Tails on the Trails

[AACCC note:  This is about a Walking Club lead by AACCC volunteers John and Bev Faunce. ]

by John and Bev Faunce

Almost any weekend, John and Bev Faunce can be found walking one of their dogs on the Anchorage Volkssports Club’s Campbell Creek Trail (YRE). The start point for this walk is the Anchorage Animal Care & Control Center (AACCC), where they sign-in for the walk and pick up their canine companion for the first half of the walk. As volunteers at the AACCC, they enjoy giving the dogs a chance to escape from their kennels for a little while, get some exercise, and socialize with other people and dogs they meet on the trail. The calming effect of the exercise and socialization are important aspects in helping the dogs become more adoptable. After completing a basic training course, volunteers are able to walk dogs, groom the cats, or help out in other ways at the AACCC.

Yuki & John out for a winter walk on the Anchorage Volkssports Club’s Campbell Creek Trail YRE

The first half of this trail is perfect for dog walkers, as the only road crossings are either across a pedestrian overpass or through a couple of short pedestrian underpasses. The dogs also enjoy meeting and greeting other canine walkers as they make their way around UniversityLakeand through one of the more popular Anchorage Dog Parks. Dogs aren’t the only critters using the park and it is not unusual to encounter a moose snacking on leaves in the summer or settling for bark and small branches in the winter. A family of beavers, living in the lake, seems to have similar appetites. They are seldom seen during the day, but the chewed tree stumps and downed trees leave no doubt about their presence. The dogs, however, seem to enjoy each other much more than the other inhabitants.

After about 5KM, the trail makes its way back to the start point, where the Faunce’s usually return their first dog and pick up another for the second 5KM of the walk.  This part of the walk follows the Campbell Creek Trail, a paved, multi-use trail through one of Anchorage’s many greenbelts. Although fewer dogs are encountered on this part of the walk, lots of walkers, runners, bikers, skiers, and even snowshoers, make good use of this trail, so there is still ample opportunity for dog socializing. This section of the trail also passes over a couple of tunnels where sled dog teams train and race in the winter. It’s a special treat to be walking this section of the trail during Fur Rondy, Anchorage’s Winter Carnival, and see some of the World Champion Dog Teams out on the trail. The turn-around point for the trail is a family park along the Campbell Creek, a great place for Fido to get a long drink of water before heading back to the AACCC.

If you are interested in becoming an AACCC volunteer, download our AACCC Volunteer Application.

For more information on the American Volkssport Association Walking Clubs and Walking Volksmarch Events, go to www.ava.org!

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