I belong to the Seattle/Eastside Dachshund Group on Meetup.com and thought it would be fun to connect with other doxie owners and go on a hike. I won’t lie, I also thought it would give me more for my blog and help me prove that we aren’t the only weiner dog family that gets out for hikes.
Anyway, I contacted the organizer of the group and asked if I could be made assistant so I could coordinate these events. She accepted my offer and I scheduled the first hike. It was a moderate hike up Rattlesnake Ledge out by North Bend. I didn’t get overwhelming response I was hoping for.
At another meetup for the group I talked about our weiner dog family and about the hike I had planned, hoping to garner more interest. I got the impression that a lot of members would like an easier option. A few members even indicated that we were a little “weird” and most people wouldn’t hike with their dachshund.
So, I listened to their request and set about looking for an easier option to offer. I saw on the group discussion board that someone had mentioned a walk around Greenlake so I decided I would schedule one and see what kind of response I got. It was a no-brainer for me because we live by Greenlake so I wouldn’t have to drive and it would only take a couple of hours out of my weekend.
Because the response was so underwhelming for the hike, It didn’t even occur to me to put a limit on the number of people who could RSVP. To my shock and surprise, 35 people signed up within 24 hours.
I thought, “holy crap, that’s a heck of a lot of weiners”. I imagined all kinds of mayhem breaking out due to the sheer number of hyper, barky dogs. My vision had been to create a fun event with some gawk factor for other park users – NOT to choke up the trail and irritate people.
I promptly capped the event at 40 attendees. By the time the event came all of the spots were taken and there were 10 people on the waiting list. We actually had people jockeying for position and “arguing” over where they were on the waiting list.
On the day of the event, as expected, less people showed up than were on the list. That’s ok though….it was a great group of people. Maybe more will come when the weather is better. Wet Belly Syndrome, ya know.
I don’t know what it would have been like if all of them had showed up but this went pretty well. I suppose we were so busy wrangling our dogs and chatting away that we DID choke up the trail a little but I am sure we didn’t any more than the stroller moms that walk around the lake two or three side-by-side.
Some people at the park were clearly not amused and refused to budge from their trajectory – staring us down in a veritable game of chicken until we moved. Others just dodged us. One guy didn’t even seem phased as he muttered “excuse me”, lept off the trail and bounded past.
There were several people who DID find it amusing though. So may people walked by whispering, “Oh my gosh, look at all these weiner dogs. What is this some kind of convention?” Something like that I guess. Spectacle made. Hilarity achieved.
This seemed more like the group’s speed so I decided to make this my monthly event. There are a few troopers in the group that are willing to venture into the rugged outdoors so I will still schedule a few hikes here and there. Mostly though we will have to rely on our bigger dog friends in the Seattle Active Dogs Group for the bigger, tougher hikes.