This sounds like the best way to go for a run.
We've all heard that running is an excellent way to clear your mind. For one Florida high school cross country team, it’s also an excellent way to give back to the local community.
The boys’ cross country team at George Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Florida, outside of Tampa, partnered with the nearby Humane Society of Tampa Bay to take dogs out running with them this summer. Currently, the young athletes take out four dogs during running practice five days a week.
To get prepared for the program, all of the students on the team took a class on how to interact with high-energy dogs, and the 30-person team now splits into four groups for each run with one dog joining each group. The dogs even get to accompany the team on hikes and the occasional day trip.
Of course, the running sessions aren’t only beneficial for the pups. The boys reap the benefits of bonding with the animals, experiencing a stronger team morale, and having something to look forward to at practice each day. One dog, Jasper, made such an impact that two former captains of the team, now roommates, adopted him. Jasper will join them at the University of Florida this fall. Do the Gator Chomp, Jasper!
All around, it’s a great reminder that even if you can’t adopt a dog, there are still plenty of creative ways to impact their lives positively—which, in turn, will come right back around to you.