Dawgs on the Run trains Tahoe dogs, and their owners | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Dawgs on the Run trains Tahoe dogs, and their owners

Jack Barnwell
Mireya Ortega hugs Goose after completing a recall contest outside Sierra Pizza on Monday as part of a Dawgs on the Run event.
Jack Barnwell | Tahoe Daily Tribune

Cecilia Larson hit the trail behind the Al Tahoe Boulevard post office Monday with Mollie, her goldendoodle, and a pack of other dog walkers from the nonprofit Dawgs on the Run Tahoe. They chatted and traded news.

The walk was followed by a recall contest, allowing dog owners to test their ability to call a dog on command from 15 feet away.

For Larson, it was a great way to socialize.

“It makes me get out and spend more time with my dog and other people,” Larson said.

In other ways, she said, it was also an extension of dog training, one of the tenants Dawgs on the Run was built on.

For the last three years, the organization has hosted the South Lake Dog Carnival and has a standing mission to provide educational information and resources for pet care. This year’s festival takes place Aug. 17 on Ski Run Boulevard.

Larson credits part of her involvement in the organization to her dog-training sessions with Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe-based dog trainer Tammy Cowen.

“She’s more of a animal behaviorist than a trainer,” Larson said. “What she teaches is about communicating with the animals and understanding them.”

Monday’s activity was called Wag, Waddle and Walk, promotes a similar style of training, according to Mireya Ortega, a local dentist and one of the nonprofit’s officers.

“Our biggest goal is to teach that our dogs are not disposable items but instead a lifetime commitment,” Ortega said while walking Munch, her rescued poodle.

Munch, she said, showed up one day and was taken in and acts as a comfort dog at her dentist practice.

Ortega said that a lot of the funds Dawgs on the Run raises through its events like Wag, Waddle and Walk go toward efforts like spay-and-neuter clinics.

“Dogs are really the new children,” Ortega said.

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