Imagine going down to a park and meeting a dog.
And then another dog.
And then another dog. Or maybe two more dogs. Wouldn’t that be the best day ever?
Well what if you got to meet those four wonderful pups … and then 30,110 more after that?
If you live in South Shields, England, this might have been your weekend.
On June 4, 2017, the small city of South Shields, England, was home to the 27th Annual Great North Dog Walk.
The event, started by physical education teacher Tony Carlisle back in 1990, brings together dog owners and their pups for a brisk stroll along the North English coast.
Carlisle says seeing the event grow from 13 hounds and a few of his students to a grand total of 30,114 participants this year is pretty mind-blowing.
“I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined it’d get as big as this,” Carlisle says.
Over 180 different breeds of dog showed up, according to Carlisle. From the very small…
…to the very large.
From the elegant…
…to the stylish…
…to the suspiciously bipedal.
The event has gathered at least 16 Guinness World Records over the years.
Similar dog walking events have popped up in places like Texas, Canada, and Scotland, and have occasionally stolen the title of World’s Largest, but it’s hard to unseat the king. Carlisle is confident this year’s walk will be another record-breaker.
The best part of the event, though, is that it’s not just a chance to get out and meet some dogs. It’s raised millions for charity too.
Participants in the dog walk can sign up to donate from one of 34 different beneficiaries, from pet shelters to veteran support to cancer research. Over the last 27 years, the Dog Walk’s raised about $8.67 million (6.72 million pounds), according to Carlisle.
Not bad for a day out with your pooch.
Of course, walking 30,000 dogs comes with some … logistics.
“Every walker’s given a poo bag,” says Carlisle. And they have plenty of bins on site.