Austinites walk dogs to support service group

Lawrence Peart

Thousands of dogs roamed the streets of Austin on Saturday in support of a local charity. The Mighty Texas Dog Walk and Festival took place for the 13th straight year as dog lovers brought their four-legged friends to Waterloo Park for a three-mile trek.

Organizers hope this year’s event will bring the Guinness World Record for “Largest Dog Walk” back to Texas, where it was for two years before being supplanted by England in 2010. The current record is 17,427 dogs. Tags are still being counted from Saturday’s walk.

The walk is organized by and in support of Texas Hearing and Service Dogs, an organization that specializes in training dogs to assist Texans with hearing or mobility challenges. Paul Wood and his golden retriever Faith were among the first to leave the starting gates as the event got underway.

“It’s just a great Texas thing to do,” Wood said, adding, “Well, a great Austin thing to do.”