Column: Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run, April 21, is your dog’s idea of fun

Wiggle Waggle Walk

Join us at the Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run on Sunday, April 21, at Brookside Park in Pasadena. Funds raised support Pasadena Humane’s lifesaving programs and services for the animals. Register online at

Spring is a wonderful time to get out in our community to enjoy the weather and the beauty of the San Gabriel Valley. I find it’s even more enjoyable if you can bring your dog along.

Unfortunately, my poor little dog, Sueshi, has torn ligaments in both of her knees. She’s scheduled for surgery in early May, so she is missing out on all the spring fun this year.

Sueshi wasn’t able to join me for “Barks and Brews” in March at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia. She would have loved it! The event was the first time when dogs were welcomed to explore the grounds of the garden.

More than 700 dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds strolled on the main lawn and walked the arboretum’s paved paths. The event was such a success. I’m hopeful it will lead to regular opportunities for us to bring our best friends along when we visit the arboretum.

If you missed “Barks and Brews” this spring, don’t despair. We have an opportunity just around the corner for you to explore another iconic San Gabriel Valley landmark, and your pooch is especially welcome.

Now in its 26th year, Pasadena Humane’s “Wiggle Waggle Walk & Run” is coming up next Sunday, April 21. We expect more than a thousand dogs to congregate in Pasadena’s Brookside Park for the event.

Attendees can enjoy a 1- or 3-mile walk or run around the neighboring Rose Bowl. Also, people (and dogs) who prefer a less active start to the day can stay at the park for more time to enjoy the festivities while others get their exercise.

Aside from dog-watching, some of my favorite activities at “The Walk” are cheering for the adorable pups in the costume contest and shopping for animal-theme clothing, art and accessories at the vendor fair.

If costumes and shopping are not your thing, you can enjoy the agility course, K-9 demonstrations, food trucks and learning more about programs and services available to you through Pasadena Humane. Plus, there are loads of free giveaways for pets and people.

We want to ensure that everyone has a good time at the event — including our canine attendees.

So, Rochelle Guardado, Pasadena Humane’s Animal Training Manager, has some tips to keep everyone happy and safe:

  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times. We recommend a 6-foot leash securely attached to your dog’s collar or harness. For the safety of your dog and other attendees, retractable leashes are not allowed. Important to note: leashes longer than 6-feet are illegal in Pasadena!
  • Refrain from letting your dog greet other dogs nose-to-nose. In dog language, it’s polite to sniff hinds first. Letting dogs rush in to greet nose-to-nose may make some dogs feel threatened. If your dog isn’t a polite, calm greeter, it’s best to say “hi” from a distance.
  • Always ask before petting or approaching another dog. With so many cute dogs attending, it can be tempting to want to pet them all! Rather than offering a hand to sniff, always ask the pet’s guardian if their pup wants to say hello. Let the dog approach you instead of leaning over to touch.
  • Go at your dog’s pace. Whether you have a little dog or a giant breed, it’s a good idea to watch their gait as you walk. Take water breaks when needed and let them stop to sniff the roses!

These are great tips to remember not only for “The Walk” but any time you are out for a walk with your dog.

I hope you’ll join us on April 21 to support the amazing work Pasadena Humane does for the animals in our community. Proceeds from the event help fund our lifesaving programs and services. Register online at


Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on April 12, 2024.