2009 Seattle AIDS Walk

Posted on September 29, 2009


The Event

The Seattle AIDS Walk is an event that raises money for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. Regardless of your political or religious beliefs, HIV and AIDS are facts of life. They’re with us now, and we all suffer. Anyone, from any walk of life, can be affected. I know a minister who is HIV positive because of a youthful experiment with injected drugs. So last year I answered the call to walk, and wound up helping to carry the team’s banner for most of the 5K (3.125 mi.) distance. This year I walked again, this time with our dogs. The event raised over $400,000. There was a 1 mile walk, a 5K walk, and a 5K run.

That's me, Kai, and Rustle in the lower left.

That's me, Kai, and Rustle in the lower left.

The Team

Our church started participating in 2007. Participants and spectators alike were very surprised to see a religious group participating not to support its own agenda, but instead to support the event itself. I didn’t walk that year. I wasn’t even aware of the event, or the church team. When I participated the next year, I noticed half a dozen other religious groups all doing the same thing, with their own teams and banners.

My Dogs

Kai, our elder dog (hey, he’s 13, that’s elder for a dog), is a flat-coat retriever/chow mix. He set a wonderful example by staying calm and focused on my guidance. Rustle, our younger dog, is a miniature poodle. He was a wonderful ambassador for poodle-kind, showing off his outgoing, friendly nature.

Lessons Learned

I need to get there earlier. I arrived an hour before start, and parking was very tough. I’m glad I brought water and a cloth water bowl. I watered the dogs twice along the route. They were well enough hydrated that they snubbed water when I filled the bowl a third time after the walk. Although Rustle has to work twice as hard to cover the same distance as Kai, Kai paid the price for the exertion. By Monday, his digestion was really bothering him. He’s in terrific shape for a dog his age, but a brisk 5K walk may be beyond him these days – or it may have been the mental stress of being on his best behavior for so long. Either way, I don’t think I’ll take the dogs next year.


The two people who took this event as their ministry are stepping down after this year. I’m strongly considering stepping in and organizing a team of runners for 2010.

Posted in: dogs, Self-Reference