Pack Walk with Cesar Millan and Scooby Doo

At the Pack Walk start line before everyone else

Last night after work, we packed the Chihuahuas in the car- forgetting most of our stuff but remembering Yuuki’s meds and our toothbrushes- and made a late night trip through horrific traffic and torrential downpour. It was for a great reason though.

Event set up on the National Mall

Today was Cesar Millan’s Second Annual Family Pack Walk which took place in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall this year. Last year it was in California, and who knows where it will be next year. After some debate (I’m a little worn out from my recent international and regional travels) and important encouragement from my work-b.f.f., I decided I was just going to suck it up and make the drive. It was totally worth it. I would say that, in all honesty, I was a little disappointed with the post-walk event, but the chance to walk with Cesar with worth it. I know some people have their issues with him, but I don’t and I’m totally okay with that!

The twins are marveling over how big the Wolfhound was

We stayed with my friend, his mom and his twin girls. The dogs were not particularly happy with this arrangement, and Yuuki launched into demon-chihuahua mode at each of the girls at least once. Chilly is always nice enough to make up for Yuuki’s bad behavior.

We got up early and drove into the heart of D.C. to find parking and make our way to the National Mall. There were more dogs there than I’ve ever seen in one place in my life. As my friends all know, Chesapeake’s Bark in the Park (happening next week) is my favorite dog festival of the year, but this one certainly had that one topped in dog size and variety. It was like a parade of all the breeds you only see on Dogs 101. How often do you find yourself pressed against someone with two Irish Wolfhounds? A full parade of Mastiffs in all assortments. A passel of greyhounds. Chihuahuas in all shapes and sizes. It was worth it just to see the parade of dogs!

Yuuki’s sporting his new Scooby Doo bandana

Because we got there so early, we had some time to waste and wandered around a bit. We got free t-shirts, the chihuahuas got bandanas and we got a ton of free poop bags. I got a little bit of judgement (only whispers and looks, no actual comments) because I was carrying Yuuki around in his pouch. My mom made this bag that he rides in– originally because he occasionally tweaks his

Yuuki in his pouch

back and can’t walk, now because his heart condition has dramatically reduced his walking stamina– and it makes me look like one of those people that carries her dog in her purse. In my defense, he enjoys his pouch and he lets me know when he wants to get out and in again. Some media guy took a photo of me holding Chilly with one hand and Yuuki in his pouch. I wonder if that’ll go up somewhere…

It took a while to get started, so we visited with other dogs near the starting line. Cesar gave a little talk (Thomas got a video of it on his phone) and then…after about 40 minutes of waiting…this mob of dogs and people began to move! It was super fun. There’s something to be said about a good dog parade with mostly well-behaved dogs.

Mobs of people and dogs waiting at the start line for the walk

Cesar and Scooby doing the pre-Pack Walk pep talk

Pack Walk around the National Mall. Yuuki made it most of the way- though we dropped to the back with the other fat/old dogs…

After the Pack Walk, we wandered around, but if you were older than 5, there wasn’t much to see. I sort of expected something like Bark in the Park with vendors and people selling t-shirts and crafts. The vendors were mostly D.C.-based tourism institutions (like the National Children’s Museum opening this December) or the event sponsors (Purina, Vetericyn and Scooby Doo). The girls played with parachutes and made crafts and visited the Scooby Van, but other than that, there wasn’t much to see. We stayed a couple hours admiring the amazing breeds passing by and then headed back through horrific traffic (I don’t get it– why is I-95 full of traffic for no reason on a Saturday afternoon??).

The Chihuahuas are passed out now, and it turns out that Shizuka actually missed us! I left her behind because I figured she’d rather be hunting (and she hates the heat), but apparently she sulked for the 24 hours we were gone. Maybe we’re bonding after all!

It was totally worth it, and I always love a good Cesar event. And Yuuki got more exercise than he’s gotten in a long time thanks to the relatively cool weather. Can’t wait to get my doggy vendor fix next weekend at Bark in the Park though!