Monday, August 13, 2012

SociaBulls: One Year Anniversary "By the Numbers"

 For the longest time I would enviously 'Facebook stalk' the Hikabulls group in California watching their amazing hikes with like-minded dog owners. It was only after lamenting that I wished we had a group in our area, that Lark suggested we start our own group, giving us the structure and the confidence to begin walking in Chicago. Flash forward and we have reached our one year anniversary!
From navigating densely population urban areas, to unexpected growth, getting to be part of a positive dog community and meeting and working with some amazing people, this is how we look just 1 year later:

Number of Members on Our Inaugural Walk: 4 --Plus, Miss M & Mr. B
Number of Current Members: Approximately 120 current members who have completed our 'orientation' process. We also have approximately 45 dogs on our waiting list. We have increased to 2 walks per week, but we cap the walks at 20 pooches each.
Number of Walking Locations Visited: Sixteen! When we first started we didn't know if we could even find one location in the city where our group could walk uninterrupted. We have since tried several places in the city including rotating between historic urban parks, lakefront paths, city nature trails, sculpture gardens, and city nature trails. We've learned some locations work better than others, and a lot of it depends on the time of year.

Numbers of Walks Cancelled in One Year: 7! We've only had 4 walks cancelled for weather conditions (thanks to a very mild winter!). And we chose to cancel the weekend NATO was in town, and for the Chicago Marathon.

Number of "Fifteen Minutes of Fame": One! After an unfortunate incident involving an irresponsible dog owner and 2 'dogs-at-large', we were excited to welcome the Chicago Tribune on one of our walks to share the positive side of responsible dog ownership.
Number of Adoptable Pooches who have Walked with the Group: 17
Number Who Have Since Been Adopted: 12! Four of them even return to SociaBulls to walk with their new families.

Number of New Walking Groups We've Heard about in Other Cities: Several. We've been trading emails with a lot of people in a lot of locations and we've been privy to all types of great, well-researched groups popping up. From Seattle to New Jersey, Minnesota, Kansas City, Oregon, California, Arizona and Ohio (I know I'm leaving some of you guys out...), it has been great hearing about all the new groups and trading ideas.

Favorite Quotes about the Group: "I can't do many social things with my dog, but this is one thing we can do together every weekend". Plus more here. 

Funniest Quote Heard From a Passing Car: "If I had known you all were walking out here, I would have brought my Westie".
So where does this leave us now? To be honest...I'm not really sure.
This year has been about learning a lot, encountering things we've never anticipated, and changing direction a few times. What we originally thought was clearly defined, just doesn't seem so clear right now.
We never expected our group to grow so big or the demand to join to be so high.
I do know we will continue creating a positive, safe place where our dogs can comfortably walk.
Stay tuned to our Sociabulls Facebook page where we will keep most of our updates.

Plus, 'fun facts' from our first few months.


Life_With_Alfred said...

What an excellent recap of the year - Happy Anniversary!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Happy Anniversary and thank you for starting this group! It's hard to imagine life without it!!!

AJ said...

Happy anniversary from the HikeABulls crew!!!!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Congratulations. Your group is a big success!
Benny & Lily

Daisy Dog said...

Congratulations on your one year mark! Its just the beginning. You have done so much for Pibbles all over the country with your blog and now the sociabulls group!!

Daisy Dog said...

Congratulations on your one year mark! Its just the beginning. You have done so much for Pibbles all over the country with your blog and now the sociabulls group!!

Anonymous said...

How about "visits from out-of-town bloggers?" I can think of at least one! ;) Congrats on one year of walks!

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