Home Community Organizations GOOD DOG, BAD DOG, WET DOG, DRY DOG



It was a great day for mudders—but this wasn't the track. Not the racetrack, anyhow. But the second annual Critter Crawl slogged, slid and mudded its way to a happy if sopping end.
The Crawl benefits the Humane Society of St. Thomas, and the shelter brings dogs to be walked in the event. Though there weren't enough dogs to go around Sunday, the canine population was buoyed up by people bringing their own pets as well. It was a $10 entrance fee and another $10 to "rent" one of the shelter dogs for the run, or $5 if you brought your own.
The sky threatened all day Sunday, but Charlotte Morris was nothing if not determined. Morris had organized the first Crawl in February, and was going to do this one no matter what.
So much effort, so many runners, to say nothing of so many canines, hung in the balance as the sky opened up in one enormous deluge. Much of the crowd stood hovering under one tiny white tent as Morris grabbed a bullhorn and announced, "We're going to do it. I'll tell you what though, we'll just do one lap."
Whew, what a relief. Only one mile in the mini-monsoon. Covering her bets, Morris also wooed the crowd with promises of the many door prizes looming in the wet wings.
However, Morris' spirit caught on. Almost all the crowd, pulling their canine charges behind, lunged through the mud over to the road by the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, the official track.
One, two and off they go, slipping and sliding up the hill by Fortress Storage and around by Lockhart School, Sugar Estate Post Office, and one last pull around the hospital, and home.
This wasn't your usual race. Everybody cheered everybody, and nobody was keeping official time. Couldn't be done without ruining the time contraption, the one with the big lighted numbers.
No matter. Everybody won. Kids laughing, pulling their wet pooches—one simply sat down in the road and hugged her dog.
Dave Summers and his wrinky Shar pei, Tonka, came in second, or probably second or something. That is, they finished. Summers owns Golds Gym and donated a week at the gym for anyone sillly enough, or brave enough, to have taken part in the Crawl.
Portia and Marty Martinez and their dog, Daphne, got even wetter than they had earlier in the day when they dived in the harbor for the Frenchtown Marina cleanup. How did Daphne do? "I guess you could say she was fashionably late," Martinez said. Speed was not high on anybody's priority list.
Morris handed out trophies to a ten-year-old boy named Paul, and a thirteen-year-old named Charlie (a girl), who finished right on the heels of well-known St. Thomas runner, Clare Ochoa.
One of the first runners with dog was Kirsti Aiken and her year-old puppy, Tyson. It became impossible to figure out the whole names of people as signup forms turned limp, wet and unreadable. But that didn't really matter.
Morris was delighted with the day and the turnout and the crowd.
"It was wonderful how everybody got to know each other, huddled under that little tent!" she said. And the Crawl actually took in more money than the previous, dry one. Morris said there were about 100 participants, and as of Sunday night they had taken in $950. If she sells the rest of the Crawl T-shirts, she figures they will have about $1,100 for the shelter. Golds Gym will have them on sale Monday.
Veterinarian Andy Williamson was in attendance with his petmobile, but the scheduled animal obedience show somehow didn't make it.
In the end, everybody smelled like a wet dog, albeit a happy dog.


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