Number of Members we Knew Before we Started SociaBulls: 1
With the exception of 1 person (who we knew through dog rescue) we didn't know any of the people who joined the group. We met some people who had emailed us through the blog, some people we met on the street, some people who had seen us walking as a group, and some who heard about it through word-of-mouth. I love that the group is organic and people 'happen upon it'. It's also great to meet so many like-minded people from all walks of life.
Number of Chicagoland locations visited: Nine!
We rotate our walks throughout the city and we've walked several paths along the lakefront with lake and skyline views, visited historical urban parks, nature trails within the city, a sculpture garden, Wrigleyville, historic neighborhoods and grassy boulevards:
We have several active members who commute from the suburbs, early on a Sunday morning, to walk with the group. We also have a member who recently moved from Nashville and joined the group the first week she was in town.
Number of Non-Pitbull-Type Dogs in the Group: 14
We aren't just a "pitbull group", and we know all dogs need socialization. We have big dogs and little dogs, mixed dogs and purebred dogs. They're just all dogs walking together.
We have leash reactive dogs, timid dogs, overenthusiastic dogs, dog-selective dogs, fearful dogs and young pups. The dogs never meet face-to-face, but they are socialized through the pack walking experience. The structure HikeaBulls has helped us set up works!
Even the Chicago winter isn't stopping us from walking. We all have been coming bundled up, including our pooches in an assortment of coats, hoodies and sweaters. We are going to try to keep going as long as the temperatures don't dip too low.
We've had 4 adoptable dogs who have walked with the group to brush up on their leash walking and socialization skills to prepare them for their forever family. Two of them have been adopted! Estelle, black and white below, is one of the current adoptable dogs in the group walking with her foster mom from It's a Pittie rescue. She is tiny--a 'teacup' pitbull--and is AMAZING with kids. You can even see for yourself in this cute video here. We know this is such a great way to work on skills to increase their chances of adoption, and we love having them in the group.
Besides being great for socialization, our group is raising awareness for responsible dog ownership and pitbull-type dogs. We've had several people stop and ask what we were doing, and how we get our dogs to walk so nicely. We even had a policeman tell us he couldn't believe all of the dogs were walking so well together without barking or having problems.
Best Comment Heard Last Week: "SociaBulls is so great. I wish it could be 5 days a week!"
our SociaBulls Facebook Page for updates on future walks and activities.
If you are interested in joining SociaBulls in the future, email us using the envelope on the sidebar of our blog. (I do apologize in advance that I've been a bit slow the past few days getting to emails).