A pawesome activity is planned for Avedis Foundation Health Week. A May 28 animal-centric event, designed to promote wellness among people and canine companions, is expected to draw hundreds of participants.

A pawesome activity is planned for Avedis Foundation Health Week. A May 28 animal-centric event, designed to promote wellness among people and canine companions, is expected to draw hundreds of participants.

Paws in the Park, a community dog walk, kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center’s dog park. Khara Criswell, head trainer at The Doggie Spot, said the event allows people to do something different.

“A lot of people have pets. Sometimes just getting out and walking with them gives people a change of attitude,” she explained, adding dog walking can help decrease stress.

Organizer John Ayers noted people, by default, exercise when exercising dogs.

“I guess you could call it ‘Walk Your Human Day,’” he joked.

The walk, projected to end around 8:30 p.m., will utilize part of the airport trail.

“It’s two miles,” Criswell said. “It’s not timed, so you can go at your own pace.”

The free event permits one dog per registrant and requires dogs remain on a leash. Free dog leashes will be made available and water bowls will be peppered along the path.

“And we’ll have a couple little pools for the dogs,” Ayers said. “We’ll also have treats, gift baskets and prizes given away.”

Criswell was associated with a similar event while living in Chicago.

“We would have over 2,000 people show up,” she said, adding she hopes at least 100 to 200 people attend Shawnee’s first community dog walk.

Related activities will enhance the Paws in the Park experience.

“We’re hoping to have some vendors, rescue groups and dog demonstrations,” Criswell said.

Criswell encouraged walkers with reservations about participating to contact her.

“If they have issues about, ‘Well, my dog pulls me,’ just email,” she said.

To register and read event rules, visit www.thedoggiespot.com. The registration form link is located near the bottom of the website’s home page and must be completed by May 26.

Watch for information on additional Avedis Foundation Health Week activities. Shawnee Splash’s May 23 grand opening launches the festivities.