At the Arlington County Fire Department in Arlington, Virginia, physical fitness is a crucial component of the job. The crew works out every day in order to maintain their physical strength, which got them thinking about how they could take their activity to the next level. That’s when they contacted the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) about bringing shelter dogs along on their daily walks and runs. It began as a community service effort but really ended up being much more than that for both the dogs and the firefighters, too.
So, what began as a cool idea turned into something that made heads turn at the local park. At first, they thought the firefighters might walk a dog or two, but as luck would have it there were six dogs at the shelter that all got along quite well with one another. The dogs named Sasha, Maybelline, Naomi, Levi, BB, and Dory all headed out for a run together alongside their new firefighter friends. They were quite the sight, too: the group included a pit bull, husky, Chihuahua, Papillion, Staffordshire Terrier, and a Chihuahua mix. Though they all varied in both size and breed, but the group really enjoyed their time together when heading out on their runs and walks with firefighters.
To make the most of their time together, the firefighters brought the dogs to a local park for at least an hour. This gave the dogs time to enjoy their outdoor time and really get all their smells in—of trees, grass, and whatever else they could discover along the way. Best of all, this exercise makes the dog even more adoptable, helping people to understand they aren’t just “shelter dogs,” they are great companions. All that exercise is a great benefit to the dogs, who the shelter say are much happier and calmer thanks to the outdoor time.