CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Onslow Beach spread holiday cheer to a few dozen of its four-legged friends during the fourth annual Sandy Paws Doggie Dash, Dec. 7.
Pooches of all varieties raced alongside their owners in the one-mile beach run. The event served as a way to celebrate the beach’s patrons and their four-legged companions.
“We take a lot of pride in helping Marines and sailors at Camp Lejeune,” said Dion Lynn, the general manager of Onslow Beach.
“(Onslow Beach) is one of the few facilities on base that allows pets. This event gives dog owners a chance to come run, have fun and dress up with their pets.”
There are many running events aboard the base throughout the year, such as the monthly family fun runs held by the community centers or the Grand Prix series hosted by Semper Fit. The Sandy Paws Doggy Dash is Onslow Beach’s pet-friendly contribution to Camp Lejeune’s fitness culture.
“It’s awesome that dogs can come and run around in Onslow Beach,” said Rich Medal, an event participant.“It’s a good experience for all of the dogs to get together.”
While dogs were able to bond with other canines, it also brought them closer to their owners and allowed patrons to meet other pet lovers, said Lynn.
“The camaraderie with the other dog owners was awesome,” said Emanuel Araica, an event participant.“It’s a fun experience for everybody to have together.”
Participants also dressed their pets in festive holiday costumes. A little dog dressed as a gingerbread man raced alongside another dog dressed as Santa.
“We always run with our dog, and I thought it would be fun to race with her,” said Jackie Araica, an event participant. “She had a lot of fun. She was digging in the sand and running. She got all of her energy out.”
Participants were also able to take photos with Santa Claus and enjoy food and refreshments after the race.
For more information about events at Onslow Beach, call 440-6546.
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