My Birthday with 44 Dogs

Yesterday was my birthday and I took the day off. As a bonus it was the most beautiful spring day ever! I also had a special plan for my morning walk…

Several years ago I met Curtis Johnson in Minneapolis, he was walking 10 dogs and we chatted for a while. That was 2011. Last week, 8 years later, I emailed Curtis and asked if I could come on a walk with his crew and my camera. He kindly offered to meet on May 13th for the full experience. and WOW… What an unforgettable experience it was! As you know, I am a huge dog lover and I dearly miss my JRT Smartie who passed away last August. Since then I’ve managed to get my dog fix while I’m out and about every day. It’s not the same as having my own furry baby but it helps for now.

I arrived at 10 am when all the dogs arrived after being picked up in several vans to start their walk around a nearby lake. There was quite a lot of excitement among the canine community but everything was so orderly, it was unbelievable! Dogs were patiently waiting for everyone to get organized. Except for the occasional “Martini, sit!”, they all knew the drill and soon every dog was grouped according to personality and compatibility. Curtis and 4 other staff members of Citizen Kanine set off for the lake…

The crew is well known and warmly greeted by the locals. The occasional first time visitors stop in their tracks in surprise and children are mesmerized by the caravan of dogs in all shapes and sizes. There were a few rest stops in the shade where water was available, a dozen large folding water bowls were quickly filled and passed around while everyone was patiently waiting and resting, eager to continue the walk.

I must admit that I was a bit of a distraction. Dogs always know immediately that I will let them lick me to death, which gave Curtis and his staff a little more work to keep all the dogs disciplined. But it was my birthday and I think they forgave me 😉


©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-1

Ready to go!

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-2

Shit happens…. 


©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-4

But everyone is very understanding 😉

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-6

“Okay, I’m refreshed. Curtis, can we go?”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-7

“I may be small, but I’m strong!”


©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-9

Here goes the gang!

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-10

“We love little kids and they love us but we are not allowed to play.”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-11

Curtis and 10 buddies

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-14

At the ‘Dog Crossing’!

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-16

Time to regroup  everyone…

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-17

“We have a guest taking pictures so I don’t want to sit today!”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-21

“Okay Curtis, if you insist…”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-22

Ready to go again…

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-23

“We do what Curtis tells us to do, but please don’t tell our parents that we can be so well behaved.”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-24

Last water break of the walk!

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-27

“I may just nap the rest of the day.”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-29

“We are best buddies and we laugh a lot together.”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-30

“Time to go home? Seriously? I like to hang out with my friends!”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-31

“Valerie, did I drool on you yet?”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-34

“Those ants are so fascinating to watch!!!”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-25

“Hey, if you don’t move, we can’t move…”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-32

“We pretend not to know each other because we have to look cool…”

©Valérie Jardin - Curtis and dogs-35

“Time to cool off the vans and bring us home!”

13 thoughts on “My Birthday with 44 Dogs

  1. Happy belated B’day Valerie. Wow that’s the best b’day gift I could ever imagine! I love the story telling on this blog.
    Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this blog, made me smile from beginning to end. Also, made me miss you.
    Happy Belated birthday Valerie


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