Being healthy or getting healthier doesn’t mean running a marathon. It can be as simple as taking a walk. That’s the idea behind a new monthly event, Walk with a Doc and a Dog, which starts Saturday, Feb. 17, at 9 a.m. at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Each walk will be led by a Colorado State University veterinarian or researcher, who will share a brief overview about the work they do to keep animals and people healthy, said Dr. Colleen Duncan, a veterinarian and associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology.
“We want to showcase our great campuses and the work CSU is doing on the research front in an informal, relaxed atmosphere,” she said. “It’s not meant to be preachy, or to be a lecture.”
Duncan learned last year about the success behind Walk with a Doc, which was launched in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio.
Frustrated with his inability to affect behavior change in a clinical setting, Sabgir invited his patients to go for a walk with him in a local park. To his surprise, more than 100 people showed up, energized and ready to move. There are now 300 chapters of Walk with a Doc around the world.
The walks have expanded into the veterinary medicine realm; hence the addition of “dog” with the “doc.” Duncan thought the idea would be easily transferable to Fort Collins.
CSU is the first veterinary school to form a chapter, said Claire Tucker, a third-year student in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program, who is organizing the walks with Duncan and members of the One Health student club at CSU.
Students from health and exercise science and veterinary medicine will be on hand at the walks to answer additional questions.
“We want to make the walks as accessible to as many people as possible,” said Tucker, so walking routes of varying lengths will be offered. And if you don’t have your own dog? No problem. There will be plenty of pups to hang out with along the way.
Tucker said the team hopes eventually to expand the event beyond campus in the future, by hosting walks at a local senior center or with a Boys & Girls Club.
The walks are sponsored by Colorado State University’s Small Animal Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Service and One Health Institute.
Walk with a Doc and Dog takes place the third Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. Visit the website for more details.
“The secret to your dog’s mobility is YOU!” with Dr. Felix Duerr
Small Animal Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital
CSU main campus, on the south side of the Oval
CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, in conjunction with the annual Open House