Walking for Autism Awareness

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We try to get out and about on weekends, since I seem to spend a great deal of time during the working week, chained to a hot computer, working on an editing job, or my next book, or composing entries for various blogs. Sometimes it's an event related to my books, but mostly it's something interesting going on, somewhere in San Antonio - or within an easy commute.

Last Saturday, it was the seventh annual Walk for Autism, which my daughter had gotten involved with, through a high school friend, whose' son is autistic. We're in the habit of walking anyway, what with the dog and all - and so, why not get a bit of the daily required exercise by popping down to the AT&T Center on a Saturday morning and getting a little bit involved in the community? Although as it turned out we didn't have to get there all that early, since the walk didn't actually launch until 8:30. Still - arriving at a quarter past seven did get us an excellent parking place, and a chance to walk around and take pictures of some of the other early arrivals . . . alas, the batteries in the camera were drained past any ghost of recovery, so I'll have to wait next time to get a picture of the classic 1940s SAFD hook and ladder truck.

I did get a picture of the small and horrendously over-excited dachshund who was running around, underneath people's feet and eluding every effort at capture . . . that is, until he went to pick a fight with another small dog, and my daughter and I captured him. He didn't have a collar on him, and we couldn't see that anyone else was chasing after him. We took him to the DJ, who looked at him with an expression of horror and said, "I don't want a dog . . ." and I answered, "Well, I don't either - but he belongs to someone. Just announce that he's been found, and is here."

Almost before the announcement was out of his mouth, two women came rushing up to the DJ booth, breathless with relief, and one of them with a leash and empty collar in her hand. "He just got so excited," she said, "He slipped right out of his collar!" That was about the fastest stray-dog retrieval we had ever managed - about a minute and a half, from capture to recovery.

As it turned out, the team that my daughter was part of was sponsored by the SAPD, and she got a very nice dark blue tee shirt out if it, she made the re-acquaintance of her school friend, and her son, who walked very happily between us. There were other people who had brought dogs, and had dressed up their strollers and wagons, or made signs for their team members to carry - so, off from the starting gate, lead by a half a dozen bikers . . . and cheered by cheerleaders, all four and a half thousand of us - parents, grandparents, friends, kids, dogs, teachers and volunteers.

The two-mile walk route was just routed through the AT&T Center grounds . . . and I'm not even sure it was really two miles. Jeanne and I could have made another lap or two, just to get a good workout in. They were having a go getting this walk into the Guinness Book of World Records, for the number of walkers participating - I certainly hope we made it. And even if not, we did have a good time. And that was my weekend - yours?