By Mel Jumper
Any San Diegan will tell you, June and July are the best months to be a local. From street fairs to Over The Line to Comic Con to Pride, if you like community entertainment, SD has got you covered. I never miss San Diego Pride. For years, I would spend the day under the trees in Balboa Park, which is the end of the parade route.
Unfortunately, I would often see dehydrated dogs with burned paws stumbling down the hot pavement. I would tell their owners that they needed to stop now and I’d pull them onto the grassy shaded area and pour them a bowl of water. It upset me greatly. Three years ago, I was talking to a close friend of mine about the issue and his response to me was, “Why don’t you do something about it?” He was right. I immediately started researching dog shoe companies and I found Pawz Dog Boots out of NY.
Pawz agreed to match me dollar for dollar and between a Gofundme account, and donations given at Pride, I was able to purchase over a grand worth of stock. The dog shoes I ordered are made of a natural rubber and are said to be excellent for hot asphalt as well as ice and snow. They are color coated by size which I found to be really cool because I was able to display them in a rainbow. I set up my first Pawz for Pride, Free Dog Shoes booth in front of the Alibi Bar on University Ave in 2015. To everyone’s surprise, it stormed that day. Dogs still came over by the dozens for free booties while happy parade spectators took shelter under my Easy Up and supplied my wonderful volunteers and I with Jello and Melon Shots.
Everyone was happy to see us. Despite the rain, it was a great start. The following year, my sister came aboard and we set up my canopy in the DMV parking lot on Normal St. It was a very hot day. I used a thermometer gun to show people how on a 77 degree day, the asphalt is around 125 degrees. You can boil on egg at 130 degrees. Doggies were able to come to the booth and enjoy fresh water and treats while receiving a fitting. We also walked around and fitted dogs belonging to parade spectators. It was said that we put shoes on around 80% of the dogs present that year. I hope the people I met through the campaign continue to be more mindful of their dogs’ needs. You can purchase various brands of dog shoes at most large chain pet stores.
San Diego is a wonderful city not just because of the weather, but also because of the wonderful people who take part in our community. If you have an idea for something that might brighten our hometown, I highly suggest pursuing it. We may not all be scientists or wealthy philanthropists but we can all create a legacy, one random act of kindness at a time.
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