Tessa did the Santa Paws 5k

December 17th, 2016

          Today Tessa and  I did our regular early morning walk but cut it back from four to three miles. The reason was to allow us time and energy savings so that we could participate in the annual Santa Paws 5k race/walk/stroll in Palm Springs starting at 9 am.

          The Santa Paws event benefits Guide Dogs of the Desert. It’s a fun activity that includes seriously competitive runners, less competitive walkers, strollers, doggies, children (elves), buggies, wagons and decorated conveyances. All who register and pay the entrance fee receive a Santa Claus suit (complete with hat and beard), an official entry number and a course completion timing record. Doggies receive bows or bandanas.

          Tessa and I  participated as non-competitive walkers. Our entry number was 509 and we finished Overall 286th out of 547 participants. We were listed in the Male category and finished 146th out of 227 men. All finishers received a medal evidencing completion of the course. Tessa’s feelings were probably hurt when she learned her participation would not be scored separately in the Female category, nor would she be receiving her own medal. However, she wore her ribbon proudly and it was still on her when the photo of her resting was taken. (She would have scored 141 out of 320 in the Female category).

          Although she’s little more than a year old and weighs a bit over nine pounds, Tessa’s not shy around people and other dogs. If anything she probably qualifies as super friendly Nevertheless, she’s not had much exposure to large crowds. So the Santa Paws 5k crowd of hundreds of people and dogs was expected to be somewhat overwhelming. But she adjusted quite well and when the race/walk started Tessa really moved out. While Tessa didn’t lead the pack, she certainly led me – and I must confess to not being able to move at the pace she appeared to prefer. Her pace was dictated by a desire to overtake anyone in front of her. As for me, wearing the Santa Suit made the walk a bit more cumbersome than I’m accustomed to doing. Tessa might have been a top finisher in the competitive group had she chosen to do the walk with someone other than me. Now that it’s all over I’m wondering whether she would prefer to be known as “5k Tessa”?

          More about Contessa Le Rouge, “Tessa”, in my Notebook blog at

Contessa resting after the 5k

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