Is there a way that you can have fun and help someone at the same time? Of course there is and we’re going to tell you about it.
Every year animal shelter “Labās mājas” (Good home) organize charity orienteering event and it is super fun. Usually, they organize it twice a year – in spring and in fall and in overall this was the 6th event for them. However, for us, it was the 4th Robins mežā (Robin in the forest) event that we attended. The name “Robin” is the name of the shelter’s mascot. We love the idea of it, since the fee you pay for registration goes to help shelter animals. 2 years ago friends introduced us to this event and we have been attending it ever since.
About shelter “Labās mājas”
“Labās mājas” (Good home) is one of the well know local shelters, you could also say that it’s the most well equipped. It all started in 1999, when it was the first shelter located in Riga. Since then they have moved to another location where they are based now. In the beginning they started with just 1300 m² land that they rented. They moved to another location in 2011 after building of the new shelter’s home was done.
Orienteering and charity
We think that’s it’s important to mention that this is not a classic orienteering event. You can participate in it with your dog or take one from the shelter. You’re given a map with checkpoints marked in it and for 2h you have to read the map and try to find all the points. The checkpoints are either trees that are marked or group of people that tells you to solve puzzles or answer the questions. The whole event has different categories you can participate as – a team in forest, family in the forest, my dog and I in forest, shelter dog and I in the forest, me in the forest. We usually participate as “team in the forest” with Frost. Since we always go to this event with some beagle owners, then we team up and search everything together. This way it’s more fun and it helps a lot given the fact that we are not that good at this whole thing.
Prizes and dog cake
Every year there are really amazing and generous prizes for those who get into the top 3 in each category. One year we got ferry tickets to Sweden from and hoped to meet Helmut, but the fee was too high to bring your dog and we gave them up. It was sad, since we wanted to meet other instagram beagles. We usually don’t come near the top 3, but last year we came 4th I think. Anyhow, this event is not about winning for us, we just like the idea behind it and enjoy participating in it and at the end of the day Frost is happy and tired from all the running in the forest.
The best part for dogs is the dog cake. It’s tradition to make and give a piece of it to all the dogs that participated, this way dogs are awarded too, not just humans. One year a little girl tried the cake by the mistake and you could tell by looking at her face that she did not enjoy it, haha. It’s still a thing that people from shelter remember to this day.
There should be more events like this
It would be nice if more shelters would organize such events. We think that it’s a fun way to help and donate to others, because you get to be outside with your dog and work together as a team. This kind of thing brings people together, helps you make new friends and puts helping others into a new perspective. It should always be about fun for everybody and the fact that so many people attend this event not just with their own dogs, but shelter dogs too, shows that people care enough to try and help them in any way they can, even if it’s just to take dog for a long walk.