Monday, March 4, 2013

SociaBulls: Preparing for the Unexpected

Since we've started our Chicago SociaBulls walking group, we've been learning a lot about how to make our big walks go smoothly. Though sometimes we do run into some unanticipated things:

Making Sure our Walking Location is Available:
We work hard to find walking locations where we won't encounter a lot of bikers, runners and off-leash dogs. We also look for areas with a continuous walking path that is not restricted on the side--in case a dog wants to step away--and few street crossings so the group isn't split up. Even with all these restrictions, we have several locations that work!
At the same time, we have learned we need to research ahead as there will often be other events going on in our location. At the same time, we also need to check big events going on in the city, like: races, sports events, parades, concerts and festivals which can mean closed streets and make driving to the locations very difficult.

Un-shoveled and Icy Paths:
Since we use such remote locations, this means the paths aren't shoveled and they are usually icy. We try to plan locations which might be less icy. Though we do recommend using crampons.

Weather Differences Across the City
With the city lined up against a lake, the weather can be drastically different in different areas of the city. When we are closer to the lake it will be colder and windier, making it harder to walk during cold weather.

What are some factors you've found that make it harder to walk with your pup?

Choosing walking locations for your group
Remember this?
Plus, join our Chicago SociaBulls Facebook page for more photos and information about group walks. And check out the Hikabulls page where we first learned about the benefits of group walking.


Unknown said...

Definitely the ice and snow. We like to let Nola off leash (in areas where it is ok to do so, of course), but with her previous ACL injury we don't want to risk her slipping. It's been tough this winter with all the snow, then the warm temps melting it, then it getting colder and packed down and icy again. We can not wait for spring! P.S. LOVE the Tiennot Knot Sweaters in the first picture!

Anonymous said...

Goose poo! You just never know where those gaggles have been the night before!

jet said...

Heat is really the only big problem unique to our city in terms of dog walks. Greyhound playgroup was cancelled for pretty much 2 months straight due to the temperatures. In those scenarios we can only go places where there is access to water for the dogs to cool down in (ie near the river or the beach), or go out in the dark ;)

Unknown said...

Off-leash dogs are a huge problem. Lacy and I get approached by one at least once a week. Sometimes they just want to play, other times they get aggressive with her. It's a good thing she has absolutely zero leash aggression. I got into it with a woman at Welles Park whose dog was off-leash and circling Lacy and me. The woman was calling the dog's name (from across the park) and the dog was ignoring her, of course. Also, she could NOT have been moving any slower to grab her dog. If you're not going to put your dog on a leash, then you better make sure you're in shape so you can sprint after him or her! When she finally caught up to us, she said she was trying to grab him but "you keep moving." Oh-so it's my fault! Yeah, I had some not-so-kind words for her.

Allie said...

We mostly just have to watch out for other pooches since Maggie is still very reactive. She's getting better but goodness, when we get stuck with dogs on every side and nowhere to gets tense!

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