We had a doggone good time at the K9 5K

“Listen,” my husband said as we made our way to the starting line of the Legal Runaround Saturday morning in Fond du Lac. “Our goal with this one is not to get bit.”

I looked around at the competition — it was a ruff field, full of four-legged competitors (and one very admirable three-legged athlete) along with an impressive collection of two-legged runners.

“Got it,” I said. “And, our second goal is not to step in anything that rhymes with bit.”

The Fond du Lac Police Legal Runaround, a fundraiser for the department’s canine unit, turned out to be a doggone good time. The well-marked course looped pleasantly through the Marion College Campus, and a professional DJ rotated traditional race music with appropriately themed music.

“Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who?”

Well, just about everyone did but the dogs we met Saturday represented their breeds with dignity and honor. Though they look a little terrifying, with their muscular build and intimidating focus, K9 dogs are actually exceedingly polite. In addition to their work as drug dogs, these highly trained animals prove to be invaluable resources in locating lost children or adults with dementia, and apprehending criminals.

Having never run a K9 5K before, we were not prepared for the proliferation of pooches. I spent my pre-race time observing with fascination that the canine competitors warmed up exactly like their human handlers — sniffing out the competition, stretching and straining at the leash to take off. In particular, a pair of pit bull friends, a protective male and his three-legged female companion, intrigued me. I watched him shield her from visiting people and dogs until he’d checked them out, and then step back and encourage affection. I could have watched them all day.

But, alas, we all had a race to run.

I regretted that I had neither phone nor camera before or during the race, but, charmed by the whole experience, I grabbed my phone as soon as I finished and I took a few shots.

Kudos to the race organizers, the Fond du Lac police department, and, especially, the K9 unit.

I double-dog dare all of you to run it next year.

This elegant labradoodle looked like she was waiting for a post-race massage when I spotted her cooling down in the back of her owner’s van.
Plenty of post-race socializing among the canines and their handlers.
They both look like they could head out and do another lap.
They obliged me, but I know these two dogs were thinking,”Again with the pooch paparazzi. I thought you people were going to get a handle on that.”
I liked that the fundraising trophies were much bigger than the competition medals. It can be very expensive to train and maintain a K9 patrol, but it’s a very worthy cause.
I asked if I could take their picture because there were cute human pups in the post-race crowd as well. Look at that sweet little baby and her penguin pajamas!
The Fond du Lac Police Department currently has two K9 dogs — Packi and Rony. They hosted their fundraiser with dignity. (Photo courtesy of the Legal Runaround Facebook Page).

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