors. Last year, it cost us almost $1,000 more than we took in to put on the race. This year, we hope to have even more racers or dog walkers and the sponsors should help.
If not, it is a good community activity and good for the dogs.
For our first race, I wrote “decades ago, equipment, supplies and walls were starting to come together as I was getting ready to open Guardian Animal Emergency Clinic.
Two years later, it became Guardian Animal Hospital.
Nineteen years after opening, we would move to Flatwoods and become Guardian Animal Medical Center.
Every step of the way, we would be helped by others, learn a lot and do a better job.
I love that we can do something special and something big for our anniversary.”
If you substitute community for anniversary, I still feel that way!
Come join us!
We need volunteers!

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. 606-928-6566.

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